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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11563
Experience:  25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
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I need help determining if I have a case. I worked for an oil

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I need help determining if I have a case. I worked for an oil field company and I was wrongfully terminated. I worked 20 days on and 10 days off. When I was home on my days off they informed me I was terminated and did not give me a clear reason. When I filed for unemployment the company I worked for filed a claim saying I couldn't receive it because I was fired for mis conduct and in their report they even have dates and times of the incident and the times they put in their report aren't even times I was ALLOWED to be working because in the company employee handbook it clearly states over time needs to be approved in advance an if its not and I am working over time it will lead to my termination so I fought the claim and won so I now receive unemployment but during that time that the unemployment office was looking into the case my family and I got behind on bills and missed vehicle payments. I want to sue the company for defamation because now that I have been fired for mis condut I am having a hard time finding a job in that field and it was all false.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and Welcome to JustAnswer, My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with Excellent Service, I am sorry to hear what you were subjected to,

 

1. Did you have a written Employment Agreement with your former employer ?

2. Have you applied for other jobs and has your former employer told prospective employers that you were fired for misconduct ?

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is an "at-will" employment and I understand that means they do not need reason to fire me but I have heard from many people that because they tried denying me unemployment for "misconduct" that did not occur and the filed that report with the unemployment office that I could have grounds to sue the company for defamation and I recently tried getting on with H&p drilling and didn't get hired because I had been fired from my previous company. I have been applying for months but it is a competitive field and without the recommendation from my previous employer it will be hard. Also because they gave a false report to the unemployment office shouldn't I be entitled to something. AND the company claims they fired me for not complete thing a task that was out of my working hours I wasn't even allowed to be working the hours they were trying to force me to work because their company employee handbook says if I am working over time that is not approved in advance It could lead to my termination.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But the man who was hiring at h&p also knew my girlfriend so he knew I had been fired and so it probably wouldn't be much for my case because I do not believe the company I worked for had told them that. But I am not 100% sure
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
Been waiting an hour for a reply. Would like to speak to someone right now if possible.
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Taylor, Thank you for your additional information and my apologies for any delay, but I research each customer's question because I do not give "stock" Answers, we very often help several customers simultaneously, and it takes a little time to compose an Answer for each customer,

 

I am glad you understand the importance of written Employment Agreements and "At Will' employment relationships and the absence of such an Agreement, it would be very difficult, if not impossible to win a wrongful termination case.

 

With respect to slander (spoken), libel (written false statements) - There are four (4) elements which a Plaintiff must prove in all actions for slander, libel and defamation of character:

 

1. The defendant made statements that were false;

2. The defendant made the false statements knowing that they were false, or made in reckless disregard of whether they were true or false;

3. The defendant made these false statements to a third party; and

4. The Plaintiff suffered damages

 

You asked,

 

"Also because they gave a false report to the unemployment office shouldn't I be entitled to something."

 

 

Answer

 

Your question is a good one and is certainly valid. But, the law on defamation of character addresses that issue in the fourth element that a Plaintiff must prove if he or she is going to win their lawsuit. The Plaintiff must prove damages, that he or she suffered measurable damages. For example, if you had applied to say, 10 jobs in the last month and when these prospective employers called your former employer, he would give a bad recommendation and say things like, "he does not finish his projects", "he is unreliable", he is always late coming in to work, etc., and these comments caused these prospective employers not to extend offers of employment to you, these are damages which can be "measured" and one would not have to "guess" as to what your damages are. Another defense which is recognized in lawsuits arising from a termination of employment is that statements made by any employer are subjective, they are the employer's perception of the employee and it is, therefore, very difficult to prove the second element of a defamation lawsuit - that the defendant made the false statements knowing they were false , or in reckless disregard for the truth. One last comment on the element of damages in your situation, or in any situation where unemployment compensation benefits have been denied - When the employee files an Appeal of the denial of unemployment compesation benefits and wins, the employee receives all his unemployment compensation benefits retroactively. Therefore, the Court holds that the employee/Plaintiff did not satisfy the fourth element, i.e. did not sustain damages. I agree that it is not fair and it is not right to have former employers and other individuals spreading false statements without any fear that they might incur some kind of penalty, especially if these false statements might or could damage one's name and reputation in their professional community, but until the law is changed, this is what we have to live with,

 

 

I wish I could give you the Answer you were hoping for, and it would have given me great pleasure to do so, but I have an ethical obligation to you to give you only correct Answers, so I am respectfully XXXXX XXXXX you not hold the law applicable to your situation against me.



 

Please be kind enough to rate my service to you as "Excellent Service",

Bonus and Positive Feedback are greatly appreciated,

 

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you,



ANDREA

 

 

Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11563
Experience: 25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
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