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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18790
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I am a nurse in michigan, and will call before my shift to

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I am a nurse in michigan, and will call before my shift to see if I'm needed, because I have on occassion arrived at work only to find that they are overstaffed, and I'sent home.last night I called, and was told I was not on the schedule.I thought the supervisor was looking on the master assignment,but was only looking at the daily sheet.I also looked at my schedule again, and looked at the wrong date, and since the supervisor kept telling me I was not scheduled I thought I had the night off. She asked if I would come in, and since I needed to make dental appointment, I said , since I was off, I couldn' manager called this morning, and said I was on the master schedule, and I was a no call no show, and refused to come in when I was asked.I explained that when I looked at my schedule again I looked at the person's schedule above mine, but didn't realize the mistake until the morning, but would have come in had I noticed last night.I also felt I had not refused an assignment.she said she could have terminated me. Is she right
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I look forward to assisting you today. I bring nearly 20 years of experience in various legal disciplines.

Do you have an employment contract stating that you can only be terminated for cause?

Do you believe that this supervisor or manager are really just engaging in discrimination based on your race, religion, gender, age, disability or FMLA use?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I don't have a contract , and do not feel discriminated against.t

Ok. Here is the issue. Without a contract of employment stating that you can only be terminated for cause, you are an "at will" employee in your state. That means that you can legally be terminate at any time, with or without cause.

So, legally she is right. She could have terminated you. Not really because what happened was anything so terrible on your part. In fact, it was a completely understandable mistake. But in an "at will" employment situation, you don't have to have done something terrible to be subject to termination. The employer doesn't need a cause, so the veracity of the cause doesn't legally matter, except in two situations.

First, it matters if the employee is alleging discrimination based on one of those factors that I mentioned. When an employer terminates someone for a very poor reason, and there is suspicion of discrimination, that poor reasoning for termination looks like a pretext for illegal discrimination. So, in that narrow situation, the basis for the termination could become relevant.

Second, if the employer actually terminates an employee and then tries to block that employee's unemployment rights by claiming misconduct, unemployment will do their own investigation/hearing to determine the validity of the alleged misconduct. The employer has the burden of proving misconduct to block unemployment. If the employer fails to meet that burden, the employee gets unemployment (but this has no bearing on the legality of the termination itself).

On these facts, while I completely agree that this was an overreaction and an understandable error on your part, the employer is correct that they could use it as a basis for termination.

Now, in Michigan, you have the right to review your personnel file and to insert a rebuttal into that file if you disagree with anything placed in it. So, that is one right that you have. While you can't force a removal of this statement in your personnel file, they have to allow you to submit your own statement in rebuttal, which must also be kept in that record. Your rebuttal can be no longer than 5 pages.
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