Recourse for Wrongful Termination?

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“My daughter was just fired from Old Navy for “hear say”. She was supposedly overheard making a comment about a co-worker. The comment was supposed to have been made sometime before Thanksgiving. There were no statements produced by any of the parties involved. My daughter asked several of the other employees that were present if they heard such a comment and all said of course not. Let me add that the employees making the accusation have told my daughter point blank “we don’t like you”. She brought this to the general manager’s attention to no avail. The general manager told my daughter during her firing that their conversation was confidential and was not to leave her office. She has yet to receive her paycheck, and was also told that she would be receiving cash upon them contacting her. Should we contact the corporate office about this general manager’s actions? And what legal recourse if any does she have?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

There are a host of issues here, most of which will turn on specific details of your state’s employment laws. There may be a case for wrongful termination, violations of corporate employment practices by the store manager, breaches of laws requiring prompt payment of back wages at the time of termination, and other issues. But the only way you’ll really know is to contact an attorney in your area who specializes in employment and wrongful termination, who will know the ins and out of your state law, what’s permissible, what appeal procedures there might be, and so forth. In this sort of situation, the devil is in the details, so you need to go through them very carefully and compare them to the unique laws in your state.

Contact your city or county bar association and ask if they have a referral service. If they do, they should be able to refer you to an attorney who specializes in the right area of law – in this case, employee rights and wrongful termination issues. Typically, by using the referral service, the participating attorneys will agree to meet with you for an hour to hear your story and talk about whether you have a case. For this consultation, you will often pay a discounted fixed price, such as $50, which is typically written as a donation to the Bar Association to help defray the costs of running the referral service. You’re under no other obligation, and neither is the attorney. If they think you have a case, they’ll walk you through the process to begin legal action. If you don’t have a strong case, they’ll let you know that too.

Recommended reading (click on the picture for details):
Every Employee's Guide to the Law



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Author: Ray Everett-Church, Esq.

Ray Everett-Church is a privacy and security consultant with PrivacyClue LLC and is co-author of "Internet Privacy for Dummies"

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