While some employment relationships end on good terms, others do not.  Feeling dissatisfied by the way an employment relationship ended and how you have been treated could lead you to ask, “Do I have a claim against my employer?”  Regardless of the type of employment claim you may have, you should answer the following questions before pursuing a claim.

  1. Did your employer follow the employment contract?

If you had an employment contract, make sure that your employer did everything that was required under that contract.  If they failed to pay you wages or fired you improperly under the terms of the contract, then you may have a claim.

  1. Did you receive a termination letter?

A termination letter may state the reasons that you were terminated.  If you do not believe that those reasons are valid then you may have a claim.

  1. Were you fired because you reported on your employer or management for breaking the law?

An employer cannot fire for the reason that you filed a discrimination or similar type claim against them, or you complained about your employer to a state or federal agency.  This is known as retaliation. Various state and federal laws protect employees from retaliation by an employer.

  1. Did your employer pay you all the wages for the time you worked, including overtime?

Employers must pay their employees at least minimum wage and for hourly employees an employer must pay overtime wages.  Some exceptions apply.  In Arizona, if you were discharged, then all earned wages must be paid within seven working days or the end of the next regular pay period, whichever is sooner.  A.R.S. § 23-353(A).  However, if the employee quit then all earned wages must be paid no later than the regular pay day after which the termination occurred.  A.R.S. § 23-353(B)

  1. Do you have any evidence?

Unfortunately, people get away with doing bad things when there is no evidence to show their wrongful actions.  Do you have any emails, phone calls, witnesses, other victims, etc. that would support your claim?  If you do not initially, don’t be discouraged.  Through the course of litigation, both sides must disclose information relevant to the case that is held only by them.  So if your boss emailed another worker that he was firing you because you filed a claim against them, then you should be able to retrieve this email.  It is important, however that you file a claim as soon as possible after your termination because a litigation hold will stop them from deleting any electronic data or hard copy materials relating to the claim.

The above questions are a good starting point for employees to look at when determining if they have a claim against a former employer.  If you have a more specific inquiry, please do not hesitate to contact the Employment Law team at Udall Shumway PLC.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding I Got Fired from My Job. Do I Have a Claim?, or any other personal injury, please feel free to contact Employment Law Attorney Brad Gardner at  480.461.5323,  log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.