In the era of startups and technology companies, getting fired from the job has become quite common these days. We hear such cases almost every other day and the problems faced by fired employees makes for the saddest stories. So, what can one do if fired from the job? Can the employee sue the company and demand compensation? Well, the answers are not straightforward since the laws governing employment have several loopholes that can be exploited by companies. Here’s what you need to know about getting fired and the options available to you.
Termination with cause: In this case, your employment with the company will be governed by the rules stated in your appointment letter. The annexures to the appointment letter will contain all the information about termination and the various processes involved. When you are terminated with cause, you will be given prior notice of around 30-90 days. Such termination is as per the rules of employment and there is little scope for taking legal action against the company. In such cases, it is better to look for another job.
Termination without cause: Most companies have rules that say that they can terminate employment without giving any reason for the same. You have to sign this contract at the time of joining the company, so you essentially agree to such rules. However, employment contracts can be contested in the court of law, provided that there is enough evidence against the company for unethical action. You can sue the company if termination has been done without prior notice. You can also sue the company if you have pending items such as salary, gratuity, any bonus, severance pay, etc.
Termination for misconduct: If you are terminated for misconduct, you have the right to be heard. As per law, the employee has the right to present his case before any action is taken against him. Companies are required to warn the employee and conduct an internal inquiry to find the truth. If you feel that the internal inquiry was biased and you were wrongly accused of misconduct, you can file an appeal with the court of law. You will have to provide evidence that your conduct was in line with the company’s policies and that you were wrongly accused and fired.
Suing a company is generally not advised, as it can affect the future of your professional career. You should take up a case with the court only when your company has completely ignored labor laws and has acted in retaliation. In most cases of termination where prior notice was given, it is better to search for a new job or look for other means to earn a living.