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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19201
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I was accused of "cornering" an employee and discussing

Customer Question

I was accused of "cornering" an employee and discussing issues that made her feel "targeting and uncomfortable." This did not happen. I have been an employee with the organization for 17 years and have never had any of this type of issue. This will go in my employment file unless I contest it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Let me ask just a few questions here.

1. Do you have an employment contract stating that you can only be terminated for cause?

2. Does the employer have a strict employee disciplinary policy which outlines how items are to be placed in an employment file?

What actual questions do you have concerning these facts?

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I haven't hear back from you, so I'm going to post an answer without the information that I requested. Please feel free to use REPLY to ask follow up questions concerning these facts or to add additional facts for me to consider.

In employment law, if you do not have an employment contract that specifically states you can only be terminated for cause, your employment is "at will." Now, I know you did not mention termination, but this is important to understand because it tells what your employment status is, and that status controls your rights. At will employees have no contractual right to "due process" so then you have to look to company policies concerning any sort of right to due process before something in placed in your employment file.

In your state, and many states, the employment file is actually the property of the employer and not the employee, so the employer has the right to place in that file whatever they wish (even things which are not confirmed facts). It doesn't fall into "defamation of character" territory because it's their file....they can't lie to themselves if they want to. It only becomes a defamation issue if they broadcast that information to third parties (for example, prospective employers if you were looking for work down the road and this current employer told those potential employers falsehoods based on information in your employment file).

All you can really do, in a situation like this, is state the facts as you understand them in a rebuttal. Give as detailed an explanation as you can of what took place, what was said and what your purpose was in any action you did take.