What are my rights if I was terminated because of what someone else said they “heard” me say?

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What are my rights if I was terminated because of what someone else said they “heard” me say?

I was never written up or given any verbal warnings. I checked my protocol and it clearly states that unless the infraction is so severe all other means will be taken first. I “allegedly” called someone a bitch.

Asked on November 20, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you have a contract setting forth the grounds for termination, or a process that must be followed for termination or discipline, you can enforce that contract. Even if you don't have a specific written contract, it *may* be the case that an employee or policy handbook creates an "implied" contract in this regard that you could enforce, but it would only do so if there is no language in the handbook limiting its enforceability. Thus, if the handbook says that all employment is employment at will, or that nothing in it creates a contract of employment, or that policies are subject to change at will, etc., there is little or no enforceability to it.

Unless you have either an explicit contract or an implied contract can be found from a very strong, no limitations, employee handbook or the like, you can most likely be terminated at any time, for any reason, including the one you describe.


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