What todo if my wife’s ex-employer is saying she quit when in fact she got fired?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What todo if my wife’s ex-employer is saying she quit when in fact she got fired?

My wife got wrote up at work. They had a discussion about it and other lil issues which led to attitudes being shown. Her district manager asked her if she was going to leave because she was told she needed to make a decision about what she wanted. My wife did not awnser her question and was talking about another topic. Her district manager apparently didn’t like the attitude and said,

Asked on March 24, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Whether she walked back to hand in her keys or not will not prove whether or not she was fired or quit: someone can quit and would still have to hand in her keys, after all--you don't get to keep your access to the business when you quit. So if there are multiple people who say that she quit, it may be very difficult to prove otherwise, especially since you can quit by actions as well as by works--such as by walking out during your job or shift.
As to the bonus: if she earned that bonus according to the terms of a written bonus agreement, by meeting the targets or goals in the agreement, they have to pay it to her unless something in the agreement itself gives them grounds to not pay: e.g. if the agreement states you must be employed when the bonus is paid to receive it. So if there is a written bonus agreement, your wife should review it and see if, under these circumstances, she is still entitled to it. If she is, then if she is not paid, she could sue for the money; she would sue based on "breach of contract," or the company violating the terms of the agreement.
But if there is no written agreement, then the bonus is most likely discretionary: one that the employer can choose to pay or not pay. If the bonus is discretionary--there is nothing in writing guarantying it--they can decide to not pay her.
As to vacation: in your state (KY), unusued vacation is payable when employment ends IF that is the company's policy or there is a contract requiring them to pay it. On the the other hand, companies may have a policy of not paying out vacation days, and if that was your wife's employer's policy, they would not have to pay her. She should look at any employee handbooks and also at past practice (did they pay other employees when employment ended?) to determine the policy. If the policy is that they should have paid her for her unused vacation time, she can sue for the money.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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