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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19223
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I have been employed with a non-profit organization from just

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I have been employed with a non-profit organization from just over 11 years as a Executive Director. Four months ago I did not agree with a directive from the Board President (BP) to cut office wages by 25% per month, the BP then had a total screaming and degrading flip-out. Since that time I was being harassed, had a gag order put in place, was not allowed to attend meeting where my character and job performance was being discussed with other board members were in attendance. I was then told without a warning that I had a choice to either resign or be fired. It was effective immediate. I was not given a reason for termination and had given my all to the organization and am well known throughout the community as the builder of a great program. If feel that I was not given due process in the termination of my job. Do I have any rights for recourse?
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I look forward to assisting you today. I bring nearly 20 years of experience in various legal disciplines.

Did you have an employment contract stating that you could only be terminated for cause?

If you have no such contract, what is it that you believe gives you the right to due process before termination? A company policy or handbook?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No contract, just 11+ years of very dedicated service resulting in organization growth. I have done nothing to deserve termination, it was a witch hunt by one person with the power to other board members to believe her allegations.


No statement to the fact in company policy or handbook. I believe that it was gone about in a very unethical manor. It has been an emotional nightmare for me.


First, let me say that I'm sorry that you've had to go through this situation. It certainly is unfortunate and unfair. Unfortunately, I can't give you good news here.

Due process is a very specific legal concept. It typically only applies to situations where the government is trying to take something away from you. This is why people with government jobs are permitted due process of law before termination. People that are having property or their freedom taken from them by the government are also entitled to due process.

But that entitlement doesn't extend to private employment unless there are specific provisions in place to make due process required. Most employment in this country is "at will." That means that it can legally be terminated at any time, with or without warning or due process. It can be terminated with or without cause.

For a person to be entitled to due process prior to termination, they would need a contract of employment stating that they can only be terminated for cause or they would need some sort of strict company handbook or policy requiring due process before termination.

Otherwise, no length of good service can create a due process requirement. No reason (aside from very specific discriminatory reasons based on race, religion, gender, age, disability or FMLA use) would be considered illegal.

In this situation, without a contract, handbook or company policy, the employer doesn't legally have to prove that you deserved termination. They simply had to not make their decision based on one of the few illegal reasons I mentioned above.

On the facts you've given here, the decision was undoubtedly unethical and unfair, but that facts don't support this being an illegal termination.
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