Losing your job can derail your entire life. When your job loss is the result of a wrongful termination, the short- and long-term effects on nearly all aspects of you and your family’s life can be even worse.
California is an at-will employment state, which means that your employer can fire you at any time, for any reason, or without even giving a reason. However, discrimination, harassment and retaliation are some examples of wrongful termination.
You may know that if you are a victim of wrongful termination, you can file a wrongful termination claim requesting financial compensation and potential reinstatement at your job.
Do not make any rash decisions after your termination
When you first lose your job, you may be tempted to lash out at your employer in various ways, such as posting negative information about them on social media. During this time, you are probably making most decisions based on emotion, and they can be the wrong decisions.
Stay quiet and pursue your legal options. Remember that your employer may file a countersuit against you, seeking costs or other financial damages.
Even if you end up successfully pursuing a wrongful termination claim and receive financial damages, you may experience negative consequences for years to come.
You may experience long-term depression and anxiety
A wrongful termination can take a tremendous toll on your mental health. Although you may understand that you did not do anything wrong and were simply protecting your legal rights by filing a wrongful termination claim, you may experience depression over losing your job.
This is especially true if it was a job that you loved doing and that meant a lot to you. Litigation can also cause you significant anxiety. The litigation process can be long and stressful, and even with the help of an experienced employment attorney, you may just want the process to be done.
Your mental health or psychological issues are not likely going to magically end once your wrongful termination claim is over. You may be fearful of finding or starting a new job, afraid that you will experience the same issues that led to your wrongful termination.
You may fear damage to your reputation
Additionally, your professional and personal reputations may suffer damage. If you are passed over for a new job, you might wonder if the potential employer learned about your wrongful termination claim and was worried about getting sued themselves.
It is not uncommon for family and friends to suddenly start treating you differently or viewing you in a different light when they learn you have filed a lawsuit against someone. You have legal rights that must be protected and even though you are simply exercising those rights, not everyone will necessarily understand that.
Being aware of these challenges and potential consequences should not stop you from filing a wrongful termination claim. Your legal rights and holding your employer accountable are important.