How do I Choose the Best Unfair Dismissal Lawyer?

Lainie Petersen

If you've been fired from your job and believe that your termination was unfair or even illegal, you may want to consult with an unfair dismissal lawyer. An involuntary termination from employment is not only costly in terms of both lost wages and benefits, but can hamper your ability to find a new job. Choosing a good unfair dismissal lawyer is essential to recovering your financial stability and, if possible, your career. Selecting a lawyer requires good research as well meeting and communicating with a prospective lawyer so that he understands your goals and is able to let you know if he can help you reach them.

Someone who has been fired unfairly might have legal options.
Someone who has been fired unfairly might have legal options.

People are fired from their jobs for many reasons, and not all of them have anything to do with their job performance. For example, some people are fired because they complained of sexual harassment or as retaliation for being a whistle-blower. Others may lose their jobs because of illegal discrimination against them. While all of these situations may well be grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit, it is important that the terminated employee hire an unfair dismissal lawyer with experience in the circumstances of the termination.

Being fired for reporting sexual harassment constitutes unfair dismissal.
Being fired for reporting sexual harassment constitutes unfair dismissal.

You can begin your search for an unfair dismissal lawyer by asking for referrals from lawyers you know as well as your friends. If you were the victim of discrimination, you may also want to contact a local or national advocacy group for assistance. Contact the licensing agency for lawyers in your area to make sure that the lawyer's license is in good standing. Don't rely on a lawyer's own advertising or marketing materials when making a decision: Talk to those who have worked with the lawyer for a better understanding of his or her abilities.

Many lawyers offer free or low-cost consultations during which you can explain your situation and hear recommendations. It is a good idea to bring with you supporting documentation for your case, including a timeline of events and any communications between you and your employer. If the first lawyer you speak to is unable to help you, ask if she can refer you to another unfair dismissal lawyer who might be able to help you.

Incidentally, in many places there is a statute of limitations on wrongful dismissal and employment discrimination lawsuits. It is a good idea to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible after your termination in order to prevent missing any time constraints on beginning your case.

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Discussion Comments


@Soulfox -- I believe that is about half right. Keep in mind that a lot of employment law is governed by federal and not state law. A lot of causes of action in those unfair dismissal cases come from federal law. A good dismissal lawyer will be well versed in federal law and can tell you if you have a case or not.

Does that mean it is harder to win a case in an employment at will state? It sure does in some cases. In others, the state law won't matter just a whole lot because federal law will control.


The first question you will want to ask that lawyer is whether the laws in your state would make it worth your while to file an unfair dismissal state. My state is an "employment at will" one and that means that an employer can fire an employee for just about any reason.

That is a real problem for anyone wanting to file a wrongful termination suit against a former employer. An honest dismissal attorney will tell you what your realistic chances to prevail are.

How do you find that honest attorney? Do some research and ask friends and family.

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