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LADYLAWYER
LADYLAWYER, Lawyer
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About 3 months ago, I found a sales mgr at the dealership I

Customer Question

About 3 months ago, I found a sales mgr at the dealership I worked for committing fraud.He said GM OK'd it . When we both went to GM and I stated that was fraud, the sales mgr said he would never commit fraud. At this time I presented a newspaper article that showed he had been indicted for mortgage fraud in Kansas City.Another emplyee had put in on my desk. I was warned to not tell anyone else by the GM and his regional boss.I was also told that I could quit if I wanted but the dealership had to have him to survive. Since then I have been contiually harrassed.On 11/23/10 I was fired because I sign "signature on file" on a product form for Safeguard which they said was ok. On an earlier occasiion another finance manager signed the customer's name and all he got was a write up. I've been with Autonation nearly 8 years and I've never had a written reprimand of any kind and I have always been one of their top producers. I was asked to leave and not even allowed to get my personal items
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 7 years ago.

Hello,

 

So they fired you from your job because of this?

Expert:  John Legal replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for asking Just Answer:

 

Tennessee is an employment "At-Will" state. Generally, this means that an employer may legally hire, fire, suspend or discipline any employee at any time and for any reason - good or bad - or for no reason at all. However, an employer may not discriminate against any employee on the basis of the employee's race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, or disability.

 

Your facts may fall under the Whistle Blower's Law: Under the Tennessee "WHISTLE BLOWER'S LAW", the employer may not take any reprisal against an employee who advises the employer that the business is in violation of a law and the employee either discloses, threatens to disclose, or testifies about the violation of law, or the employee objects to or refuses to participate in an employment act in violation of law. This law may be found at Tennessee Revised Statutes Title 50-1-304.

Please click Accept so that I receive credit for my response.



Edited by John Wills on 12/1/2009 at 1:08 AM EST
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 7 years ago.

Hi,

 

Sorry if there was any confusion with another expert jumping into the question. Apparently he did not see I was already helping you with this.

 

Tennessee protects employees who are discharged or terminated for refusing to participate in illegal activities or for speaking out about illegal activities. These claims are created under Tennessee common law and under a statute, the Tennessee Whistleblower Act, Tenn. Code § 50-1-304. See discussion in Guy v. Mut. of Omaha Ins. Co., 79 S.W.3d 528 (Tenn. 2002). Generally speaking, an employee must file such a claim with the appropriate court within one year of learning of the employer's decision to terminate employment. You may see the full TN statute here: http://www.peer.org/docs/tn/whistleblower_protection_law.pdf

 

Federal law has created other whistleblower claims, too. For example, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 creates an administrative complaint procedure and a federal civil cause of action designed to protect the employees of publicly traded companies who lawfully provide information or otherwise assist in an investigation regarding any conduct which the employee believes constitutes a violation of federal mail, wire, bank, or securities fraud statutes, any rule or regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or other provisions of federal law relating to fraud against shareholders. Sarbanes-Oxley prohibits publicly traded companies and their officers, employees, contractors, subcontractors and agents from discharging, demoting, suspending, threatening, harassing or in any other manner discriminating against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment because the employee engages in conduct protected by the Act.

 

It sounds to me as if you are afforded protections under both state and federal law. In would suggest you see a local labor/employment attorney ASAP in order to preserve your claim. You can find one here: www.martindale.com.

 

If you have any more questions, I will be happy to answer them. If you would like to accept my answer, make sure you do so in the top of my box so I can get credit for helping you. Thanks!