Being unfairly dismissed is never a pleasant experience. Given that 50% of Australians are living paycheck to paycheck, being suddenly dismissed can cause serious financial issues and high levels of stress. Even affording the mortgage can quickly become an issue.
That’s why you need to stop and take stock of your dismissal. It’s always a good idea to speak to an unfair dismissal employment lawyer to assess what has happened. In many cases, people have been victims of unfair dismissal but don’t realize it.
You should note that you only have 21 days to register your unfair dismissal claim. In other words, speak to a lawyer straight away and, if you have a case, file your claim straight away.
The Problem With Discrimination, Retaliation, and Wrongful Termination
There is always a reason for an employer to terminate an employee. The question is whether that reason is justified or not. While a failure to follow disciplinary procedures can make a termination unfair, if you’re arguing discrimination or retaliation you’re going to need to show that your employer has a motive.
That’s the biggest issue with winning these types of claims. An employer will never admit they acted out of discrimination or retaliation. That leaves the emphasis on the employee to prove this was the case.
The amount of evidence you’ll need to win this type of case will depend on the severity of the case and, to an extent, how deep your employer’s pockets are.
How To Win
The secret to successfully winning a discrimination or retaliation claim is in having enough circumstantial evidence. Of course, direct proof is preferable but it’s unlikely that you have any of this!
Circumstantial evidence points to the employer being at fault. The more you have the greater the likelihood that the employer acted unfairly and the more likely it is you’ll win the case. It’s that simple.
Great examples of circumstantial evidence are when someone else in the company has does the same thing as you and has either not been punished or received a much less harsh punishment. For example, three employees turn up late every day. Two of them are men who are not reprimanded, the third is a female and she is fired. It’s circumstantial but points to sexism in the workplace.
Another option is to seek testimonials from parties that were supposedly involved in an incident. For example, if you are fired for fighting at work but didn’t fight, you may be able to get the person you were fighting with to testify that you never fought. This shows the employer fired you for a false reason. It doesn’t matter what the actual reason was, the falsehood means the employer was discriminating for some reason.
Don’t forget that employment tribunals have juries. They need to believe that you were discriminated against. But, they also need to believe that you deserve the compensation. That means you’ll need to be open and honest, the longer you’ve worked for your employer the easier it will be to get a jury on your side.