What to Do When You Get Fired

A short practical guide for an employee who is at risk of dismissal

Today, in conditions of crisis and mass dismissals many people face this problem. We will try to describe the right course of behavior of an employee in such a situation so that he could get out of it at least with the least losses.

So, the first thing to remember: the employer is not a landowner, and the employee is not a serf. When you get a job, you conclude an equal contract for the sale of your labor force under certain conditions prescribed in the Labor Law, the collective agreement and your personal labor contract. The employer does not have the right to terminate the employment contract at his own discretion, he can do this solely on the basis of serious circumstances and adhering to legal procedures.


It is most beneficial for the employer to terminate the contract due to certain violations by the employee. It often happens that these violations are exaggerated or even far-fetched. The chief calls and demands: “Something disgraceful has happened, write an explanation!”.

Remember! You don’t have to explain anything first. The law obliges your employer to submit a claim to you in writing specifying which laws, job descriptions or internal work regulations you have violated and the point of the violated document. Only then must you write an explanatory note about the specific claim.

“Write an voluntary dismissal”

The following situation: your employer offers you to resign at your own will or by mutual agreement. Suggests to “disperse in an amicable way” so that the employee avoids any real or artificially created or imagined troubles. Here you need to weigh and calculate everything well.

First, you may put forward your terms of termination, usually in the form of payment of a certain amount. But this amount may be less than the amount that is legally required to be paid. Therefore, in this situation it would be better to consult a reliable trade union or a specialized lawyer. You may be able to win something, but usually the employer offers this method of dismissal in order to save on the benefits required by law. From practice, a normal contract for dismissal by mutual agreement is the payment of benefits in the amount of 7-9 months of earnings.

Please note: an agreement is a bargain! You don’t have to be afraid to put forward your terms. Also demand that you keep your health insurance terms and conditions until the end of its validity period, if they are issued by your employer. Do not rush and bargain for the best conditions, respecting your own dignity!

Job cuts and liquidation

The situation of staff reduction or enterprise liquidation is the most difficult. Here you will definitely need professional advice and legal assistance. If you are a union member, it can have a decisive impact on the outcome of the case.

According to the Labor Law of the Republic of Latvia (Art. 110 p. 1), a trade union member cannot be dismissed without the consent of the trade union if he is a member for more than six months. Specifically:

“Article 110. Termination of an employment contract with a member of the trade union of workers

(1) An employer shall be prohibited to terminate an employment contract with an employee – a member of a trade union – without prior consent of the relevant trade union, if the employee is a member of the trade union for more than six months, except for the cases stipulated in paragraph one of Article 47 and paragraphs 4, 8 and 10 of paragraph one of Article 101 of this Law. If the employment contract is to be terminated in the case mentioned in paragraphs 7 and 11 of paragraph one of Article 101 of this Law, the employer shall inform and consult with the trade union beforehand.”

Of course, it should not be a “master” fed (yellow) trade union, but a struggling, principled, defending your interests. If it is not, organize it yourself in advance. If your company or profession is related to transport, join [the trade union of the Latvian Federation of Aviation Trade Unions] (/air-baltic-coronavirus-and-trade-union-movement-in-latvia). Remember that on the side of the employer are his money, his lawyers and all bourgeois power. Employees can only oppose him with their cohesion, firmly defending their own interests. It is impossible to cope with the owner alone.

What can you get when you quit?

If you act wisely.

  1. Postponement, and possibly complete cancellation of the dismissal, if the union does not agree to it, or at least for the period of consultation with the union, and then, possibly, the court to prove the legality of your dismissal. (The union is in the court, not the worker!)
  2. The postponement of dismissal with payment of wages for another 30 days, provided by law to notify the employee.
  3. Paid period to find another job.
  4. Dismissal allowance in the amount of one to four months’ wages, depending on length of service in the company.
  5. Additional conditions and payments in your favor if you have a good collective agreement. But for this, again, you need to be a member of a militant trade union and have behind your shoulders the comradely support of the entire working class.

If you need advice or consultation on choosing a struggling trade union, preparing documents for trade union registration or filing a claim in court, please contact the Latvian Worker’s Front: [email protected]

Also read:

A Practical Guide for Employees with Wage Delays

Interview with Comrade Golyakov, Chairman of the Progressive Trade Union of Transport Workers