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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20227
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I was recently fired from a job for being accused of altering

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I was recently fired from a job for being accused of altering a Plant Permit (legal Binding document). I told my supervisor and foreman that I did not alter the plant document in any way shape or form. They asked everyone in my crew did they see me alter the document and everyone gave them the same answer. As far as I know, the hole watcher on the job was the one that accused me of altering the document. I was brought to the office along with one other co worker and was given the option to either get the job done or go home. We both said we didn't have a problem with getting the job done and that we didn't know who altered the documented. All this happened around 9:45 am and towards the end of the work day at 4:00 pm I am being brought to the office once again. They asked me the question again and I told them I did not alter the permit. they informed me that they had witness statements against me for alter the document. When I asked who the witnesses were and to see the statements, they told me that information could not be shared with me and chose to terminate me from the job site. My question is: Was that the correct procedure to take or should I have been given the option to write a statement aswell and have co workers in the area write a statement?

Thank you for the information and your question. Can you tell me if you are in a union or if your company's written policies gave you the right to access to your records and complaints against you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

not in a union and as far as the company policies I am unaware of the rights. the company is called Brock Services Scaffolding in Baton Rouge, LA

Hello again and thank you for that information. Although I would agree that what your employer did was not the best management practice and arguably unfair, they did not violate a law by not allowing you access to the statements or a chance to write a statement or rebuttal. Some states do give employees the right to access to anything in their personnel file (which this information would have to be a part of) and to write rebuttals to go into their personnel files, but Louisiana is not one of those states.

In addition, as you may know, Louisiana 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. So, unless your situation falls within one of those exceptions, your employer could let you go even if the reason was misguided and unfair.

All that said, if this employer tells a prospective employer that you change this form, and that is not true, you can file a defamation of character action against them. In addition, if you need to file or unemployment benefits, even if the employer does dispute your eligibility based on this alleged misconduct and you are initially denied, you should file an appeal. Upon appeal, you can actually as the Hearing Office to subpoena your personnel file and the statements for you so that you can prepare for your appeal. Upon appeal, the employer carries the burden of proof to show that you did what they said you did. If they can't prove that to the Hearing Officer, you will get your UI benefits.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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