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John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5568
Experience:  Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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Went to work as scheduled was told after 8 years I all of a

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Went to work as scheduled was told after 8 years I all of a sudden was not a fit for their company, my husband has a construction company and found the electrical div. of my employer hanging around his job site and that was the question that came up the week prior to my dismissal working for his wife. How is that a work rule violation.

EmplmntLaw1 :

Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. I want to make sure I understand your question clearly before answering. Are you saying 1) you worked for an employer, 2) someone from that employer went to one of your husband's job sites for some reason?; 3) that because this person from your job went and "hung around" that job site you were terminated for not being a good fit? Obviously the story doesn't make sense but do I have it correct?

Customer: Electricians from the employers other division were snooping around my husbands job site apparently they had bid on the same job not known by my husband or myself anyway I stated that I felt that was unethical and my husband would never snoop around anybody else's jobs but did make him question what their motive was. That did make me uncomfortable! Nothing negative was said or said to me I continued to do my job as normal and my boss the wife continued to work with me and scheduled my future work months as normal. Came into work Wednesday morn as normal and they let me go.
EmplmntLaw1 :

So the presumption here is that you probably were terminated because your husband competes with their electrical division and/or because you told someone at the employer you thought the electrical division was acting unethical, correct?

Customer: Husband is not an electrician but has subs that provide those services, has never been an issue for 8 years that I have worked for his wife I have brought them business because of husband and his membership with local building association so can only assume they are feeling ????
EmplmntLaw1 :

Are you by any chance a member of a union or do you have a contract with the employer that states you may be terminated only with just cause or with a certain process or hearing?

Customer: Not a member of a union, never had me sign anything like rules or regulations or non compete she always seemed appreciative of the business I brought to her business just by letting other people and local contractors know about her business and services that were provided
EmplmntLaw1 :

I see. I think what you've got here is a case where you've been totally treated unfairly, but there is no identifiable legal remedy for you. You are entitled to a copy of your personnel file under Wisc. law, but, because Wisc., is an employment at will state, you really can be terminated for almost anything regardless of how fickle the matter is. I'll explain further --"at will" employment means you can be disciplined or terminated for any reason that is not otherwise a violation of law. These exceptions are the civil rights protections (e.g., age, race, sex, religion), violations of public policy (e.g., fired for attending jury duty, for refusing to break the law, for reporting illegal activity by the employer (aka a "whistleblower violation"), or having some contractual right to a just cause employment (meaning the employer cannot terminate you without industrial due process - which basically insures a fair and accurate investigation and decision). Without any of these exceptions, courts find that the employer has a legitimate business right to operate its business however it sees fit and the court will not second-guess the employer. These policies and decisions may in fact be awful and clearly not fair or even make good business sense. However, they are not ultimately unlawful. Of course you would be entitled to unemployment compensation in this scenario.


EmplmntLaw1 :

Do you think it is possible any of these exceptions to the "at will" doctrine are applicable to your case?

Customer: I'm also wondering if they wanted to be done with me at the hourly rate they were paying me which was pretty good for the area we reside in after they gave me a couple of raises over the years and having me do the work of what three people did approx 2 years ago! Not sure I understand your question of exceptions
EmplmntLaw1 :

There are only a few exceptions to the at will doctrine - basically they are civil rights, whistleblower violations, or a breach of contract violation -- you've state that there was no contract or policy violation. So the question would be narrowed down to whether you think you were terminated because of a civil right (ie., age, race, gender, disability, religious belief) or because you reported the employer to a public agency. Nothing in the chat has lead me to believe that is the case ... but maybe you believe it is?

EmplmntLaw1 :

It is unfortunately perfectly legal to terminate someone to lower costs and bring in someone at a lower wage.

Customer: Possible age but really think they knew they were being unethical and didn't feel good about being caught in their actions and decided I no longer was needed in their company I do not feel this would be reason to be denied unemployment compensation! What do you think?
EmplmntLaw1 :

I think there is no question you will get unemployment...I just wanted to give you some other type of relief to file a lawsuit or some other type of agency relief...and I'm just not seeing it in your facts. Certainly you'll get unemployment!

EmplmntLaw1 :

Has this answered your question? Unfortunately, I just don't see any other type of recourse in the matter except unemployment.

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