Wrongful termination cases arise when an employer terminates an employee unfairly or unlawfully. As an employee facing a wrongful termination case, you should understand the role of pretext in your claim.
Pretext refers to your employer’s false justification for your termination.
Pretext is a false explanation for your termination. Employers use this to hide discrimination or retaliation. In most cases, the explanation provided is plausible at first glance though you may have evidence to disprove it.
Recognizing hidden motives
If you believe that you suffered wrongful termination, the key to a successful claim is disproving the pretext that your employer uses to justify the dismissal. Sometimes the underlying factor is retaliation or even discrimination. A recent study by Glassdoor shows that 61% of U.S. employees witnessed or experienced discrimination in the workplace.
Proving false statements
If your employer claims that your dismissal resulted from subpar performance, prove that claim false with copies of your prior performance appraisals, statements from your immediate supervisors or co-workers and any other documentation that reflects the quality of your performance.
In cases where your employer claimed that they eliminated your position, research for evidence of the job posting for your replacement or get statements from employees still on the payroll about the replacement they hired.
Documenting wrongful termination
Once you prove their statements false, you need evidence to support your wrongful termination claim. Provide evidence of discrimination or proof of retaliation to round out your claim.
Understanding the role of pretext and how to debunk it helps you build a solid wrongful termination case.