Hello again Minnie and thank you for your reply. As you correctly stated, Alabama is an employment "at will
" state. 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 also means that unless the employee's situation falls within one of the exceptions I mentioned the employer can terminate the employee even if the reason is unfair, inaccurate or otherwise misguided.
So, assuming that you were either still within your 90 probation,which is clearly "at will," or you were outside that period but your employer still followed the "at will" rules, then even if the words used as a reason for terminating you didn't sound accurate, you could still be let go. Your employer might differ with you as to whether or not refusal to work overtime is a performance issue, and that might be an issue for you to raise should you have to apply for unemployment benefits
. However, whether it was one reason or the other, it wouldn't matter under the "at will" rules.
One additional issue I wanted to address was the mandatory overtime. Unless an employee has a signed employment contract that contains all of the terms and conditions of employment, including hours of work, and it is for a specific term, the employer always has the right to mandate overtime, even if their initial information about the job underestimated or even stated no overtime.
If you believe that you were outside the 90 probationary period and you could find an employer policy that states employees may only be terminated for cause after that point, then you might have a wrongful termination
claim. Otherwise, there wouldn't be anything in the facts you provided that would support that position.
Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.