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Is your employment dispute unique? Can you get help?

Taking on a new job is often a stressful and exciting time, and situations vary massively. Maybe you have been plugging away, building up your CV to meet industry standards so that you can make that big move to a dream job? Maybe you have become disenchanted with your company or industry and have been dreaming of a career change? Maybe you need to move home, or want to emigrate, or feel your true talent lies elsewhere…

Whatever the reason, it is a rare person indeed that doesn’t need to change jobs occasionally. It is a rarer person that takes a job planning and hoping for something to go wrong! However, despite the best intentions, things do go wrong. This is not always the employees fault. Equally, employers may be blameless. Lots can happen and nothing is certain. There are many unforeseen developments that can mean that employer or employee cannot continue with the employment as planned. Perhaps you are diagnosed with a long-term illness, a family issue requires your constant attention, the company goes out of business, the role you are hired for is no longer needed and the list goes on.

Well in that case, each party just says ‘thanks, sorry it didn’t work out’ and carries on regardless, right? Sometimes. Often, contracts are terminated legitimately and everything is above board and without dispute. This is not always how situations unfold.

There are many unfortunate circumstances that might necessitate engaging with an employment lawyer. Hopefully, you will never have a need, but if your complaint comes under one of the definitions outlined below, then you may well have to.

Wrongful Termination

OK, so you have got fired. This need not be the end of the world. It might be perfectly amicable. For example, through no fault of your own, your employer is closing down the office you manage and has nowhere else for you. Not ideal but- these things happen.

Actually, there are unlawful terminations made all the time for a variety of reasons. If you believe you have been let go for discriminatory reasons, without following pre-agreed disciplinary procedures, because of a whistle blowing or conflicts with constitutional obligations, then this is probably against the law and you could dispute it or claim compensation.

Harassment / Retaliation

Employment law is not all about termination or breach of contract.

Harassment in the workplace is a tricky customer. At what point does water cooler flirting become sexual harassment? When does an office nickname go over the line to bullying?

Sad to say, sometimes companies have hostile cultures and, by law, you do not have to work with being targeted by institutional abuse.

Employment Agreements

These can be complex and never ending documents. If you signed an employment contract that said you were going to receive a bonus that you haven’t received, that you were entitled to a holiday that you never received, for a pay rise that never happened, then you may have a reasonable dispute.

Unemployment Compensation

If you cannot work, then you may have tried to apply for unemployment benefits. If you feel you have been turned down wrongly- then you’re not alone. Luckily there are employment lawyers who can help with this.

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