What to do if You Get Fired (or Laid-Off) in Ohio

By Mark Biggerman, Apr 5 2016

Introduction

Losing your job (especially when wrongfully terminated) is incredibly stressful, making it very difficult to focus in the time that follows. In fact, I am often asked: "What do I do now?" So, I have prepared the following checklist for Ohio residents who find themselves out of a job.

1. Get Organized and Develop a Plan of Action

The first thing you should do is organize your thoughts and develop a plan of action. For example, if you believe you were wrongfully terminated, you should write down all of the important details while they are fresh in your mind. This includes creating a chronology of events leading up to the termination, a list of the players, potential witnesses, and ways in which you were treated unjustly. Also included in your plan of action should be the way in which you will accomplish the remaining items listed below.

2. File for Unemployment Benefits

Immediately after being terminated, you should file for unemployment benefits. This will ensure a continuation of at least some income while you are unemployed. In order to obtain these benefits, you must show that you lost your job through no fault of your own. If you believe the employer will argue against this, you should consider your strategy for defending yourself. For example, identify favorable witnesses and documents.

Ohio Office of Unemployment Insurance Operations

3. Contact the Ohio Department of Medicaid and Department of Job and Family Services

Most people do not realize that these agencies provide a wide range of services to those who qualify due to low income. For instance, after being terminated, you could be entitled to Medicaid health insurance coverage, food assistance, and possibly even cash assistance. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services also provides employment and training assistance to help you find another job. This includes helping you prepare a résumé and for job interviews.

Ohio Department of Medicaid

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

4. Start Looking for Another Job

You should begin searching for another job as soon as possible. First, you must do this to qualify for unemployment benefits. Second, if you file a lawsuit, the law requires that you attempt to minimize your lost wages by diligently searching for another job. Third, it goes without saying that you need an income to survive.

5. File a Claim with the EEOC or OCRC

If you believe your termination was due to discrimination or retaliation, you can file a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or its Ohio counterpart, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC). Those agencies investigate charges with no cost to you.

EEOC

OCRC

6. Contact an Attorney

I put this last - not because it is least important - but only because you do not need an attorney to initiate the things on this list. However, if you feel you have been wrongfully terminated, you should consult with an employment law attorney as soon as possible. Although you may begin the process of some or all of the suggestions on the list, an attorney will be able to provide you with critical advice and guidance on how to proceed with each task and, ultimately, prepare for a lawsuit if one is appropriate.