Thank you for your question. I'm very sorry to hear about your situation.
Let me start by saying that the law is very lopsided in this area in favor of the employer. Generally, if you are an employee without a written employment contract
which states that you may only be terminated for cause, you are an "at will
" employee. Being an "at-will" employee means that the employer may legally terminate you for whatever reason it wants (or no reason at all).
In this case, you are stating that the employer did not follow the termination procedures which were set up in the employee handbook
. Sometimes, courts will rule that the promises made in the employee handbook are binding on the employer. So, if the employee hand book states that there are certain procedures that you are entitled to before you may be terminated, then you can hold the employer liable for not following those procedures.
To hold the employer liable for that, you would have to assert a wrongful termination
case against your employer and show the specific procedures from the handbook that they did not follow. You may file this sort of claim in small claims court and seek up to $3,000.00 in lost wages
as a result of the wrongful termination. I suggest small claims court because it does not require a lawyer. If you want to attempt to seek more than $3,000, you will need to hire a lawyer to file your case in the County Court.
You have stated that you were not paid over time. If the employer's gross annual income is over $150,000.00 then they are required to pay you overtime. If this applies to your situation, then you need to report their failure to pay you overtime to the hio Department of Commerce's Division of Labor
and Worker Safety
, Wage and Hour Bureau. To file the complaint, you need to follow the instructions located at:
Finally, the owner's wife has "defamed" you. You may sue the owner's wife for defamation directly, either in small claims court or with an attorney in county court.
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