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Jack R.
Jack R., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Review contracts for major corporations
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My husband is a fee-for-service employee at a private social

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My husband is a fee-for-service employee at a private social services agency. He works exclusively for this agency and has taxes witheld through them, although no benefits at this time. He previously worked for them full-time but changed to FFS due to higher hourly rate.

We believe he is about to be wrongfully terminated pending investigation of allegedly fraudulent billing. He has had stellar performance reviews and positive feedback on everything, including billing practices. His work phone and laptop were taken away pending investigation and then other families he works with were contacted, presumably to solicit complaints (this was conveyed by a colleague). He has been harassed by other managers in the workplace (not ones he reports to) and has been vocal about improper behavior within the agency, so we believe this may be a case of retaliation. What are his options? Would he have a case for wrongful termination? His access to all of his communication and records is currently evoked but there is no paper trail to document anything but stellar work from him.

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Massachusetts is a employment at will state. The employment-at-will doctrine relies on the proposition that employers and employees can decide to terminate the work relationship at will and at any time. Either party can enter or end a working relationship at any time, for any reason including a mistaken reason e.g. fraudulent billing.

Wrongful termination occurs when an Employer does something wrong. Employers are bound to abide anti-discrimination laws that protect employees from mistreatment based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and other characteristics. There are also other public policy exceptions for example an employer asking an employee to violate the law. In other words the employer does not need a valid reason to terminate an employee just one that is not illegal.

 

What is appears is that the employer is trying to find "cause" for the termination. With cause unemployment benefits are unavailable. To protect these benefits you should document as much about the situation as you can including the actions of the employer. You should keep a record of contacts so if necessary they can be questioned. This will help you when and if the employer challenges the payment of unemployment benefits.

 

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the quick reply. Can my husband request his personnel file and any documentation used against him, or do we have to have an attorney make the request?


 


 

Your husband can request the file, but I have in my experience never seen someone successfully get it. That is why you need to get as much information on your own while you can. Ultimately an attorney can subpoena the file if necessary. Nothing worries an employer more than a well organized and well prepared disgruntled employee.

 

The employer is building a case, you should also.

 

Please press ACCEPT at the appropriate service level "3" or better so I may get credit for my answer. if you have further questions please ask.

 

 

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