5 Things Not to Do if You Get Fired

By Matt Lalande in Employment Law on March 05, 2020

5 Things Not to Do if You Get Fired

From Jerry McGuire to Social Media – here are 5 things you should not do if you get terminated.

Being terminated is frightening. Suddenly you may find yourself without an income, with bills and house payments that do not stop just because you have lost your job. Having a job is an essential part of people’s development. Sudden unemployment, on the contrary, is one of the most frustrating experiences of life with greater psychological consequences for people’s lives.  Unemployment brings about a change in social structure from what you are used to, and it is obvious that anybody needs a sense of structure and a goal in their life. This ideal or structure, for the largest majority of people, originates and comes from their work.

When an employee is fired or terminated, life changes suddenly. Your self-esteem is affected. Embarrassment often sets in – our of fear that your friends and family will think that you have failed. You might feel like socially excluding yourself or suffer symptoms of depression. But remember – not all is lost. Most, if not all terminated employees go on to eventually become more determined, get better jobs and leave better lives.  Remember – First of all, 99% of terminations that happen without cause – and even to the best employees get let go. Here are 5 things to NOT do if you get terminated:

1. Take Time to Process your Termination, But Do Not Wait Too Long

It is natural for individuals who have been terminated to want to seek justice immediately. However, it is best to take the time to process the events and determine the best course of action. You will want to take time to research your company’s documents and policies to be prepared for action if necessary. Do not wait too long, but do take the time to gather your thoughts and emotions, and any paperwork or documentation that could be used in your defence. Take a few days to cool off, then reach our and contact our Hamilton Employment Lawyers to discuss whether or not you have a case. We can help assist you in determining if you have a reasonable legal case against your employer.

2. Do not Succumb to Feelings of Anger and Frustration. Do not flip out. Do not lose your cool.

Remember, you’re not Jerry McGuire – so don’t get excited like him if you’re being walked out. It’s important to ensure you do not storm out of the building or act impulsively out of anger or frustration. This could come back to work against you in the future in a variety of ways, and you also want to make sure you collect anything and everything you need before leaving the premises.

When you are terminated, you should try to request an explanation and written details from your employer regarding the justification for their decision (although they are not entitled to give you an explanation). Anything impulsive or reckless you do can be used against you as you work through your termination claim, especially if it goes to trial. Remember – any immediate vulgar, rude or insulting action you take against your employer or your employees in the moment of termination may cause you to burn any bridges concerning your employer’s willingness to negotiate more notice, or worse, get you terminated for cause.

3. Do Not Sign Anything Right Away

Time does calm the waters, and you’ll be much calmer and think things through better if you can wait to sign anything. Give yourself some time to time to go over your situation and consider all of the details concerning your termination and severance. You should refrain from signing any documents that may be presented to you. Sometimes an employer may ask the employee being terminated to sign a  “release” which is a document that states that the employee will not seek legal action against the company for their termination. Although most releases won’t have effect if signed under duress (assuming there was duress) you don’t want to be involved in focusing on the wrong legal issues because you sign off too soon. You have the full right to seek legal advise and/or take legal action when you have been wrongfully terminated. Also, don’t fall into the trap of “resigned or be fired” choice.  If you resign you may forfeit your notice pay, which is something you do not want to do.

4. Do Not Prolong Speaking to a Hamilton Employment Lawyer

We get that it might be intimidating to pick up the phone to contact our Hamilton Employment Lawyers, but it does not have to be.

Navigating employment law in Ontario can be complex, and it is best to hire a Hamilton employment lawyer as soon as possible to assist you in determining your options. Even if you do not initially think that you have a case, it may turn out that you do. Therefore, it never hurts your situation to speak with a lawyer and obtain legal advice on your next steps.

Your Hamilton employment lawyer will go through all of the associated documents with you and review your company’s policies regarding termination, severance, and other related topics. They are best equipped to understand the law and how a court may treat your situation.

5. Do Not Go on a Social Media Tirade and tell the whole world what happened

After the frustration of being terminated, you may have many frustrated feelings and emotions. For many individuals, this means complaining on social media or sharing stories of injustice to bring more attention to your situation. However, this is not recommended and can hurt you in the long run.  In addition to possibly defaming the company, your behavior will impsct your credibility and might decrease your chances of receiving damages, severance pay, or other compensation.

Additionally, future employers may also examine your social media channels and online presence when you are applying for new positions. This can indicate red flags to those who are considering your application. Do not take risks regarding your future over a social media post.

  • What are other things that you should not do if you’ve been fired?
  • don’t think about revenge or “getting back” at anyone – it won’t get you anywhere
  • don’t decline outplacement services
  • don’t make a deal by yourself – without legal advice – ever
  • don’t send out your c.v. to all your contact…on the same day that you get fired
  • don’t lie to your potential “new” employers about being terminated – remember, many if not most terminations are without cause.

If you’ve been fired we can help

If you’ve been terminated – call us today for a free phone consultation at 905-333-8888 and we’d be more than happy to speak with you about your employment law issue and determine whether or not you have a case.  Our free consultations are completely confidential.   Contact our Hamilton employment law firm at 905-333-8888 or request a free initial consultation through our online contact form today.



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