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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18811
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I was accused of stealing and terminated on Aug 23rd 2013.

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I was accused of stealing and terminated on Aug 23rd 2013. I told that temporary employeees had seen me stealing items,. Did I have anything to add to this. I reiterated that I had not stolen anything. I was told thes temporary employees had seen items in my vehicle. I told the owner they could look in my vehicle and again reiterated I had stolen nothing. I then told my services were no longer needed and I was escorted out and the owner then looked in my vehicle to see if any items were in.(none were found because I did not steal any items. I have filed for unemployment benefits. The unemployment office Sid the employer could appeal. What recourse would I have at that point?
Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.

Did you have an employment contract saying that you could only be terminated for cause?

Do you suspect that the real reason that you were terminated was your race, religion, gender, age, disability or FMLA use?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes the contract said I could be terminated for cause.
It might have had some race and gender overtones. The owner talked with temporary employee a couple of days after I told her her services were no longer needed.
Let me ask this question against, more clearly.

I don't need to know if your contract said that you could be fired for cause.

I need to know if your contract said that you could ONLY be fired for cause and no other reason.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I do not have the handbook with me, I do not believe it said I could only be fired for cause. I believe it said up to termination for cause.
Ok. Here's the issue. Without a contract specifically to you, specifically stating the language in the way that I mentioned, you are an "at will" employee in your state.

That means that you can legally be terminated without cause, at any time, without warning.

So, for you to have any sort of claim of wrongful termination here, you would have to establish that the employer knowingly accepted this false information as a basis for termination due to your race and/or gender. You need to suggest more than overtones if you want the EEOC to investigate. You need to be able to point to some facts that make you, and the EEOC, believe that your race/gender was the reason this employer was so willing to accept this excuse to terminate you. The EEOC can then investigate that matter fully and grant you the right to sue, if they don't sue themselves over the issue.

Now, you can also sue the individuals that told this lie about you directly, for defamation of character. They made a false statement of fact about you, which cause you harm. If the employer won't tell you who said these things, you can file the claim against a "John/Jane Doe" and then subpoena the employer to name the person.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The question I was trying to get answered was, will they be able to hold up any unemployment benefits I would eliiglible for, because of the accusation of stealing from a temporary employee?
Ok. They will be able to appeal the decision of unemployment and claim that they have evidence of theft.

They can certainly try that. Unemployment would hear their evidence and compare it with yours, where you will be able to show that they found no stolen items in your car.

The employer has the burden of proof when trying to block unemployment, so while they can certainly try to block your unemployment they will be fighting an uphill battle with nothing more than unconfirmed statements.
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