Things You Need To Do If You've Been Fired From Your Job

1. File for Unemployment.

Apply for unemployment benefits as soon as you learn that your employment has been terminated. The sooner you get the process rolling the sooner you can get benefits. Ohio employees start the process with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Applications can be submitted online (unemployment.ohio.gov) or by phone (1-877-644-6562). Be ready to provide the following information:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your driver's license or state ID number
  • Your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address
  • Name, address, telephone number, and dates of employment with each employer you worked for during the past 6 weeks
  • The reason you became unemployed from each employer
  • Dependents' names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth
  • If claiming dependents, your spouse's name, Social Security number, and birth date
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen or national, alien registration number and expiration date
  • Your regular occupation and job skills

File an appeal if your claim is denied. The determination notice will tell you how to appeal and the deadline for doing so. File another appeal if you are denied again. The claim is then transferred to the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission (UCRC). There you will get a 45 minute hearing by telephone. You should retain an attorney to represent you at the hearing. Don't wait until the last minute to get an attorney. Contact an attorney as soon as you receive notice that your first appeal has been denied. Many attorneys, including me, will represent you on a contingent fee basis.

And don't forget to file your weekly claims.

2. Start looking for a new job.

This seems obvious. Your main source of income has been lost. Your best interests require an intense and immediate job search. Taking a few days to settle into your situation is a good idea sometimes. Be ready to get back in the saddle, though. To maintain unemployment benefits you must apply for at least two jobs every week. Apply to more than that – the objective is not to stay on unemployment; the goal is to find a comparable position that pays as much as or more than what you were earning before.

There is a not so obvious reason to start your job search. In a lawsuit your former employer's attorneys will require you to provide information about all jobs you applied for and to produce related documents. So, maintain an ongoing list of jobs applied for. Keep copies of all documents pertaining to your job search. This includes printing out pages from internet websites such as monster.com. An employment attorney who represents you will need them.

3. Do not talk about what happened on any social media site.

Just don't. Every employer's attorney these days asks for information about Facebook, LinkedIn, personal blogs – everything out there on the internet where they can grab information about you. It's very simple: don't post anything about your former employer, reasons for your termination, or anything you would not want to be asked about by the employer's lawyer.

4. Keep a copy of important documents.

Keep your copy of the employee handbook. Forward copies of emails that you think are important to a non-work, personal inbox. Make copies if you can of important hard copy documents. Don't take anything that could be a trade secret, customer lists or like information. You do not want to be accused of stealing proprietary information.

5. Stay on good terms with your work friends.

Friends from work can be a valuable resource. Don't feel bad if eventually they will not communicate with you about what's going on at work. Once a lawsuit gets filed employers almost always tell employees not to speak with the plaintiff, under penalty of termination.

6. Contact an employment lawyer.

If you think your former employer violated your rights then call or email me for a free consultation.

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