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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13643
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I was an employee at Verizon wireless for 6 years. I was

Customer Question

I was an employee at Verizon wireless for 6 years. I was fired in june of this year for being falsely accused for stealing items from the lunch cafeteria for 6 weeks. I asmed
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: I was accused without any hard evidence. It was from word of mouth. I was suspended with pay so they conduct there investigation. I adamantly asked for hard evidence such as camera footage. None was provided. And additionally the worker said she observed me for 6 weeks. My response was if you ever had s suspicion the worker could have asked me on the soot to clear the air. I was told i intimidated myself because i asked for surveillance video to prove what they are saying. None was i feel lije i was wrongfully terminated as well as a defamation if character....i am in Tennessee.
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: Full time
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: At will full time
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you.

Unfortunately, as an at will employee, you can be terminated for any time, for any reason, with or without cause. An employee can be terminated because of a false accusation or because it's raining too hard outside. The employer needs no reason. The law only provides protection in cases where an employee was terminated because of an illegal reason -because of their race, religion, age (over 40), sex, disability or national origin. It is also unlawful to terminate an employee for public policy reasons (e.g., because they had jury duty, or for filing a safety complaint with OSHA). So, even though what happened to you was unfair, based on these limited facts, it is legal.

You potentially do have a claim against the employee who made the false theft accusations for defamation. Defamation involves the intentional or negligent making of a false statement or statements by the defendant about the plaintiff to a third party (in this case, to your boss/HR) which results in damages to the plaintiff (the loss of your job).

That said, litigation cases can be very expensive. Typically attorneys that represent plaintiffs in defamation cases do so on a contingency basis, meaning you only pay a fee if you win -they take a percentage -normally at least 25%. But that also means that lawyers are often looking for bigger cases that warrant running up the heavy costs of litigation. A lawyer can evaluate your case and give you an idea of what it might cost and what you might expect if successful. Most cases do settle out of court, through mediation or arbitration. Even if successful though, keep in mind all you get is a judgment that a defendant has to pay. Often that's the easiest part. Actually then getting a defendant to pay you can take even more time and money and in many instances, isn't successful.

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Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 11 months ago.

Was there anything I could clarify for you about my answer, or did you need any additional information about this question? My goal is to provide you with 5 star service, so if I haven't done so, please let me know how I can help you further!