Among the more difficult and occasionally awkward forms of civil cases out there, wrongful termination cases stand out. Clients in these cases often feel as though they’ve been treated unfairly, while companies will maintain that termination was well within their rights and did not break any area of the law.
At Phoenix Deposition Services, our court reporters are regularly called out to provide video conferencing, reporting and other services for wrongful termination cases. These cases will often contain contradicting accounts of events and potentially combative statements, and attorneys preparing for such cases should proceed accordingly. In addition, here are three prominent themes that will generally be given high priority during these cases, allowing attorneys and their clients to focus on the proper details.
While most wrongful termination cases come down to context and detail, one area that’s generally on the side of the plaintiff is the company’s own worker policy. Attorneys and clients should go over all documentation or other materials the employee received when beginning work at the company, documents that generally contain detailed information on company policies.
For instance, many larger corporate entities have processes that eventually lead to termination: Employees will be allowed one or two formal warnings in some cases, or may be disciplined more lightly as a warning before being terminated. If you can prove, however, that the company did not follow such a procedure that’s laid out in their policy, you’ll have a leg up toward proving wrongful termination. In addition to viewing specific documentation, work for evidence that the policies therein were clearly communicated and explained to employees.
Importance of Supervisors
A former supervisor may become one of the most important deponents in any wrongful termination case. This person can act as a witness for the employee’s performance, work ethic and other important areas. Attorneys and former employees should confer in advance here, as not all supervisors will necessarily give friendly answers and some might not be credible. However, in cases where harassment or retaliation from a supervisor played a role in the termination, deposing this person will become even more vital for different reasons.
Finally, one of the best ways an employee can present their case for wrongful termination is to establish a strong, reliable work history. This can include both the job they were dismissed from and previous employment situations – if necessary, former supervisors or coworkers from these previous jobs can even be deposed to provide evidence of the employee’s hard work. If work history records show positive areas, such as Employee of the Week/Month awards or some other recognition, be sure to highlight these prominently while making your case.
For more on what to expect during wrongful termination depositions, or to learn about any of our video depositions or other services, speak to the staff at Phoenix Deposition Services today.