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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 15471
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I got terminated for not having a Professional Engineering

Customer Question

I got terminated for not having a Professional Engineering License after 7 months of employment when my offer letter/contract clearly states that I had 2 years to acquire the license. The other reason for my termination was for alleged conversations with my boss concerning my work performance. The alleged conversations never took place and I was NEVER given a formal written evaluation or any indication or warning of unsatisfactory work performance. I worked hard and did outstanding work with zero complaints from clients or my co-workers. I have all the necessary documentation. Do I have a strong case to sue this firm for pain & suffering and also wages lost?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.

Did your offer letter state that you could only be terminated for cause?
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Do you have any evidence that the basis for your termination was your race, religion, gender, age, disability or FMLA use?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

I have no evidence of that

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 11 months ago.
And to my first question?

Did your offer letter state that you could only be terminated for cause?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

my offer letter does not state that. I can email you the letter if you like.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 11 months ago.
No, I can't give you my email address. We can only communicate through this forum.

That was the only phrase I was looking for.

An offer letter is not a contract of employment. It is just an offer letter. Without that phrase that I mentioned concerning termination, it can't be regarded as a contract of employment. That means that your employment was "at will." That means that the terms of your employment were also "at will."

At will employment and the terms of at will employment can be changed at any time, including and up to termination. The employer doesn't legally need cause for termination in an "at will" employment situation. The cause given doesn't even have to be accurate.

What that means in this situation is that the employer did not legally have to wait 2 years for you to get your license. The employer could change that term, at any time, as an "at will" term. They chose to change it and terminated your employment.

Without a contract of employment, there is no basis for a wrongful termination claim unless you can allege discrimination, which you stated that you can not do.

Pain and suffering and lost wages are not actually the basis for lawsuits. They are a measure of damages, but you have to have a basis for the lawsuit itself. For instance, of you had a contract of employment and the employer breached that contract, then you could sue for breach of contract and attempt to claim lost wages as a damage.

The problem here is that you have no basis for your suit. You did not have a contract of employment that is enforcible for wrongful termination. You can not claim discrimination based on one of those illegal factors. Yes, you won unemployment, but that is an entirely different standard that wrongful termination.

On these facts, I regret to say that I see no basis for a claim of wrongful termination.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 15471
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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