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I was suspended by Wal Mart and they said I am likely going…

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I was suspended by Wal...
I was suspended by Wal Mart and they said I am likely going to be terminated, because a fellow associate cursed at me and got in my face, so I cursed back. I was first terminated, then the store manager chose to suspend me until he investigates the situation. What should I do? I was being verbally attacked by this individual and her best friend Wal mart. I was suspended before I could even tell my side of the story.
Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
11/26/2017
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 6 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12,251
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I would like you to tell me my best options for my situation
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Great, thank you! Bear with me a moment while I review…

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Alright please help me.
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

So, generally, the employer is required to protect you from harassment if it is based on your sex, age, gender, race, disability, religious affiliation, etc. They aren't required to protect you from fellow associates yelling at you or cursing at you at all. Thus, your rights in terms of discrimination or harassment in this case are limited unless you can show that the store knew or should have known this was occurring and chose to do nothing. This means you may have to turn your attention to another area of the law.

This appears to be a violation of the implied covenant (promise) of good faith and fair dealing. Under the Uniform Commercial Code Section 1-304, every contract comes with implied promises from both parties that they are going to be acting fairly toward one another. The failure of one party to act fairly toward other can result in a breach of contract. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract. It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. If this doesn’t work, sadly, the only other option is to either go through an informal mediation or file a lawsuit in your local court. This website is also pretty cool because they have some state-specific breach of contract forms that you can use as well. Click here to choose your state started.

You may want to send this to your HR team if they decide to terminate you without hearing your side of the story. What other questions did you have for me?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
If the only witnesses are me and the person involved and her best friend what does that mean for my situation? If they like about something, how am I going to get my employer to go against the word of two people over 1 person
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
If they lie about anything I am outnumbered 2 to 1 in this situation
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

If the only witnesses are adverse to you, that may make it more difficult to prove that you shouldn't be fired at all. I would probably recommend that you look at the grounds for termination, if any, in your employment agreement. Most of the time, an employer can get rid of an employee for any reason or no reason at all, so even if they weren't telling the truth about what happened, Wal-Mart could still decide to terminate you. Your rights are kind of limited in this situation because Wal-Mart only has to make a decision that benefits them and not you, which is highly unfortunate. My recommendation is to go through the entire process tonight and write down what happened. This way, you can have the facts in your mind and if their account differs from yours, someone from HR may be able to investigate to find out who is telling the truth.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
If the only other people who even heard bits and pieces of the argument have said they didn't hear much, how can I combat what they say in my defense?
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

The best thing to do is to grab a witness or even if there is security camera footage to support your case. Otherwise, you'll have to try to be as compelling and persuasive as you can be to help support yourself. People who go to court often have the same issues if they are light on evidence. But don't underestimate the usefulness of behaving and presenting yourself in a credible manner. These people are generally trained to spot liars and to determine whether the company is at risk for doing something illegal, thus, if you get down what happened on paper now, your story will stay consistent and you will stay more credible throughout the process. Did you have any other questions I could answer for you today?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
With few witnesses for both sides, is this basically a case of he said she said and me being in a situation where I can't win?
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Well, whether you win or not depends on how good your witnesses are and how believable your side of the story is. It's easy to default to the worst case scenario, but that's not always the best thing to do in this situation. Many times, if you are on the right side of what happened, then your story will be more believable than you think. Just put yourself in the shoes of the HR team and you'll be able to help them discover what they're looking for: the truth.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
If the cursing was a big issue for them, then if we both cursed are they right to just pick me to suspend or fire?
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

They probably aren't acting in good faith for terminating you for that. That would go back to that implied promise they're going to act in good faith in dealing with their employees and it could subject them to liability. keep that in your back pocket for the future is my suggestion.

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