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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 am under investigation for dating a Manager that

Customer Question

I am under investigation for dating a Manager that previously worked for me. My corporation has a dating policy that Managers cannot date hourly employees and Managers cannot date each other when you're employees at the same restaurant. If so one Manager has to be transferred out. My manager worked for me and we didn't have a romantic relationship at the time but when I got promoted to a different restaurant we began conversing and then got serious pretty quickly. Some of my ex employees that are her employees are making false accusations that we were together long before I left. They are trying to get us fired. My question is that if my company decides to terminate me can they lawfully do so without evidence of this? We never broke company policy. Can they also lawfully terminate my employment because of this reason if I had employees date my Managers and we transferred them out so they could continue their relationship? We accommodated them. I know they are sourcing pictures of us online and on social media outlets but nothing dates before the day I left there and no longer was her boss. Since this isn't true there really is no way for them to prove it. If I do get terminated what defense do I have against this corporation? How is it fair for one couple to get accommodated and I'm getting investigated for and I no longer work there? I never broke the policy and if I did why wouldn't we accommodate us?Can you shed some light on my defense to this. Oh, also I am in the state of Florida. Thank you!
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

If you have no contract of employment that expressly states that you can only be terminated for cause, your employment is at will and can legally be terminated without cause.

So, in that circumstance, no they don't need evidence to terminate you. They aren't a court and don't have to provide due process. You'd have no legal defense. Certainly, you could raise your arguments and if the employer is convinced then good for you. However, they don't need a reason to terminate in the absence of a contract.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Please rate me based on my service and not on your satisfaction with the law, which I am not in control of and I am just reporting to you. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required after the response I previously provided to you. If you need further assistance, please use REPLY and ask me for any additional information you may need. If not, take care and have a great day.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The answer you gave me is what I expected and feared. I do understand employment at willI. I do have a question about if I do get terminated. Is there any action I can take for "unlawful" or "improper" termination? One of my managers was dating our staff member for a year and when it was found it. They were accommodated. We had to transfer her out. Per our conpmay policy. I'm being investigated because people assumed my manager and I were dating while we were employeed at the same facility. This is not true. I know the policy and we didn't break the policy. I took a promotion at a different location and then we started dating after I left the restaurant we worked at together. How can my company accommodate them but investigate us because employees complained that we were dating and it's false. If terminated is there anything I can do?
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 3 months ago.

The terms you use "unlawful" or "improper" termination aren't actually legally terms.

The only term that exists in employment law with legal meaning is "wrongful termination" and it has a very narrow definition.

Wrongful termination takes place in two circumstances.

1. If you have a contract of employment stating that you can only be terminated for cause, it is wrongful to terminate you without cause. You'd then have a wrongful termination claim based on the contract.

2. Terminations based on race, religion, gender, age, disability, FMLA medical leave use, worker's compensation, OSHA complaints or Department of Labor claims are illegal. Terminations based on those things would be legally wrongful.

You asked how your company can accommodate one couple and not another, and unfortunately the legal answer is that the law doesn't require them to treat everyone the same. Unless you can allege that you aren't being accommodated here based on your race, religion, gender, age, disability or recent FMLA use, then the differing treatment would not be illegal.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in again and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required after the response I previously provided to you. If you need further assistance, please use REPLY and ask me for any additional information you may need. If not, take care and have a great day.