Do I have a case for wrongful termination?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I have a case for wrongful termination?

I was recently discharged after 10 years by my employer; the reason given was that my position was being eliminated due to centralization. I was told by my counterpart that my work was going to be assigned to her and another colleague in the office and not centralized. At the time this happened, I was working from home with approval from my manager while recovering from surgery. No official paperwork was filled out for leave, however I do have my manager’s approval by email to work from home until my doctor released me to go back into the office.

Also, I was served the paperwork severing my employment 4 days after the listed termination date, so I was working from home for 4 days without knowledge I was going to be terminated. They called me in to serve me. Not sure if I should fight this or sign the severance paperwork.

Asked on April 15, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Ultimately, if you did not have a written employment contract for a specific term (e.g. a one or two year contact) which was in force and which this termination violated, you were an employee at will and could be terminated at any time, for any reason whatsoever--and the employer does not even need to tell you the reason (or can tell you it's because of A, but then do B instead). As an employee at will, you had no rights in or to your job. The fact that had been working at home with employer approval does not change anything: the law doesn't require an employer to let you work at home, so they could rescind that approval at will--i.e. the approval to work at home adds nothing to your rights.
d on what you write, the could terminate you. And since severance is not required by law, they do not need to provide severance unless you sign.
If you worked for 4 days more than they are crediting you with, however, they should pay you for those 4 days as well.

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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