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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 9342
Experience:  Licensed to Practice Law
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I was dismissed as a Federal Contractor in less than 10 days

Customer Question

I was dismissed as a Federal Contractor in less than 10 days into the job.I was hired through the employment agency for 3 months.There was no written explanation,when I ask my employment agency(Private),the federal agency responded that I'm cheating patient information notes.The fact is I was cutting and pasting the same information (Pathology report,Radiology report etc) into my record to complete my evaluation into Electronic Charting system.The supervisor accusing me,that I'm plagiarism ( Fraud) by copying and pasting patient information..It is common practice in these electronic charting you copy and paste same patient information.I filed EEOC,because of previous EEO activity as retaliation. I filed complaint against the same federal entity before,they prematurely retired me after 27 years. My question is there are Federal Contractor law to protect immediate dismissal. I've 35 years of experience,have no malpractice or patient complaint against me or pending law suits.My gut feeling is during my investigation of my background VA found out previous EEO activity and they hurriedly dismissed me without a good cause
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

If a person has no employment contract that limits the reasons that he can be terminated, then he is considered an employee at-will. The employment at-will doctrine states that either the employer or the employee may end the employment relationship at any time and for any reason.

Over the years, courts and legislatures have carved out narrow exceptions to the employment at-will doctrine for illegal discrimination and retaliation, but they are exactly that -- Exceptions. If the exceptions don't apply, then the courts will simply view the termination as a lawful business decision, and therefore, such a decision will not be overturned even if it was unfair or can be proven to have been poorly made. It sounds harsh, but it's that same principle that allows the employee to immediately quit that job if he were to find something better. In other words, the employer is not shackled to the employment relationship any more than the employee is shackled to it.

Accordingly, I'm sorry to say that you only have recourse if (1) you had a contract specifying that you are not an at-will employee (which apparently is not the case), or (2) you were terminated for an illegal reason such as race, religion, gender, etc. Federal contractors have no other protections (which is one reason federal agencies like to hire contractors; they can easily be terminated whereas a federal employee cannot).

You stated that you filed an EEOC charge, so I won't get into those details since you already know how to do that. Based on what you wrote, you'll have to rely on that argument in this situation.

I am truly sorry to give you this bad news, but please understand that it would be unfair to you (and unprofessional of me) to provide you with anything less than an honest response. However, if your concerns were not satisfactorily addressed, then please let me know, and I will be happy to clarify my answer. I do ask that you rate me based upon whether I answered your question, and not based upon whether the answer was good news or bad news. Your positive feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you for using our service!

If you would like to direct additional legal questions to me in the future, then please type "To VAMD" in the subject line of your question.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
What about charges of Plagiarism in this day in age Electronic Charting system.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Hi again.

As for plagiarism, as far as your termination is concerned, it is irrelevant. Even if it wasn't plagiarism, you could still be terminated for what was incorrectly thought to be plagiarism. Whether it technically was plagiarism, however, I don't know. I'd have to review everything for myself.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 9342
Experience: Licensed to Practice Law
TJ, Esq. and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
That is explanation for the termination,if plagiarism is irrelevant then "Retaliation" is relevant claim,that is what has happened.I need to prove that simply dismiss me without a good cause is not enough.

i think you need more information to guide me through with strategy with the EEOC process.

Appreciate your help.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Hi again.

What information do you need regarding the EEOC? If I understood you correctly, and you already filed the charge. If so, then the EEOC should investigate. Once the EEOC investigates, it could agree that illegal discrimination/retaliation took place, and attempt to work out a settlement with the employer. If the EEOC cannot work out a settlement, or if the EEOC does not find that there was illegal discrimination, then a person can request a right to sue letter, which gives her the right to sue her employer for violating the law.

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