Employees will often need an attorney to represent them if they have been fired for a reason that violates state or federal discrimination laws. However, there are a number of things you can do to assist an attorney in more quickly analyzing your case at the first office appointment.
First, if your employer gave you a reason for the termination of your employment, whether in a meeting, during a phone call, or in any other way that is not in writing, make a detailed record for yourself regarding what was said. It is surprising how quickly details of conversations are lost to memory, and critical that they be preserved if a lawsuit or other legal proceeding becomes necessary.
Second, under Wisconsin statute section 103.13, you have a right to obtain your personnel file from your employer. Write a letter to your employer requesting that file, citing section 103.13, Wis. Stats., as the basis for that request. Your employer has seven business days to produce the file, and can charge you copy costs incurred in preparing the file. This request must be made in writing – your employer need not honor the request if it is made verbally.
Third, apply for unemployment insurance benefits immediately, and ask the State Unemployment Insurance investigator assigned to your case to provide you something that shows the reasons your employer gave for your termination. Often, the reasons the employer gives the investigator may be different than those given to you, or found in your personnel file.
The employment litigation attorneys at Hawks Quindel are experienced in representing employees who have been the victims of discrimination. While you need not have all of the above-described information in hand before contacting one of us, this information will be invaluable in helping us decide whether you have a claim of discrimination that can be pursued.
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