Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
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First, let me say that I am terribly sorry to hear that you are in this situation. It is a shame when an employer makes a decision without legitimacy, especially when that decision is quite frankly wrong. However, that does not necessarily mean that the decision is unlawful. Every state but Montana is an at will employment state. This means that your employer is allowed to terminate your employment for any reason that does not violate your civil rights or is in breach of contract. Thus, if you are a union employee, or if you have an employment contract that says you must be fired for cause, then you might have legal recourse against them for terminating you. Additionally, if you believe the reason that you were terminated could be related to a protected category, such as your age (over 40), gender, race, religion, genetic information, pregnancy, national origin, creed, or disability, then the termination would be deemed wrongful and you would have a cause of action.
Absent living in Montana, or one of the reasons I mentioned above, your boss can not only terminate your employment because of a false statement from somebody else, but they can choose to do so, just because of the color of shirt you decide to wear one day.
That being said, if you believe the real reason was because of a protected category, then you would want to file a formal complaint for wrongful termination with the EEOC here:
or hire an employment attorney to best assist you. If you decide to hire an attorney a great resource is www.Martindale.com. This is a nationwide directory that is useful in finding highly qualified legal specialists in various fields of law. The lawyers in Martindale are not selected because they paid to be included, but rather because they have been rated by other attorneys as qualified experts in their field. Consider consulting with two or three different attorneys willing to take your case prior to selecting the one you feel most comfortable with.
Other types of termination, even if wrong, are still legal. As a consequence, the only potential remaining option that you can pursue would be to file for unemployment benefits and claim, quite rightly, that you were terminated "without cause" and seek unemployment benefits.
You would not be able to seek damages, but you would be able to contest the termination as being ultimately invalid.
If you do not believe that you were discriminated against because of a protected category, the best approach here may be to try to set up a meeting with your supervisor and explain in a calm and positive manner that you really like your job, really like working there, and wonder if there is any way that they could allow you to continue your employment there.
I realize that the law is not entirely in your favor here and I am truly sorry to have to deliver bad news. Nonetheless, I trust that you will appreciate an accurate explanation of the law and realize that it would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.
Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further. If you do not require any further assistance, I would be most grateful if you would remember to provide my service a positive rating, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you.
Have a wonderful rest of your day.
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