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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20299
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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Can you be fired from a job when your not being payed expsenes

Customer Question

Can you be fired from a job when your not being payed expsenes and are on the way to work not on clock when an incident between u and another co worker
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 4 years ago.

Hello there.

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Can you tell me a bit more about what happened in this case and let me know the details of the incident? Were the two of you in a company car ? Did the two of you get into a fight in a car on the way to work ?

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MARY

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No we drive our on vehicles to work and car pool to work. Our oil rig is in Nebraska and the incident happened in kansas. We got into an argument that led to a fight in the car. We don't get an expense check for driving to work and my shift don't start till 1030pm and the incident happened round 955pm

Expert:  Legalease replied 4 years ago.

Hello again Logan --

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Can you answer the following additional questions for me? I apologize for the delays -- I seem to be having some computer issues this AM -- once you have answered these questions, I can get to work reviewing and providing an answer ASAP.

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1, Are you members of a union?

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2. Do you have a written employment contract with the employer?

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2. How long have you worked for this company?

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MARY

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No I am not a member of a union.


 


No I do not believe I'm under a contract, actually pretty sure I'm not


 


And after last night when they "fired" me. I was working for them since November 23 2010.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Answer is taking to long
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

I am a different Expert and can assist you since your previous Expert is not currently online. From what you say, you actually work in Nebraska and not Kansas. In the end that doesn't make a lot of difference since the laws of Nebraska and Kansas are the same in terms of termination rules. Both states are what are known as employment "at will" states. That means that an employer may terminate an employee for any, or no, reason and with no notice or warning unless the termination would violate an employment contract, company policy or employment discrimination law. That means that unless one of the exceptions applies in your case, your employer could terminate you even if the reason was arbitrary and had to do with something you did off the clock.

There are some states that do not allow employers to terminate employees or off-duty conduct that is unrelated to their work (which arguably this would not qualify for anyway since it was a fight with another employee), but neither Nebraska nor Kansas have such laws. That means that off-duty conduct can be used under as a basis for termination.

That said, if you apply for unemployment benefits, there is a fair chance you might be able to successfully win your UI appeal should you be denied for being terminated for cause. That is because the employer would carry the burden of proof to show that you intentionally, or through gross negligence, violated a workplace rule, standard, policy, etc. If your employer cannot prove that, then you would win your UI appeal. However, that does not change that the termination would have still be lawful.

If though you believe you fall within one of the exceptions I mentioned, then you should contact a local employment law attorney to discuss filing a wrongful termination suit for you.

Please let me know if you have any related follow up questions. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.