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Fired Because "My Boss" Had Health Issues!!

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#1 Annie2013


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:09 PM

Until last month I was working at a great company and had been employed there for almost 5 years. I was ready to move on to another company because my employers was not able to give me a raise (5 years - no raise). I put my resume "out there" and was approached by a reputable company that offered me more pay immediately. I interviewed and they offered me the position. I gave notice to my employer. I started this new job and during my 2nd week of employment - with absolutely no warning at all - my boss approached me and said "we decided, you are not a good fit". That is the only explanation she gave me. Before my meeting with her, she had met with a co-worker behind closed doors and I am sure they discussed "me". This co-worker and I had a couple of "discussions" while the boss was out of town the work before. This co-worker got so upset because of such small things -- me, parking in the wrong spot, me, and the way I answered the phones, etc. I figured this co-worker must have "thrown me under the bus". But I have found out since then (still not sure if this is why she fired me) that the boss was given some awful health news about herself (this happened the day before she fired me) and she told someone that she would be out of pocket (chemo, maybe) and would not be there to train me, since I was new. So she wanted someone that she didn't have to train. She hired me knowing that I was giving up my job which gave me a weekly paycheck. Now, I have nothing. Technically, I still don't know the real reason that I lost my job. Any ideas? Seems like wrongful termination to me. Thanks.

#2 Tax_Counsel


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Posted 21 February 2013 - 02:25 AM

Not wrongful termination as that term is used in employment law. When the employer is not a government agency, then the employer may legally fire you for any reason (or no reason at all) except for a few reasons prohibited by law. The employer doesn’t need a good reason to fire you. It just cannot be one of the prohibited reasons. The prohibited reasons include firing you because:
• of your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic test information under federal law (some states/localities add a few more categories like sexual orientation);
• you make certain kinds of reports about the employer to the government or in limited circumstances to specified persons in the employing company itself (known as whistle-blower protection laws);
• you participate in union organizing activities;
• you use a right or benefit the law guarantees you (e.g. using leave under FMLA);
• you filed a bankruptcy petition;
• your pay was garnished by a single creditor or by the IRS; and
• you took time off work to attend jury duty (in most states).

So, unless the reason was something like the things I listed above, it’s not wrongful termination. You might see an employment law attorney anyway to review all the details of what happened. Maybe some contract related argument, like detrimental reliance, might work. All the facts, and which state’s law applies, matter here. In my state, just based on the facts here, I don’t see any really good claim here. Sometimes, unexpected things happen (like the boss suddenly becoming ill) that changes things and you end up unemployed. You may certainly file for unemployment benefits if nothing else.

#3 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:49 AM

You may want to visit the Employment Law Center and read Losing a Job as a good resource to learn more about your rights as an employee.

#4 Fallen


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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:49 AM

I'm afraid you haven't said anything to indicate wrongful termination in a legal sense. I'd file for unemployment benefits and check with former employer about getting your job back (unemployment claim will go on the former employer's record because you hadn't been at the most recent employer for sufficient time).

I can't imagine why the boss would have to train you vs. someone else helping out while she's ill, so both reasons sound silly (not fit or the boss not wanting to hear the co-worker bitch and complain about you). Doesn't make it unlawful, however.

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)

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