What Not to Do if You’re Fired

HomeBlogWhat Not to Do if You’re Fired
November 07, 2023

Being fired is stressful regardless of the circumstances, and even if you’re expecting it, you may be surprised by how dramatic the blow is. Keeping things together can be difficult to manage, but knowing what not to say can help – in terms of your future prospects and your own peace of mind. If you believe you’ve been wrongfully terminated or that you’re entitled to benefits, don’t wait to consult with an experienced California employment law attorney

Don’t leave in a huff without saying anything

While no one can blame you for feeling indignant, the best path forward after being fired involves gathering your thoughts, your things, and any important documents that belong to you. 

Don’t discuss severance until you’ve had time to clear your head. Instead of discussing the matter of your severance then and there, request an appointment to do so. This will allow you the time you need to research your company’s severance policies. 

Weigh your options in relation to resigning

If your employer offers you the opportunity to resign, there are several considerations to keep in mind, including:

  • If you resign, you can’t collect unemployment, but if you’re fired for cause the same is also true. 
  • If you resign, you won’t have to explain being fired to prospective employers. If you resign, you may improve your chances of receiving positive recommendations in the future.

Determining whether being fired or resigning is the best option must be determined in relation to the unique situation you are in. 

Don’t shy away from asking your close colleagues for recommendations

Asking those colleagues whom you’ve worked well with for recommendations early on can go a long way toward improving your future employment prospects.

Don’t ignore the big question – Why?

Although most employment in California is at will, which means you can be fired for any reason – or no reason – there is nothing stopping you from asking why you’re being fired. If your employer’s answer doesn’t comport with company policy, a union agreement, or anti-discrimination laws, you may have legal leverage. 

Don’t bad mouth your boss or anyone else

Resorting to bad-mouthing others can backfire spectacularly, and it is unlikely to afford you any personal satisfaction. In the end, the better terms you leave on, the better chance there is that your momentary lapse in professionalism will come back to haunt you. 

Don’t let being fired define you

Yes, you were fired, but it does not define you as an employee or as a person. Employers don’t need a reason to fire employees, and often, it comes down to profit margins, which are not a reflection of your work ethic, your skills, or who you are as a person.

An Experienced California Employment Law Attorney Is on Your Side

The seasoned employment law attorneys at Olivier & Schreiber LLP – proudly serving Oakland and Pasadena – recognize the challenges associated with being fired and are committed to zealously advocating for the rights of clients like you. To learn more, contact us today.




(415) 484-0980


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