Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
I hope this message finds you well, present circumstances excluded. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of employment law experience. It is a pleasure to assist you today.
Unless you had an employment contract, you are considered to be employed at will. In Oregon, and the rest of the U.S., when you are employed at will, you can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all. There are, however, a couple of exceptions to this general premise of employment at will. You cannot be terminated based on discrimination predicated on your age, race, gender or disability. You also cannot be terminated if this termination would violate public policy (you refuse to commit an illegal act at the direction of the employer and they terminate you).
So, where does that leave us with your situation? If you have evidence that this termination and the hearsay was rooted in discrimination, then you have the right to file a complaint with the EEOC. The EEOC will review your complaint and if it finds merit will allow you to sue in federal court for damages and attorney fees. Unfortunately, if there is no evidence of discrimination based on age, race, gender or disability, then you really do not have any recourse.
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