Being laid off is sometimes something a worker anticipates if work is slow and rumors fly. Other times, being laid off comes as a complete shock. This may especially be true if a worker believes they were laid off due to harassment or for discriminatory reasons. A previous post on this blog discussed wrongful termination in Kentucky. The following are some steps a person who has been laid off might want to take, in case they determine they were wrongfully terminated and want to take appropriate action.
First, it can help to have copies of important employment documents such as performance reviews, commendations, warnings, raises and promotions or demotions. These documents should be dated, and the location recorded, along with any applicable parties to such events.
Second, it can help to document the circumstances that led to the layoff. Put into writing via email who you spoke to, what you were told and any other conduct both parties took. It can also help to make a copy of any applicable emails as well.
Also, if you are laid off, you can still request to see your personnel file. Make a copy of it and review it.
Finally, make sure you have copies of any employment materials such as handbooks, memos and training documents, so long as these items are not considered confidential or for company use only. While some whistleblower laws may provide protection in this area, you don’t want to be sued for wrongfully taking these types of documents home.
This post is informational in nature, and it does not contain legal advice. Ultimately, if you have been laid off or anticipate being laid off you may want to consider seeking professional guidance on what steps you need to take to protect your interests, especially if you believe you were wrongfully terminated.