If I was terminated from my job for the reason that I did not follow arbitrary behavioral standards, what are my rights?

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If I was terminated from my job for the reason that I did not follow arbitrary behavioral standards, what are my rights?

These standards were not outlined in company policy and I was terminated without following the usual practice of a written or verbal warning. d on this my former employer is refusing to pay unemployment.

Asked on October 10, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It depends did you have a  written employment contract limiting the reasons you could be terminated, or providing a process which must be followed for termination. If you did, you could only be terminated in accordance with the contract, and if they violated the terms of the contract, may sue them for breach of contract.
However, without a written contract, you would have been an "employee at will." An employee at will may be terminated at any time, for any reason--including what you term "arbitrary behavioral standards." Moreover, there is nothing legally wrong with an employer's "behavior standards" being "arbitrary" an employer has the right to set out any stardards, rules, or policies it likes, and to change or add to the ones that it has set out previously. Violating such behavior standards could be viewed by the company as grounds for a "for cause" termination and, if so, it would make you ineligible for unemployment--though you dod not need to passively accept their opinion you can appeal this determination to the department of labor/unemployment division and see if the reviewer agrees this was grouns for a for cause termination or not.
Finally, they do not need to give you any written or oral/verbal warnings unless, again, there was a written employment contract requiring same.


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