Can an employer terminate you then submit your termination as a retirement

I was told on March 1, 2017 I was terminated after an investigation. I wasn’t
given any results of the investigation. Two weeks later paperwork came in the
mail stating that I retired from the company even though I did not retire. My
question is this legal for an employer to do this. It appears that their findings
could not justify termination so they basically stated I retired

Asked on September 14, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It depends what they do with this information. If they are trying to deprive you of some benefit you would otherwise get (e.g. unemployment) by claiming that a termination was  a resignation, that is illegal. Or if they are trying to get around some job protections in a written employment (including union) contract by lying about the situation, that is illegal, too.
But if there is no impact from this--i.e. you are not being deprived of anything--it does not matter and there is no action to take. For their own internal purposes, they can consider that you resigned, just as for their own internal purposes, they could consider that you were laid off, terminated, or even simply disappeared without a trace; it's only if it has some impact on you that this matters. You can't control, and have no legally recognized interest in, their opinion except inasumch and if it actually affects your rights.
Note that if you did not have a written employment contract which only let you be terminated for certain reasons, you were an employee at will and could be terminated at any time, for any reason, without cause; there is no need to "justify" the termination of an employee at will, because an employee at will has no rights to his or her job.

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