Employees who believe they have been wrongfully terminated would do well to give deep thought to what really caused their termination. We tend to ask employees, "What do you think is the real reason for your termination?" When the real reason in the employee's heart of hearts is discrimination or retaliation, we are more interested in taking the case. When the real reason is "the supervisor never liked me," "the supervisor wanted to bring in his/her favorite past employee/friend/son/daughter," "the employer mistakenly believed I did something wrong," etc., we are less likely to be interested in the case.
Often, employees who are racial minorities or who have disabilities want to believe very strongly that they have not been discriminated against, and they tend to turn a blind eye when discrimination is staring them in the face. This is completely understandable, but it is helpful to speak to a high-quality employment attorney to explore questions such as whether white employees were treated the same as African American employees in discipline, for example, or whether the employer just assumed that an employee with cancer or another disability could no longer do his or her job. In other words, comparing with employees not in the protected category tends to tease out hidden discrimination. It is also helpful to discuss with an attorney whether there are issues regarding unpaid overtime. Even if the employee does not have a cause of action regarding the termination, an employment attorney may be able to assist with getting the employee's unpaid overtime and penalties.