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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19005
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I was terminated from my job at my press (3 times)none of

Customer Question

I was terminated from my job for sleeping at my press (3 times)none of which were true. I worked for a plastic maufacturing company and there is no way, at anytime can anyone sleep at the press. Parts are coming down anywhere from 150-450 at a time. The first time the HR person said he knew that I was not sleeping. The second time was a new cell leader (her mother was the new HR person). On the second conversation with my supervisor about this particular insident she told me "I know you weren't sleeping but we need to go through the motions'. After discussing it the next day with the new HR person she told me that 1 more time and I would be let go, ( I had people write letters stating that I was not sleeping) and that she would write up something for me to sign,(never happened). I also asked her "Someone has to come up to me and wake me up?""Yes!" That never happened. On August 17, 2015, I was called into the HR office, with my supervisor, HR and department manager. At that time I was told I had been sleeping at my press on Aug 7, (they had witness statements, that I was not allowed to look at) and that I would be terminated. That particular day I was running a press that was putting out 409 parts per hour, that if I was sleeping the parts would have fallen on the floor. I think that this was a personal vindetta, because I had earlier that week turned some people in for taking longer than allowed breaks and some of the people I turned in (who had been turned in before) we friends, realtive etc. of the HR deparment.
The company tried to block my getting unemployment, but the employment agency found in my favor. I have talked to a lawyer and the EEOC, which has sent me to The Michigan Department of Labor. Where do I go from here or do I end it here?
Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Carol xxxxx(###) ###-####
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

You need to file your complaint with the Michigan Department of Labor, if that is where you were sent by the EEOC.

To know what to do, you have to answer some questions for yourself.

First, are you in a union? If you are, then you have a contract to sue based on called the collective bargaining agreement. You can sue the employer in state court for violation of that collective bargaining agreement for terminating you in violation of that agreement. If you are not union, see the next question.

Second, do you have a contract of employment stating that you can ONLY be terminated for cause? If you do, then you can sue for breach of that contract in state court, requiring the employer to justify the termination. If you don't have an employment contract, move on to the next question.

Third, do you have any evidence to suggest that the basis for your termination was actually race, religion, gender, age, disability or FMLA use? Only these motivations are made illegal by statute, so only these apply when talking about a wrongful termination claim to the EEOC (which is perhaps why they sent you to the DOL). If you can't claim discrimination, then you have to move down to the final discussion below.

In employment law if you are not union, you do not have a contract of employment specifically stating that you can only be terminated for cause, and you can't allege discrimination, then you can legally be terminated at any time, with or without cause. This is called "at will" employment. In such situations, you can even be terminated for false reasons. The employer doesn't need a good or even valid basis for termination. That would mean that while you can get unemployment (as you justly did here), that does NOT mean you have a legal basis to get the job back. Your only other recourse would be to sue the individuals (not the employer) that made the false statements about you, as a defamation of character lawsuit.

If you have any further questions, please just let me know by replying rather than rating.