CanI be fired due to another employee’s fraud?

UPDATED: Jan 12, 2011

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CanI be fired due to another employee’s fraud?

I was managing a small finance company office for 3.5 years and found at least 5 fraudulent contracts (customer fraud). These were done when I was off work or out of the store and a subordinate employee wrote them. A few days after reporting this, I was released from my employment. The only explanation being, “we are our numbers”; no other discussion. I was also told by my immediate supervisor that I would be paid for that entire week but was not. This is not the first over the line incident with this DM. Can I sue?

Asked on January 12, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that you have no legal recourse here for wrongful termination.  The reason is that most employment relationships are "at will".  What this means is that you can choose to work for an employer or not, and your employer can fire you for any reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all - without notice.  While seemingly unfair it's the law.  Exceptions are if this action was not allowed by the terms of an employment contract, union agreement, or company policy.  Also, discrimination must not have played a role in your termination. 

As to your pay, you only needed ot be paid for the time that you actually worked.  However, if you were not compensated for such time, then you can file a claim with your state's department of labor and/or consult directly with an employment law attorney.

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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