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If you were fired unjustly, should you fight for severance pay?

Employees who have lost their jobs could be eligible for some type of severance pay to compensate for lost wages and allow for time to find alternate employment. However, workers who have been fired unjustly may not fully understand their rights, including the right to severance pay in some situations. This benefit is typically based upon the length of employment, the employment contract and the circumstances surrounding the termination.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require employers to provide severance to employees. Typically, this benefit is based upon an agreement between the employer and employee. This agreement and the terms of employment could be outlined in an employee handbook or contract. If a West Virginia worker feels that he or she was fired unjustly and does not receive severance, legal options are available.

If an employee was fired because of race, gender, sexual preference, employer retaliation, harassment or other reasons, that individual may benefit from the assistance of an attorney familiar with employment law. If there were no legal grounds for the firing, a civil claim against the employer may be an appropriate course of action. An employee has the right to seek financial damages, including lost wages and/or severance from the employer.

It is often frustrating and overwhelming when a West Virginia individual is fired unjustly. It can be daunting to consider a legal means of recourse, such as a lawsuit, but often it can be a successful way to secure deserved financial support. To better understand employee rights in regard to a specific situation, a case evaluation is recommended.

Source: dol.gov, "Wages", Accessed on April 20, 2015

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