False Accusation at work got me fired

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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False Accusation at work got me fired

As an ‘at will’ employee with a good work record I merely made a comment about a sex scandal at the university here while off the clock on break. A coworker obviously misinterpreted what I said while mentioning right to privacy, etc. She told the manager that I ‘supported molesting children’. At the end of the break the manager physically grabbed me and dragged me out of the building. Now the staffing agency I worked for also will never permit me to work for them again. This is costing me several thousand dollars a year. What are my rights?

Asked on February 28, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You don't have any recourse against your employer as an "at will" employee: they could terminate you at any time, for any reason, including an unproven or even untrue allegation. Quite simply, employees at will have no right to a job. You have no legal right to get your job--or any job--back.
If you believe the coworker made an untrue factual assertion about you--i.e. told people that you said something you did not--you could sue her for defamation. In that suit, you may be able to get compensation from her for the loss of your job, if triggered by her untrue factual assertion. To explore that option, consult with a personal injury attorney.

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