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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 99522
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I was laid off from Office Depot on Wednesday morning and

Customer Question

I was "laid off" from Office Depot on Wednesday morning and was told my "position was eliminated" and given a package. I was the senior person on a 8 member team. When I pointed out that if one position was eliminated, how did I get selected, I was told it was "numbers." I went to the office today to retrieve a personal item and at the same time a man came in for a job interview with my former manager. While standing next to this person, I called my former senior manager and asked if my position was eliminated or was I being replaced as I was standing next to someone here for an interview. I was told my position was eliminated. I then spoke to my former manager who told me the same thing. He then introduced himself to the interviewee and took him upstairs. I then called my HR rep who told me there should have been no interview as there was no position to interview for. She would look into the situation in case they were pulling a fast one. I want to know if I can sue?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
As an employee without a written contract, you are an at will employee and can be dismissed for any reason at all as long as it was not based upon your age/race/sex/disability. Senior team members are often the ones let go first since they generally make the most money and that is the economic decision of the company. Also, if they gave you severance and had you sign a severance agreement, you likely waived any right to bring suit. Of course, in this instance it really does not appear you have much of a case unless you can prove you were dismissed based upon your age/race/sex/disability and if you did not sign a severance agreement waiving your rights to sue.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My "package" has a 7 day window and I think I was "laid off" under false pretences. Did you read everything I wrote?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
I read what you wrote and whether you were laid off for false pretenses or because they did not like you does not matter the law says at will employees can be terminated for no reason or any reason at all except for unlawful discrimination (age/race/sex/disability). Thus, if you cannot prove your layoff was based solely on your age/race/sex/disability, you really have no legal cause of action. Especially since before you could sue for discriminatory discharge it must be filed as a complaint with the state commission on human/civil rights and the EEOC and they must determine whether or not you have grounds to go to court. So, even if you rescind your severance, you are rolling the dice big time unless you have some proof you were terminated based upon your age/race/sex/disabillty, not that you were lied to or fired under false pretences.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 99522
Experience: 20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
Law Educator, Esq. and 9 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you. I appreciate your response and your frankness. This is the worst economic situation since the great depression and therefore the worst time to have to look for a new job. I am very fearfull I will not be able to find a job to support myself and my daughter as a single parent. Have a good night.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
That is a problem in ALL occupations and we can only hope it goes away soon. I wish you the best of luck.

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