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Hello, I was hired for team lead job in VA. I began my employment…

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Hello, I was hired for team...
Hello,
I was hired for team lead job in VA. I began my employment and received limited training. On my 2nd day I was assigned a task to complete without full knowledge of the company's policy/procedure/system. I asked questions where I wasn't sure of things and then on my 16th business day in my new role I was terminated. Oddly enough, the day I was terminated I printed out the employer's handbook and it clearly states that for termination I should have been coached, had a written warning and then terminated. I received nothing other than being fired. I have been in this business for 10 years and have a solid track record. Could I sue for wrongful termination because the employer did not follow their own policy? I could understand instant termination had I been unprofessional but I was not - I was simply told "it wasn't working out" because I did not know ratios but clearly explained before and during my termination that I knew specific ratios just different verbiage. Please advise.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Business Law
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6/11/2010
Business Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 8 years ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 126,936
Experience: All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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Absent a written contract for employment to the contrary, you are considered an at will employee. An at will employee may be fired for no reason or any reason that is not based solely on their age/race/sex/disability. Employee handbooks do not constitute an employment contract, and almost every one I have seen has a statement to that effect in the handbook someplace. Employee handbooks are considered by the courts to be merely a guideline and can be modified, changed or deviated from by the employer. Thus, as far as the employer you have no recourse for wrongful discharge unless you can prove you were terminated based on your age/race/sex/disability and if you can then you must first file a complaint with the EEOC before you could proceed to court. VA does not recognize the implied contract exception to at will employment, so you cannot argue the employee handbook constituted an implied contract with you.

HOWEVER, the analysis does not end with the above. The employee handbook is good for something. If you are denied your unemployment benefits because the employer alleges you were fired for cause (which is a ground to deny unemployment) then the handbook does become valuable because when an employer terminates an employee for alleged cause and does not follow their employee handbook on the termination, the unemployment considers this as termination without good cause, which entitles the employee to unemployment benefits, even though the employee does not have a wrongful termination claim against the employer.


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Law Educator, Esq.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Thanks for your detailed answer. I'll wait for unemployment and argue that if needed.
Business Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 8 years ago
Thank you.
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