How Long Does a Wrongful Termination Case Take?

Learning what to expect throughout the process of a wrongful termination suit can not only help you make the right decisions but it can bring peace of mind. From your expected settlement amount, how to get funds in the meantime and how long a wrongful termination case can take, there are a lot of moving pieces during a wrongful termination suit. Our answers to common questions will let you know what your options are along the way.

What constitutes wrongful termination?

Wrongful termination occurs when someone is illegally terminated from their job. In many cases, this involves being fired for reasons connected to a protected class. These include: age, race, disability, pregnancy and sexual orientation.

It is illegal to penalize a worker for whistleblowing, and being fired as punishment would be considered wrongful termination. It is also illegal to make up untruthful things about a person or their work habits if this leads to them losing their job. You should keep these in mind while negotiating a wrongful termination settlement.

How long does a wrongful termination case take to settle?

A wrongful termination suit can take a long time to be resolved. The average length of a wrongful termination lawsuit is approximately two years. However, some complex cases and those involving large potential settlements can drag on for five years or more, depending on the jurisdiction.

Plaintiffs have options for managing finances during the time their case is underway, such as settlement loans. Often, a plaintiff will find that they are without an immediate source of income while their case is being decided. This is where loans for lawsuits can help. A loan on lawsuit winnings will be based on an expected settlement amount.

Qualified cases can often allow plaintiffs to get loans on settlement funds that they need to cover basic living costs while waiting for their case’s outcome.

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How can you prove wrongful termination?

In some cases, wrongful termination can be easy to prove with documentation. These can include emails, text messages, letters, memos and other written or recorded means of communication where the employer implicates themselves. For instance, a text message telling a pregnant employee that she is being taken off the schedule would be evidence of wrongful termination via constructive dismissal.

In other cases, information about the reasons for termination are either communicated verbally or indirectly. In these instances, your lawyers will construct a case that shows the full circumstances that indicate that you were wrongfully terminated.

Why are wrongful termination cases considered commercial litigation?

Wrongful termination cases involve monetary damages rather than physical injuries. They are also often cases where liability is not clear cut. How does this affect your case? Because of this, the cases are more complex and often involve massive amounts of discovery documents to demonstrate the particulars of a case. The more complex a case, the longer the timeline between filing and settlement.

What are EEOC deadlines?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal laws, making it illegal to discriminate against an employee because of his or her race, religion, sex, origin, age or disability. These laws apply to work situations, such as hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages and benefits. 

When you have been wrongfully terminated from a job, you have a limited amount of time to file your case. In general, this time limit is 180 days from the time of termination. In some cases, the deadline for age discrimination cases is 300 days. However, that is only true when there is a state law that prohibits age discrimination in your state.

How much compensation can someone expect after a wrongful termination case is settled?

The wrongful termination case settlement amounts will depend on many factors. In most cases, the awards are based on what the employee was earning prior to termination and their ability to move forward into new employment in the future. Cases for most non-executive workers can be settled quickly and often have payouts in the $100,000 range. Wrongful termination suits involving top executives whose experience has damaged their prospects for re-entering the workplace can involve settlements for millions of dollars.

What is the first step to take if you think you have been wrongfully terminated?

Talk to a lawyer about your rights in your state. Each state has different thresholds of liability and rules for proving an employer is at fault. Input from an attorney can help you understand whether you have a case and the best next steps for you.


A wrongful termination suit can be complex. Often it will take some time for settlement funds to be available. In the meantime, a pre-settlement loan from Legal Bay Lawsuit Funding can help. Get in touch to learn more today.

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