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Launch a strong offense in wrongful termination suits

Missouri businesses go to great lengths to defend wrongful termination lawsuits, which is why it is necessary for plaintiffs to align themselves with legal counsel that has experience in this type of litigation.

Some of the defense tactics businesses and their attorney employ are detailed below.

The best defense is prevention. When businesses abide by fair employment practices, it is highly unlikely that they will face wrongful termination litigation. But when they run afoul of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, they open the door to legal action.

-- Investigation. As soon as companies are served with notice of a former employee's complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers and their attorneys begin aggressively investigating all aspects of the termination, which can include interviewing witnesses and building airtight cases with documentation. Plaintiffs should have already obtained witness statements and/or affidavits supporting their allegations to lock in supporting testimony as much as is possible.

-- Strategies and defenses. Defense attorneys will be busy strategizing with upper management, supervisors and others with knowledge of plaintiff's work history and job performance. At this point, they circle the wagons and may issue orders not to discuss the matter with anyone but the company's lawyers.

If the termination was made but there was no documentation to back it up, such as poor performance reviews, customer complaints and incidents of insubordination, this can be a weak area that counsel for plaintiff will attack in court if favorable settlement negotiations are not forthcoming. Plaintiffs can help their counsel identify potential weak links in the chain of command and provide rebuttals to allegations, whether substantiated or not.

As you can see, remaining proactive and working closely with your Missouri employment law attorney is vital to establishing a viable wrongful termination case.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "How to Win a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit" Ruth Mayhew, accessed Jan. 30, 2015

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