Approaching an employment law claim from the wrong place and direction 

I’m often contacted by employees who nurse an enormous sense of grievance towards their employer.

The grievance and implacable determination to visit some type of hurt or damage on the employer may arise from a single incident, for example a disciplinary procedure or a disappointment concerning a new position or a pay rise. Or it may have built up, bit by bit, over a good period of time.

The employee now wants to bring some type of legal action or claim against the employer, prove how bad an employer he is, and show the world how reprehensible, amoral, and wholly devoid of principles is the employer in question.

The employee then comes to me, having done some research into the law and the various causes of action that may arise, and wants to bring their claim. They approach the situation from the point of view of having a shopping list of potential claims and are determined to put one over on the employer.

Show how close to Dante’s Inferno the workplace actually is. And wants me to tell them under which statute, or which claim has the greatest chance of success.

This is the wrong approach. It is approaching the problem backwards, quite frankly.

The employee should be coming to me with the wrong first, the breach of the relevant act, together with all the particulars of the wrongdoing.

The success of a claim emanates from the facts first, not from a desired outcome to show someone is a less than stellar employer.

Prove the facts, then prove the law is on your side. Then you will succeed.

Start at the beginning, not at the end-the desired outcome.

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