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Wrongful termination and breach of contract: Were you a victim?

When you accept a job offer, you typically sign a contract outlining the terms and conditions of your employment. Employment contracts may also include language related to your potential termination, including any benefits you're entitled to if the time comes.

It's important to carefully review your contract upon termination, as this can help you better understand if your employer violated the terms and conditions.

Here are some questions to answer during your review:

  • Does your contract entail permissible reasons for termination?
  • Did your employer have an employee handbook that outlines termination procedures?
  • Did your employer, company owner or supervisor make any verbal promises at the time of hiring or during your employment?
  • Did your employer make any verbal comments indicating you could only lose your job for specific reasons?

If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions, there's a chance that you're the victim of wrongful termination. At that point, you should do the following:

  • Gather your contract, employee handbook and all other pertinent information.
  • Collect any evidence related to your termination, e.g., emails and text messages from supervisors and co-workers.
  • Request a copy of your personnel file from the HR department.

Once you do these things, you'll have a clearer idea of how to move forward. If you're unable to settle the matter with the company, it's time to focus on your legal rights. Filing a formal claim may be the only way to show your ex-employer that you're serious, while also chasing down any compensation you're entitled to as the result of your termination.

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