Archive for the ‘Employment and Labor Law in Michigan’ Category

wrongful termination briefly explained

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

I find myself advising certain information repeatedly to potential and actual clients about how a wrongful termination lawsuit is going to roll. One of the things I often explain to them is the concept of “pretext.” I tell them that almost never will the employer tell you that you were fired because, say, you complained to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. Usually, if you get a reason for your termination, it is because of something else. Most wrongful termination cases are going to come down to whether the employer’s claimed reason is really just pretext or a cover-up for the real reason you were fired–the safety complaint. And, the courts you will be going through to sue for wrongful termination have a fairly specific understanding of what “pretext” is.

Most of the time, I am told that the reason was pretty stupid, insignificant and even morally wrong. These may not actually prove cover-up, at least, in the mind of the courts. Pretext is specifically either 1) that the reason is factually untrue and the employer could not believed it to be true, 2) other employees were not treated the same for the same reason, and 3) other circumstances strongly suggest that the employer was motivated to fire because of the illegal reason and not the pretextual one.  Stupidity, insignificance or morally wrong decisions aren’t going to be pretextual unless you have some additional information that shows the reason was pretextual according the specific definition above.

Email me at for a free  email consultation if you believe you were wrongfully fired.

NOTE: please keep in mind that this blog is not meant to be legal advice. Consult a lawyer if you need legal advice.

What to Do If You Were Wrongfully Fired or Discriminated Against At Work

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

What should you do if you believed you were wrongfully fired from your job or otherwise discriminated against? Aside from other issues you will have to think about such as filing for unemployment benefits,  below are a few suggestions in anticipation of litigation:

  1. Start a diary or journal. Write down all important facts and events. The more details you can recall, the more useful it can be to you.  Write down any witnesses and contact information.
  2. Obtain a copy of any current employee handbook, employer policy, and any current collective bargaining agreement.
  3. Make a written request for a copy of your employee file as this is your right under Michigan law. Allow for reasonable time to comply and reasonable cost for the copy.
  4. Gather all relevant documents, photographs, videos, audio recordings, and any other item that can be used for evidence. Be sure to preserve any employer letter you got that terminated your employment.
  5. Gather together information about your educational background, employment history going back 15 years, criminal history, any lawsuits including divorces and traffic citations, and bankruptcies.
  6. Schedule an attorney consultation as soon as possible. There can be very short statute of limitations in employment law, some as short as the 90 days in Michigan to file a whistle blower retaliation lawsuit. I offer a free email consultation.

See my website for more information on what I can do for you.

NOTE: please keep in mind that this blog is not meant to be legal advice. Consult a lawyer if you need legal advice.