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My employment was terminated due to conduct unbecoming of an…

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My employment was terminated due...
My employment was terminated due to conduct unbecoming of an employee. The issue I have is that the complaint states someone fitting my decription and that also used my name was at the work place intoxicated which is completely false. I provided documentation to my employer in the form of notarized statements from individuals indicating that I was with them and a group of other people and no where near my place of employment at the time the complaint occured and I also provided my employer with a toll road monthly bill that shows I was going through a toll booth that is 30 miles from my place of employment during the supposed occurance. I live in Florida and I know this is a tough state if you don't fall into one of the protected categories which I don't, but do I have any recourse? I've never had a negative blemish in my employment file and in fact i've recieved numerous awards from this company. Although over the past 2 years the i've felt that certain leaders in the company have been enacting policies and reducing my pay to try and force me to leave. I guess because I never did they came up with this. Any thoughts?

Thank You

M
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 10 minutes by:
6/29/2010
Employment Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,984
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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Hello,

You are right in stating that Florida is a "tough" state for employees that do not fall within a protected class under discrimination laws. That is because it is strictly an employment at will state, which you know means that an employer can terminate you for any, or no, reason and with no notice. However, other than the fact that the employer cannot do so in violation of discrimination laws, they also cannot do so in violation of an employment contract or company policy. So if, for example, your employer has a policy or practice of only terminating employees after they have received warnings or stepped discipline or only terminating for "cause," then you might have a claim for wrongful termination. Otherwise, you don't have any recourse against an arbitrary and incorrect reason.

You can, of course, still apply for unemployment benefits if you need to. The UI Commission may initially deny you based on your employer's assertion that you were terminated for misconduct or "cause," but you would have an opportunity on appeal to present the evidence that you have discussed here to show that you didn't do what they said you did. If you can convince the UI Hearing Officer that it wasn't you, then you would be entitled to benefits.

Finally, as for the payment of your unused leave time. There is no Federal or Florida law that requires that those benefits even be offered, so whether or not they are payable is entirely up to the company's own policies and procedures. If the company has traditionally paid them out at termination, and they have not issued a change in policy, then you should be entitled to them. On the other hand, if the company either states that they do not pay them out, or their practice has not to pay them out, then you are not entitled to them. If you feel as though you are entitled, you can either file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor or file suit in small claims court for the amount you feel is coming to you.
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