Statements from reliable witnesses can make or break a wrongful termination case, placing them in a position of high importance. An employment law attorney in Los Angeles will tell you that even one witness can strengthen your case, turning it from a he-said, she-said situation into a case that can be proven through evidence. Although a judge often wants to trust a victim’s statement, the accused manager or employer usually denies any wrongdoing, leaving the judge or jury wondering who to believe.
By having a witness willing to sign a document or testify stating what he saw, it can make a critical difference in proving your case. No matter whether you plan on taking the case to trial or settling out of court, it’s important to have a witness lined up for your best chance at success. Here are some examples of circumstances where a witness can turn a hopeless case into a strong one.
- Retaliation – If you’ve been fired for poor performance or not being a “team player” shortly after making public note of safety violations, you may have been wrongfully terminated. However, your employer will usually deny that your termination was related to the complaint. By having a witness who heard the manager say you were becoming a problem by complaining too much, you add strength to your case.
Another retaliation situation where a witness is useful is if you have been terminated shortly after filing a worker’s comp claim when you’ve been injured on the job. If another employee overheard a conversation or received an email from a manager saying they don’t believe the injury is real or that the claim is going to cost them too much money, that information can be significant in proving retaliation and discrimination.
- Harassment – Sexual harassment can be difficult to prove without a witness. Having someone testify that they saw your manager touch you inappropriately or overheard them make sexual comments gives you evidence to prove your case.
- Unpaid Overtime – It’s your word against your employer if you don’t use a time clock. If they claim you never worked the overtime, how can you prove that you did? Have your employment law attorney in Los Angeles get a witness statement from someone who saw you working late at the office on multiple occasions.
- Age Discrimination – If you believe you were terminated for being too old, but your employer claims they were just restructuring the company or doing layoffs, you’ll need a witness to prove your case. Look for someone who may have heard management talking about bringing on someone with a younger attitude shortly before the termination.
Keep in mind that some potential witnesses may be reluctant to testify based on a fear of retaliation from their employer. That’s why it’s important to work with an employment law attorney in Los Angeles who can help you find a reliable witness and convince them to make a statement. If you’ve been wrongfully terminated, call Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers at 310-527-6994 for a free consultation.