Can I sue my ex-employer for an unjustly terminating me and denying me unemployment?

UPDATED: Dec 11, 2012

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Can I sue my ex-employer for an unjustly terminating me and denying me unemployment?

I was written-up for the first time in 16 months for insurbordination, which was unjust Then a week later fired, this was clearly retaliation from the so-called insurbordination, which was me asking a supervisor a question

Asked on December 11, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you had no written employment contract, you were an employee at will and could be fired at any time, for any reason, even if you believe it unjust. Therefore, unless you can show that you were fired due to specifically illegal discrimination--that is, due to your race, religion, age over 40, disability, or sex--your termination was not legally wrongful and you would have no cause of action.

You can appeal the denial of your unemployment, on the grounds that what you did was not "insubordination" and therefore you were not fired for cause. But you may not sue unless you can show not merely that your employer was wrong, but that they knowingly lied about you--that is, they knew the claim that you were insubordinate was a lie when they told it to the  unemployment office, and not merely that there were mistaken. If they lied, you may have a defamation lawsuit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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