How do I Fight a Dismissal Notice?

Felicia Dye
Felicia Dye
Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

The best way to fight a dismissal notice depends on the grounds for your argument. If you believe that the notice was not intended for you, the problem may be resolved by contacting the person who sent the letter. Otherwise, you can follow the appeal process if one was outlined in the notice or in your employee handbook. If the cause for dismissal involves legal issues, you may need to contact a government agency or an employment attorney.

Mistakes do happen, especially in large companies. If you received a dismissal notice and the details appear to be completely outlandish, there is a possibility that the letter was sent to the wrong person. If it was sent from someone at another site, you should share it with your on-site supervisor or head of human resources. Together, you two should contact the person who sent the dismissal notice and notify him that you believe that he made an error.

Your dismissal notice may contain details on what you should do if you want to appeal the decision, or these may be outlined in your employee handbook. Make sure that you explicitly follow those instructions. Do not allow any deadlines to pass and make sure that you communicate with the specified individual or department.

Meanwhile, you should begin preparing your defense. Carefully review your dismissal notice again and compare it to your company handbook or any other documents that outline the company's discipline and dismissal policies. Also gather any evidence that you believe will help you to support your argument, including statements from your co-workers.

There are some reasons for which you cannot be legally dismissed. These will vary depending on your jurisdiction, but common examples include discrimination, retaliation for participating in a whistle-blowing program, and refusal to participate in criminal activity. If you believe that you are being dismissed for illegal reasons, there may be a government agency that will intervene. If so, go to that agency either in person or visit its website to determine how to lodge a complaint.

If there is no government agency to assist you or if you believe that the dismissal notice constitutes a breach of contract, you should contact an employment attorney. This is a legal professional who specializes in labor and occupational cases. Do not be deterred because you assume that it will be expensive. You may be able to find a lawyer who will offer you a free consultation and, if retained, she may work on your case on a contingency basis.

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