Do I have a case for wrongful termination?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I have a case for wrongful termination?

I’ve recently have been having domestic problems with family at home that had to take a couple days off work call out. On a Sunday, I called to call out for monday because I had to go to court as a representative for my mother who was sick and cannot go New Link Destination
prevent eviction. The following day, Tuesday, I’ve gone into work and showed the manager the paper I received stating that I’ve gone to court, but I could not let her keep it because I needed it when I had to return the following week to speak to a judge. That following week I’ve been scheduled for one day and on that day I’ve been given a third and final writeup for calling out without explanation. I’ve told the manager that had to show me the write up that I’ve shown the court paper with the date and time, but apparently she did not accept it. Is that grounds for a case I’ve contacted HR but no one has returned my calls or messages.

Asked on April 6, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you do not have a claim here. Most employment is "at will". This means that an employer can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. And this includes who to write-up for an unexplained absence from work. The fact is that a company is under no legal obligation to accept a court appearance as an excuse from work; this is true even if an employee is subpeonaed to appear. While seemingly unfair, it is the law. That is unless your treatment constitued some form of legally actionable discrimination (which it does not appear to). Also this action would be illegal if it breached company policy or the terms of any applicable uinion agreement, employment contract or the like.

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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