I am at-will, and my understanding is that I can be fired for any reason, or for no reason at all.
I have been working at a company that has been starting its service department from scratch. I am one of the most knowledgeable technicians in my industry, but the management has something against me, and have routinely excluded me from the development process. The service manager they hired instead has absolutely no knowledge of this industry and has not been getting the development work done (he doesn't even know where to start), and none of the knowledgeable technicians in our group are solving these problems for him.
I have patiently waited until I was able to demonstrate my development skills, and finally, management agreed they need to bring me in to help with development. But, it has taken 4 1/2 months since then, for them to actually offer me a position. Meanwhile, I have been working on development, developing training curriculum, teaching classes, driving process improvement - basically proving that I am the only one that can get this job done.
The offer finally came in, but it seems like the GM has some kind of beef with me. The offer ended up being a very minor title change, with little compensation change. Basically, it was no where near the proper title, compensation, authority and responsibility needed for the scope of the work that was needed to be done - develop an entire training program, fix all the service processes that remain broken, etc., etc.
So, my questions are this:
1) Can I be fired for declining the offer?
2) If I am fired for declining the position, or fired shortly after I decline, for trumped-up reasons, can I sue for wrongful termination
Keep in mind, we had one new technician that was hired, and he was an absolutely mess up. He could not be taught. He did almost everything wrong. He broke thousands of dollars worth of equipment. There was nothing redeemable about him. And, it took them months to actually let him go. HR had all kinds of requirements that they start with a verbal warning, then a written warning, then a probationary period, then finally termination
So, if they fire me out of the blue, can I sue?