What type of legal action do I need to take if I was falsely accused of stealing money?

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What type of legal action do I need to take if I was falsely accused of stealing money?

I was previously employed at a restaurant as a service trainer. I was terminated due to someone stealing money out of the register (I accidentally left my badge on screen). I was not the person that stole the money. What type of legal action do I need to take?

Asked on September 26, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Did you have an employment contract? If you did, and it provided certain grounds or processes to be terminated and you were terminated not in accordance with those terms, you may sue to enforce the contract and get your job back and/or monetary compensation.

2) If you don't have a contract, though, you are an employee at will, and therefore may be fired at any time, for any reason, even a mistaken reason. If this is the case, since  your employer could fire you just because he felt like it, he can fire you because he thought (incorrectly) that you stole money. You have, unfortunately, no entitlement to your job.

3) If the person/supervisor who fired you has told anyone else that you stole, and assuming that is not true, then that person may have committed defamation about you. Defamation is the public (so to any third parties) making of untrue factual statements about a person, which damages that person's reputation. If you think this may have happened, you should consult with a personal injury attorney.


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