Your employer has harassed and abused you and you want to get even. You want them to pay for mistreating you so you decide to file a complaint and pursue suing them in court.
Wait a minute! Think about the situation first and analyze thoroughly if you can handle all the stress and costs of doing this. Can you really sue your employer for a deed that you take as abusive? What if the reasons you have are not enough? You’ll only put yourself in an awkward situation.
Read first on how you can sue your employer or if you even have the right to do so.
Familiarize yourself with labor laws that can protect you in times of trouble. Labor laws can be searched online. Some states have different labor codes so be sure to read what your state says about suing your employer. Visit the site of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Labor for further details.
Know what you can and cannot do; in many situations people usually assume that they know their rights when in fact, they just base their knowledge on hearsay and too much TV.
Grounds for suing
Review the employees’ handbook. Look for legitimate reasons of what can be considered as harassment and what actions can be done. If there are enough grounds to lead you to suing your employer, then do so. It’s better to know the legalities of your actions rather than make rash decisions that will only put you on the losing ground.
Before even going for a court settlement, approach the HR department of your company and talk about the details of the situation. See first if all can be settled internally before going outside for help.
List down the situations when you were harassed physically, emotionally or psychologically. Usually, harassments tend to repeat over a period of time until one party yields to the demands of the other.
If your employer continually harasses you in any manner you think can be legally accounted for, record it. Conversations, emails, meetings, checkups and details of abusive situations – record them in any way possible. Keep a journal if you can. It can be used as proof if you plan to take action and sue your employer.
To back your claims, there should be witnesses to your accusations. If you plan to take the complaint to a courtroom, ask for the help of your colleagues. They can help you by stating what they saw happened in a situation you address.
This would be quite hard to obtain if it’s a big company you’re going against. They wouldn’t possibly want to get in the middle of a crossfire that can render them jobless.
Ask for legal help
All is set and you’re ready for the skirmish? Find a good lawyer that specializes in cases like yours. Provide your attorney with all the details of your complaint. Also give him the list of witnesses that can prove your claims. All the necessary legal actions will be handled by your attorney. Just be updated with the status of the case every now and then.
Depending on how things will ensue, it’s possible to reach an out-of-court settlement or allow the court to decide on how matters should be settled.
Be sure that your lawyer can be fully trusted and won’t go against your back or your complaint will just backfire.
Stress and costs
You should be prepared to handle the emotional and psychological stress of filing a complaint against your employer. Your colleagues might have a different perspective and things could get awkward in your workplace.
Also, the costs of filing and attorney services should be considered. Complaints like this can take months or even years, so be prepared for all the money it might cost you.