What are an employee’s rights regarding termination?

UPDATED: Sep 18, 2012

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What are an employee’s rights regarding termination?

I was made to resign from my recent job as a manager. On my resignment papers, it states that the company has informed me there is no work for me to perform. A day or so later, I noticed that they were hiring to fill my position. Is that a breach of contract on their part or is it even legal? Is there anything I can do?

Asked on September 18, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If you did not have an employment contract, you were an employee at will. An employee at will may be fired at any time, for any reason. The employer does not need to state the reason or provide the true or complete reason.

2) An employer may choose to fire someone for alleged lack of work, then turn around an hire someone else--it may be unfair, but it's not illegal.

3) You did not need to resign--the employer cannot "make" you resign. You could have refused to resign and allowed them to terminate you, in which case, you'd at least be eligible for unemployment compensation--having resigned, you cannot get unemployment.

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