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Being fired is never a happy turn of events, but when this discharge is wrongful or illegal, the termination can hurt even more. If you are the victim of wrongful termination, or termination that was not carried out in the appropriate, legal manner, you have an assortment of options at your disposal. One of these options is composing a letter to argue your case. By writing a letter instead of simply venturing into your bosses office and accusing him of an assortment of evils, you can carefully craft your argument and create a paper trail that you can later use as evidence should the situation escalate.
Use professional language. If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated you are likely quite full of anger; however, allowing this anger to seep into your letter is the last thing you want to do. Instead of making yourself seem like a hothead who can't even keep her cool long enough to write a letter, write professionally, making yourself appear a mature, responsible individual.
Introduce yourself. Begin your letter by explaining who you are as well as who you worked for prior to your firing. Dedicate no more than two sentences to this portion of the letter as to not create an overly long and complex letter.
Give basic information regarding your firing. State the date on which you were fired as well as who fired you. Also include any pertinent information regarding what happened immediately before your firing. For example, if you were completing a delivery and you arrived ten minutes late and, as a result, you were fired, mention this in your description of the day as it is directly relevant.
Acknowledge any imperfections. Admit to any small mistakes you have made as an employee and justify them if possible, making it clear to letter readers that you are in no way trying to argue that you are an employee without fault. For example, if you were fired as a result of poor attendance, but some of your attendance issues stemmed from a death in the family, mention this.
Make your case. Clearly and concisely state why your firing was unjust. If you can, quote policy manuals that relate to termination. For example, if your employee handbook states that employees must receive a certain number of write-ups prior to being fired, and you didn't receive this requisite number, state this.
State what you hope the letter recipient will do. Don't leave the letter recipient guessing as to how you hope she will respond to the letter, but instead make your intentions clear, telling him, for example, that if the termination is not overturned you will seek legal representation and pursue legal action.
Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.