The relationship between an employee and her or his employer should foster respect, loyalty, and mutual benefit. However, unfair termination, discrimination, workplace accidents, and harassment might necessitate employees taking legal action against their employers. Naturally, your employer is responsible for providing a safe and fair working environment. And if she or he breaches this mutual understanding, you might be entitled to receive payment for damages.
If you aren’t familiar with employment law and work-based grievances, filing a lawsuit against your employer can be daunting. You might worry about creating a hostile work atmosphere with your superiors or colleagues or fear losing your job. However, these are not reasons enough to hold you back from fighting for your rights. That said, let us look at what to consider before you begin a legal war against your employer. Before you jump into exhausting legal proceedings, it is best to understand what to expect along the way.
Research and understand your case
Do you have a complete understanding of your situation? Chances are you don’t and are merely acting out of emotion. In that case, a good starting point might be to read up on your employment contract. That will help you identify if you can even sue your employer for a particular grievance or not.
For instance, employers are not liable to paying compensation for injuries not caused by occupational hazards. On the other hand, if your employer continues to expose employees to banned substances such as asbestos, the company is liable to pay for long-term health-related damage. Employees might even have to approach particular firms that help victims of occupational hazards file for mesothelioma settlements to secure funding for treatment. If you don’t know the details and file a lawsuit, chances are you’ll lack the proper grounds or legal expertise to win in court.
Think of all alternatives before filing a lawsuit
Suppose you are a victim of work-related malpractice or unfair treatment. Have you ever thought about talking with someone in your company first? If your company has an HR department, have you tried contacting them? Even if it doesn’t, do you know a trustworthy person, such as an employee representative, you can talk to?
You can quickly solve many employment issues without going to court. The most significant benefit of internal conflict resolution is that you might be able to continue working at the same company in peace. If you have a genuine employment issue by chance, resolve it before it brings you too much harm. Talking to someone in your company will broaden your perspective for a future course of action.
Lawsuits can be long, painful, and stressful
Sometimes trying to have the matter resolved outside of a courtroom might be a viable option because it will not be soon before a legal case concludes. Legal proceedings can be financially, physically, and mentally exhausting. What’s worse is that the lengthy process does not guarantee a favorable outcome.
If you have to quit your job and work someplace else, the stress and distraction of litigation will also make it more challenging to do well in your new career. However, suppose you still want to pursue the lawsuit. In that case, it is best to find a trusty lawyer who will fight your case till the end.
Your private life might not remain private anymore
Were you fired from multiple jobs before your current employer fired you? Were you accused of harassment, embezzlement, or any other workplace issue? If you decide to sue your employer, chances are they’ll subpoena you and gain access to all your files and information from previous employers. Even if your claim is legit, be prepared for some of your hidden secrets to be made public.
Some coworkers might not be on your side
It is essential to consider that your coworkers might have reasons for not supporting you, especially if their testimony might flip the lawsuit in your favor. Their knowledge might be vital to the case, but it might be someone you don’t like or someone who isn’t willing to put their employment at risk for your sake.
That said, your employer, just like you, will ask some of your coworkers to testify against you. And who do you think they’ll choose? Of course, the person who pays their bills! Morality is subjective. As much as you want to hold people accountable for it, some may have legit reasons not to extend support in times of crisis. And that’s okay.
You might end up winning nothing
If your employer has deep pockets and a lot of influence, be ready for the worst. N the unfortunate situation that your employer has no regard for your grievances lacks morals and is corrupt, expect to win nothing. Sometimes letting go and quitting before things fall down an abyss is a better option than filing a lawsuit against your employer.
Of course, we aren’t saying that you should never sue your employer. However, always keep it as a last resort. It is better to solve your issues internally through your company’s grievance policy or an out-of-court settlement with your employer. However, if it is justice you seek, always consult a lawyer before taking the last resort.