Someone people see their termination coming, while others are caught off-guard. Regardless of how things unfold, it’s critical that you understand the reason for your termination and the steps you can take to protect your legal rights.

Should you suspect wrongful termination, here are some of the most important steps to take:

  • Collect evidence: If you have any evidence to back up your claim of wrongful termination, collect it and keep it in a safe place. This could work in your favor should you decide to take legal action in the future.
  • Ask for an explanation: Contact the Human Resources (HR) department for more information on why you were terminated. You may come to find that they’re attempting to hide the real reason. For example, they may say you were terminated due to downsizing, but in all actuality it’s because they’re discriminating against you on the basis of race or religion.
  • Review your employment contract: This outlines termination procedures, such as what you’re entitled to upon separating. For instance, you may have a severance agreement in place, which outlines what you’ll receive in regards to compensation and benefits.

These are the types of basic steps you should take as a victim of wrongful termination.

As you move through the process, it’ll become clear as to what you should do next. Maybe you find that you’re okay moving on. Or maybe you find that you want to take legal action to protect your employment and future career.

Regardless of the approach you take, make sure you protect your legal rights and hold your former employer accountable.