Is it worth it to take a retaliatory termination case to trial if the ex-employer refuses to settle?

I stated I would be filing a complaint with the department of labor for illegal practices my employer was conducting. I was immediately fired after saying this. I have an audio recording of this conversation proving it was retaliatory termination. With this kind of evidence, would it be worth my time, money, and effort to take it to trial? In other words, would you say this is a surefire win case.

Portland, OR -

Attorney Answers (2)

David A Schuck

David A Schuck

Employment / Labor Attorney - Portland, OR
Answered

There is no way to judge whether the recording alone would be sufficient to win a case. The judge or jury would be listening to the recording and the other evidence and making a determination. It also depends upon what the employer is retaliating against. If you were complaining about sexual harassment, racism, wage issues, etc., and the evidence shows that you were terminated for those complaints, then you could be due a potentially significant recovery. You should go through all the facts with an employment attorney. Then after hearing the recording, and learning of the other evidence you have, the attorney will be able to give you sound advice regarding your potential claims.

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Brandy D Pirtle-Guiney

Brandy D Pirtle-Guiney

Employment / Labor Attorney - Portland, OR
Answered

I don't think any attorney would be inclined to go on the record as saying you have "a sure fire win." Often times someone thinks they have a "smoking gun" and yet when that evidence is viewed by a BOLI, EEOC or DoL investigator with the totality of the evidence available, the agency reaches a different conclusion. Was this audio recording was made via telephone or in person? If it was in person, did you obtain the consent of whomever you were recording? If not, the agency may not consider the evidence because it is unlawful to record someone in person without their consent. Given the scant details we have here, it is very difficult to assess the strength of your case. It would be a good idea to consult with an attorney at this stage. There are a variety of timing deadlines so it's in your best interest to act quickly. Best of luck!

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