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Ask Legalease Your Own Question
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 16379
Experience:  13 years experience in employment law, unions, contracts, workers comp law
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After 7 months of working company as a Supervisor here

Customer Question

after 7 months of working for a company as a Supervisor here in Newark, NJ without one disciplinary write up or any such problems, except for going to human resources a few months ago about a manager speaking bad to employees, today we had a very important party at the Prudential center and the same manager that i went to human resources on the first time who actually runs the kitchen did not make enough food for this very important party, so she decided to serve some 3 day old chicken to the people and as a Supervisor i did not agree with her because i was looking out for the companies interest i didnt want to take a chance on anyone of these important guess getting sick then the executive chef went along with it after i went to him and asked him to tell her that she could not serve that chicken to these people, i then again went to human resources about this issue, today that same human resources lady called me and said that i was being placed on suspension till further notice until they could figure out what to do with me because i did not want to serve old Chicken to this event, could i be fire for this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 2 years ago.
Hello there --
Unless you are a member of a labor union or service workers union which would give you some degree of protection from being terminated for invalid reasons, then you are what is legally called an "employee at will". What that means is that your employer has the right to terminate you for any reason or for no reason at all (they legally do not even have to give you a reason for the termination). However, if you have put in 7 months at this point, you are entitled to unemployment compensation benefits if you are terminated from your employment for a reason that was not your fault. What this means is that while the company has the right to terminate you for this if they choose to do so, they will still have to pay unemployment benefits once you apply because what you did was not insubordinate in any way -- it was just a matter of looking out for the health of people who were eating food being served by your company (you were trying to prevent illness). In order to collect the unemployment compensation benefits, you cannot let them talk you into "resigning" for your own good (a lot of companies will try to trick employees and get them to sign a resignation letter by telling the employee that it will look better in an employment record if they quit the job than if they were terminated -- and if you then give them a voluntary resignation letter, you will be cutting off your own access to unemployment benefits because to collect unemployment benefits, you generally cannot quit a job (you must be terminated)).
I am sorry to hear that you are being treated in this manner because of genuine concern you have over the health of persons visiting your company, but if they choose to terminate you then unless you can show that they were discriminating against you due to your race, gender, age (over 40), disability, religion or sexual orientation, then you have no legal recourse against the company except to file for and collect unemployment benefits so long as you do not sign a letter of resignation.
Please let me know if you have more questions. While I realize this is not the news you wanted to hear, it is better that I tell you the truth of the matter so you know which direction to take this in if you must make that choice. I ask that you please press a positive rating before leaving the website so I will be paid for my time. I am paid nothing unless you press a positive rating below. THANK YOU VERY MUCH