How To Deal With Potential Evidence After A Wrongful Termination
If you feel you've been the victim of a wrongful termination, you may be tempted to grab as much evidence of what happened as possible. Until you've spoken with an attorney, it's wise to not get too hands-on with anything you're not 100% sure is within your legal rights to touch. Here are four things you should consider when it comes to the preservation of evidence pending a wrongful termination claim.
Make Notes of Everything
The biggest thing your attorney is going to want from you is not the evidence itself but a list of what might be evidence. If the process finds its way toward litigation rather than settlement, your lawyer will be entitled to make discovery requests on your behalf. Be as specific as you possibly can about the evidence in question in order to thwart attempts to ignore requests by claiming they weren't specific enough. Even if you're worried about destruction of evidence, leave it to the court to sanction bad conduct.
You should also get contact information from anyone who might be able to act as a witness. If possible, ask them to provide you with any new contact information if they move on from the job or relocate elsewhere. Get full names and job titles, and try to make notes about when you first met them and how long they've worked at the business, too.
Return All Company Property
If you are still in possession of any property from your former employer, give it back as soon as possible. Get receipts for every item you return so you can't be accused of stealing it or failing to give it back.
Any memos, emails, or texts that are in your rightful possession should be copied. Take screenshots of all digital documents and store them in a backup system. The same goes for any voice or video recordings.
Refrain from Unnecessary Contacts and Recording
While you may need to do some basic things like clean out your workspace and collect your last check, try to avoid unnecessary interactions with your former employer. Do not record conversations with them, especially if you live in an all-parties consent state. If you need someone on the record about some factor in your firing, it's best to let your lawyer do this during depositions. A deposition is a series of questions and answers conducted under oath, and it carries great weight with the court.