Is it legal for my job to fire me without having evidence of me committing a crime?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal for my job to fire me without having evidence of me committing a crime?

I worked for a company for 2 years. One night some money came up missing. I was the manager on duty. I called the other manager for her help to see what could have gone wrong, once we couldn’t figure it out I reported it to corporate. They watched the cameras and saw me going off camera with the remaining money to speak with the other manager

about the matter because the employees were present and if there was a case of theft I thought it best to stay discreet. The next Monday I was fired and blamed for the theft. Is it legal for them to fire me without evidence of me taking any money? Without even allowing me to explain my side of the story?

Asked on August 14, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that a worker can be fired for allegedly stealing money even of there os no proof of this. However, they can also be terminated for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. This is known as "at will" employment. Basically, this means that a company can set the conditions off the workplace as it sees fit. This includes who and when to discharge an employee. The exeptions to this would be if if their treatment was the result of some form of legally actionable discrimination or if it violated the terms of an employment contract or union/collective bargaining agreement.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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