Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Good morning. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you.
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.?
Thank you for the additional information. I am sorry to hear of your dilemma.
You may have a claim for defamation for telling people you were a thief.
Actually, you would start with a cease and desist letter to anyone making these false accusations.If this does not get a retraction, you will need to file suit for defamation. This cause of action is specifically for damage caused to one's reputation. To establish a prima facie case of defamation, four elements are generally required:1. a false statement purporting to be fact concerning another person or entity;2. publication or communication of that statement to a third person;3. fault on the part of the person making the statement amounting to intent or at least negligence; and,
4. some harm caused to the person or entity who is the subject of the statement.
This involves complex litigation and it is strongly advised that you retain local counsel to assist you in protecting your rights before taking any action in this matter.If you need assistance in finding an attorney, contact your state or local bar association. You can also try Martindale Hubble. Many attorneys themselves use this site to locate attorneys outside their jurisdiction or expertise:http://www.martindale.com/Find-Lawyers-and-Law-Firms.aspxIt is a huge worldwide database of attorneys searchable by location and specialty.
Unfortunately, I do not see a claim for wrongful termination. 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.
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