If I informed my employer that I got a summons to go to court for tag switching in a store but even though I haven’t appeared in court yet I was terminated from my job, was that legal?

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If I informed my employer that I got a summons to go to court for tag switching in a store but even though I haven’t appeared in court yet I was terminated from my job, was that legal?

Asked on October 23, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Maine

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Typically, unless you are afforded protection under company policy or the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, an employer can set the terms and conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This includes who to fire and when. in fact, an employee may be discharged for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. That is so long as the reason for dismissal did not constitue an act of legal discrimination or retaliation. Additionally, some state laws prohibit an employer from acting against an employee based on an arrest or criminal charge that did not result in a conviction.
At this point, to be certain of your rights under specific state law, you should consult directly with an employment law attorney in your area or contact your state's department of labor for further information.
Note: Since you still have the tag switching incident outstanding, you should also speak with a criminal law attorney.


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