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Can an employer fire an employee for stealing with out

Customer Question
Can an employer fire...

Can an employer fire an employee for stealing with out proving the employee actually stole the money.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Ark

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

At will

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Employer accused employee in writing

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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12/14/2017
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,105
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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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Thank you very much for your patience on this. Unfortunately, an employer in AR can terminate an employee at any time and for any reason at all. The only exceptions are if there is some contractual agreement that prohibits the employer from doing so or if the employer terminates the employee on the basis of some protected class like race, age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. In your case, the employer may be able to fire the employee for stealing without actually having any proof that the money was stolen.

Your best bet for any recourse would be to maybe sue in small claims and argue that this appears to be a violation of the implied covenant (promise) of good faith and fair dealing because they did not conduct a thorough enough investigation to make the determination of theft. 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 you can just purchase, download, and go. Click here to get started.

What other questions did you have for me today?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
what about slander
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

It is possible, but only if they meet the elements of slander (which is just defamation that is spoken out loud). Defamation is basically a false and defamatory statement, published to a third party, that causes harm (usually a lessened reputation in the community, lost business opportunity, or other harms as the facts dictate.)

Although I don't know the full extent of what was the supposed defamatory statement, run the alleged statements through that analysis to see if it fits.

If it does, then the other party may have some defenses. Here are the typical defenses in a defamation case:

(1) Legislative Privilege - Meaning the statement was made in a legislative proceeding

(2) Judicial Privilege - any participant in a judicial proceeding the absolute privilege to utter defamatory statements

(3) Executive Privilege - privilege affords an absolute privilege to high ranking executive officers of state and federal governments when acting within the scope of their discretionary duties

(4) Domestic Privilege - affords a spouse the absolute privilege to make defamatory statements about a third person to their spouse.

(5) Truth - if the statements you made were true, then this is a defense as well

(6) Opinion - courts have ruled that the opinion defense is one where if you provide your opinion, then a defamation charge will not stand.

So, as you can see, it depends almost entirely on whether the employer told anyone about this and if it is untrue. If that is the case, then none of those defenses would apply.

What other questions did you have for me today?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
the appeal was in open session and recorded in a city counsel meeting
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Yikes. I'm veyr sorry to hear about that. If that is the case, then it is likely that there is going to be some liability here for defamation in my legal opinion.

You may want to consider just writing a formal demand letter to the former employer advising them that they either need to retract the statement or pay your damages. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for a demand letter (click here). It only costs $10 and it is way cheaper than litigation.

What other questions did you have for me?

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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Hello, it’s been awhile since we connected so I wanted to check in with you to see if you had any further before you rated. If you have any other questions or if there is anything else I can assist you with today. Please reply here and let me know.

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