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Ask Maverick Your Own Question
Maverick, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6234
Experience:  20 years professional experience
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I am trying to find out if I was wrongfully terminated. I

Customer Question

I am trying to find out if I was wrongfully terminated. I was with a group outside of work, an employee went back to my boss and told her I said I did not say. I have several people as witnesses to confirm what she claimed is false. My boss terminated me based on the statements given to her. I have been denied unemployement because my former employer stated those statements were in violation of confidentiality (no statement so should be no violation) do I have a case?
JA: The Employment Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Please tell me everything you can about this issue so the Employment Lawyer can help you best. Is there anything else important you think the Employment Lawyer should know?
Customer: Three of the people were former employees and left for another company, she stated to me "I can't believe that you went out with those people", "all they do is bash the company"
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Employment Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 12 months ago.
Welcome to Just Answer (“JA”)! My name is Maverick. Please note that: (A) The information we provide is general information. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by communicating with me. If you want legal advice, you must consult with a local attorney in person before acting or deciding not to act based on any information given here; (B) Experts answer questions based on the honor system. When I feel that I have provided you with a complete answer, I will ask for you to assign a feedback rating so that JA will compensate me for my time; and (C) You should not be concerned about any short delays between your questions and my replies. Please know that I answer most questions within the hour if I am signed on. If I am not signed on, then I still make every attempt to respond within 24 hours. Thank you for taking the time to understand how this site works. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms. 1. What was the statement that was the basis for the termination?2. What State are you in?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Because of these statements "I can not have you work for me anymore" I asked if I was being terminated she said "yes". I live in MN
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
She rattled off several but the last two things with unemployment were that I talked about confidential information- I did not. And that I said that the company does not have any money so we are not getting raises this year. again, did not say that
Expert:  Maverick replied 12 months ago.
First take a look at this law. Are you still within the time frame to do what it calls for?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
No, I was not aware that I could request copy of reason for termination. I did not see what she was reading from or given a copy of anything when terminated. I did not sign or agree to any of her statements. Date was 3/25/2016
Expert:  Maverick replied 11 months ago.
Okay, that might actually work out in your favor. Since there are falsities involved here, the first thing to do is to sue or threaten to sue the employee that made the false statements for defamation and tortious interference. See elements of both below: 1. To establish a claim for defamation under MN law, a plaintiff must demonstrate the following elements: (1) a defamatory statement; (2) published to a third person; (3) which is false; and (4) that tends to harm her reputation and to lower him in the estimation of the community. The statute of limitations for defamation claims in Minnesota is two years. Defamation must be pled with “particularity.” So you must identify the speaker, the statements, the context and time in which they were made and to whom they were made. Under the specificity requirement, the actual defamatory language must be set forth in the pleadings along with the “who, what, why, where and when” or else it may be subject to a motion under Rule 12 for dismissal for a more definite statement. 2. The 2nd claim is called "tortious interference with prospective economic advantage". To succeed, a plaintiff must show that: (1) the defendant intentionally and improperly interfered with the prospective contractual relation; (2) the interference caused pecuniary harm resulting from loss of the benefits of the relation; and (3) the interference either (a) induced or otherwise caused a third person not to enter into or continue the prospective relation; or (b) prevented the continuance of the prospective relation. United Wild Rice, Inc. v. Nelson, 313 N.W.2d 628, 633 (Minn. 1982). This is the closest thing that MN law has to the actual claim which is termed "Wrongful Interference With Employment Relationship" which can be used even in at-will employment situations. Here are its elements: The person damaged by the interference will usually need to prove the following things in order to sue: There was an existing employment relationship; The person who caused the interference was a third party to the relationship;The third party's conduct interfered with the relationship; The third party intended to interfere; andThe third party's conduct caused the employee's termination. So, I would plead this as a 3rd claim as well even if MN law does not recognize it as of yet. As far as suing the employer, that will be a little more problematic. Minnesota is an employment "at will" state. The employer can fire any employee for any reason as long as that reason is not because of discrimination based on race, creed, color, sex, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or marital status. Under at-will employment, an employee has to prove that the employer was more than just unreasonable or unfair to succeed with a wrongful termination claim. Pretty much if there is no formal employment contract or employee handbook that sets forth termination procedures that your employer violated, you really should think twice before wasting your time and money on a claim against the employer. But, that is not to say that you could not sue your boss in his or individual capacity just like you can sue the co-worker. My suggestion to you if you want to get somewhere on this quickly is to pay a local employment law attorney fire off a demand letter for about $250.00 against the co-worker who will then tell the boss what is going on; a few days after co-worker receives the email, you then write a letter to your boss and ask to meet with him/her and see if things can be worked out over lunch to get your job back. If this fails then have the lawyer send out a second letter threaten to also sue the boss personally for monetary damages you have and will in the future suffer from the termination.