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Can I sue my previous employer, Virginia College/Education

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Can I sue my previous employer, Virginia College/Education Corporation of America, for my termination? I was terminated after 11 months as an Admissions Advisor for not producing enough students. I receive three strikes in four week for failing to meet their lead to application conversion rate. I was told that I was being fired for failure to produce enrollments even though I would make over 300 phone calls per day in an effort to keep my job. I even had my unemployment clain rejected on this basis. It is my understanding that my employment status was to be independent of my enrollment success per Department of Education regualtions. It should have been based on things I could control like effort, quality assurance (disclosures/accurate information), and normal work performance. Please let me know if moving forward with legal action is advisable. I was terminated 4/12 and employed in Tampa, Florida.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question.

Florida (like most every state) is an "at will" employment state. This means that unless you had an employment contract or union agreement, which may have given you more rights, your employer may terminate you at any time, for any reason, or no reason at all, so long as it is not done for an unlawful reason (e.g., because of your race, sex, religion, disability, national origin). From only the facts provided, it doesn't sound like this was the case.

Based solely on what you wrote, I do not see a basis for a lawsuit, as the employer would be within their legal rights to terminate you, even though it may have been unfair.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you at all familiar with the DoE regulations that I referenced? I have not done research or analysis of these regulations, but they were, in general, put in place so the Admissions departments of schools (especially for-profit education companies) would not mislead or otherwise act unethically when enrolling students. This is why I feel that my termination was unlawful because it would be in direct conflict with Federal law, assuming my understand of those regulations is correct.

Is there a statute of limitation with regard to wrongful termination?
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.
Hi, your previous expert opted out of your question; I will provide an answer. The particular regulations you are referencing have to do with post secondary schools' promises to prospective students and financial compensation of recruitment officers. Specifically schools must maintain certain standards in these matters to ensure they (through their students) will continue to receive federal student aid. In particular: the final regulations:

· Eliminate the existing 12 “safe harbor” provisions that allowed institutions to compensate college recruiters and admissions officers based on success in enrolling students.

· Allow for merit-based adjustments to employee compensation as long as such payments are not based, in any part, directly or indirectly upon success in securing enrollments or the award of financial aid.

· Define those covered by incentive compensation rules as “an entity or person engaged in any student recruitment or admission activity or in making decisions about the award of financial aid.”

· Disallow incentive payments “based in any part, directly or indirectly” upon success in securing enrollments or the award of financial aid.

In sum, institutions are required to take steps to further assure decoupling of financial compensation and the results of recruitment efforts. You can find those regulation at this link.

You appear to be alleging that since the college terminated you for not meeting its required recruitment numbers, the college may have wrongfully terminated you in light of these regulations (which establish public policy against recruitment quotas). I have done a fair amount of research and am not aware of any cases that state the premise that these regulations create a public policy. Second, the federal regulations do not go to a college's creation of recruitment quotas but only that a recruitment officer cannot be compensated in variance with the amount of persons they recruit. Thus, I'm doubtful that such a claim would success ed; not to say unequivocally that it would not succeed. There is a statute of limitations of one year for wrongful termination from the date of termination.

Being denied unemployment, based on what you've explained, does not make sense. Unless the employer can somehow prove that you intentionally were not meeting the quota or were engaged in horseplay on the job, your unemployment claim should be granted. You probably will want to appeal the denial of those benefits on that basis.

I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – select the Reply to Expert or Continue Conversation button. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX wish you all the best with this matter.

 

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