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Ask Tina Your Own Question
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 8184
Experience:  JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
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I have no paperwork and never received an employee handbook.

Customer Question

I have no paperwork and never received an employee handbook. I was fired, well at 7:40 am while getting dressed for my first day, my supervisor called me and told me not to come in today there was a problem with my paperwork and she would call me in back in a few hours when she got it straighted out. After a few hours of no contact, I called her and left a message simply stating if she had any questions for me that maybe could be of help solving the "paperwork" issue. At 5:50 p.m. after I called and left another message saying since I haven't heard from her I'm going to assume all is well and would be at work the next day did she leave me an email saying the company is going to go in a "different direction" and my services were no longer needed. This company was just a simple switch of property management companies, she knew everything to know as I started on the property December 1st, 2015 and filled out my new hire paperwork December 10th and officially accepted a contract on December 17th. Then the company even pulled a "hard inquiry" on my credit lowering my score 47 points while I'm trying to close on a home. I was never even given a chance to work for her or this company and I excelled at the company pervious so I was dumbfounded at how I would be terminated. Then as I stepped foot in the office almost a month later to look over my new hire paperwork I saw my replacement, I surpassed her in every way except one, I wasn't bilingual and everyone in the office always had been. Upon my initial hire to that property I was led to believe this was a long term job, and at that time the transfer of management was already common knowledge. I received my offer and accepted (my contract) and never looked back.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon. I am Loren, a licensed attorney and I look forward to answering your question.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Do you have a written employment agreement requiring cause for termination?

Do you believe you were treated differently than other employees due to your race, religion, ethnicity, etc.?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, I have nothing saying that they have to give me a reason for termination, but don't they have to let you give them a reason?No, I believe I was treated differently only in the fact that the supervisor is best friends with a former co-worker whom couldn't get along with me or anyone in fact. I just have the email stating my employment and wages.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information. I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Without a written employment contract requiring cause for termination, you are, in all likelihood, an at-will employee. As such, you serve at the whim of your employer. They can change your duties, compensation, schedule or even terminate for any reason or no reason at all.

The only exception is that any action taken against you may not be motivated by illegal discrimination (race, religion, disability, ethnicity, etc.) or sexual harassment.

If, upon further deliberation you think that may apply to your situation then you need to make a complaint to the EEOC as soon as possible.

Otherwise, without a claim, as described above, the courts view this as office politics and offer no judicial or administrative remedy. In other words, you would need to seek recourse within the HR department.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive. Also, please remember that this is not necessarily a moral judgement on my part. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What about breach of implied covenant and fair dealing? I was fired before I even had a first day.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I lost unemployment benefits that I would of received had they not hired me.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
you can get fired before you step in the door before they see your face?
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately, there is no legal obligation to start you if you are an at-will employee. An at-will employee may be terminated at any time and for any reason, or no reason.

I am sorry, there is no legal claim to assert.

You should still qualify for unemployment if you were otherwise eligible before you accepted this position.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

If, upon further reflection, you believe you were terminated due to your race, religion, ethnicity, etc, you can file a claim with the EEOC.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
breach of implied covenant and fair dealing doesn't apply? And no because I was hired I do not qualify for unemployment benefits from my previous company. And I could lose the acceptance of my approval on my home due to their hard inquiry on my credit.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Correct, there is no breach of implied covenant or fair dealing for an at will employee.

If you were qualified for unemployment based upon prior earnings in the last 4 quarters then check again, because you are likely still eligible under the same qualification since you never started the new job due to being terminated before starting.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry. I realize this is difficult for you, but at will employees are really serving at the whim of the employer. A termination for any reason other than sexual harassment or membership in a protected class is viewed as office politics by the court.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What exactly wouldn't make me an at will employee if she gave me a list of reasons I would get fired?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She can not even give me a clear answer on why I was terminated it changed three times already.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
its not against the law to drop my credit score?
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

You are not an at will employee if you have a written employment agreement for a specified time period requiring cause for termination.

The employer is not legally required to give a reason for termination, unless there is an allegation of wrongful termination due to a civil rights violation.

They would have to have had your permission to make an inquiry on your credit. If a hard inquiry occurred without your permission, check your credit reports to see the full details of the inquiry and determine if you should attempt to dispute it with the reporting agency.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Are you still online with me?

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Did you have further questions? Have I answered your question?