If I wasn’t informed of the policies and procedures for my company and I got a written warning for something they are saying I did wrong, what are my rights?

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If I wasn’t informed of the policies and procedures for my company and I got a written warning for something they are saying I did wrong, what are my rights?

My company never gave or went over or had me sign policies and procedures. Now they are stating that i am making personal calls on the company cell phone. I admit my husband and family have called me on it due to me being in the hospital but I never used it for my personal phone. They are also saying that I used the company computer for personal reasons which I did not and they want me to sign a written warning. Do I have to sign it if if didn’t know the policy or procedures of the company?

Asked on April 18, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you do not have an employment contract, you are an employee at will. An employee at will may be disciplined--which includes everything from being written up, through pay cuts, demotions, transfers, or suspensions, all the way to termination--at any time, for any reason, without warning. Therefore, your employer could simply choose to fire you, if it feels you are using the phone or computers for personal reasons, and they do not have to prove that you actually did that--it's enough if the employer wanted to fire you. Since they could simply fire you, they could instead require you to sign the warning and fire you if you do not. Without a contract, there is no legal obligation to warn you of policies first.


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