I was fired for misappropriation. What are my rights? Can i claim unemployment?

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I was fired for misappropriation. What are my rights? Can i claim unemployment?

I work at a bar, and I was ringing in drinks a certain way, and they are claiming that I rang it in that way, as a benefit to win in a contest that the liquor reps are running.I told them I always rang it in that way, and they said they did a 2-month audit and I’m the ‘only one’ ringing it in that way. I told them I had previously asked a manager about 2 weeks prior, he ok’d it, and then made the actual drinks himself.

This manager now claims, ‘never said it was ok’, even tho I showed him on the computer and then went behind the bar and made them on camera. My GM said that HR told them they had to let me go because of misappropriation. Can I claim unemployement or even underemployment? Can I file for unwrongful termination?

Asked on August 7, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Hawaii

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless you were fired in violation of a still-in-effect (not yet expired) written employment contract, this was NOT wrongful termination and you have no viable lawsuit. In the absence of a written employment contract, all employment in this nation is "employment at will": you may be terminated at any time, for any reason, even factually incorrect, unfair, or mistaken ones. Without a contract, you have no right to your job, and so no legal claim for losing it, even if the stated reason is wrong.
You can and should file for unemployment. If your employer challenges your application on the basis that you were fired "for cause" (for theft), you can appeal a denial and will have a chance to show that that you did not do the thing you were accused of.


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