Filing a wrongful termination suit against your employer is not easy, and the process can take a long time to complete. That’s why it’s important to assess yourself and the situation first before doing it. If you think your rights truly have been violated, then be prepared for the hard work and challenges that the suit will yield, physically and mentally.
- Collect all the materials related to the work that can stand as evidence like the job offer letter, employment contract, time sheets, handbook, performance evaluations, etc. Organize the documents in reverse chronological, or with the most recent document first. Make a summary of the case, containing the basic facts and highlights, and place it at the beginning. It’s also recommended to make an index of the documents. That way, the attorney or paralegal get to see this first before checking the other documents.
- Get the help of a Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer. You can look for one at your local bar association, or by searching the internet. Yellow Pages are also recommended.
- If the grounds for wrongful termination are discrimination or harassment, ask your attorney first about filing an initial complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Almost all types of discrimination lawsuits require the filing of a complaint with EEOC before it can be filed as a private lawsuit in court. Time limits for filing a case should also be observed.
- File the complaint at the Clerk of Court’s office in your local courthouse. Depending on the details, the attorney will decide whether to file it with the State or Federal court. There should be several copies of the complaint with your signature if there is more than one defendant. The clerk will date and time-stamp each document, while the original copy remains filed in the courthouse. Civil summons will then be prepared and served along with the complaint to the defendant.
- Wait for the defendant’s answer to the complaint. Default judgment in your favor can be entered if he or they failed to file a reply.
- Discovery of facts from both sides will follow for possible trial. Attempts to settle can also be made on behalf of either party during discovery.
- If settlements have failed, the trial will start. Depending on the results of the trial, the judgment may be disputed or appealed.