What should I do if I am being forced out of my job because Imistakenly accused a customer of stealing?

Company suspended me with pay while they investigated the complaint. Company is giving me the option to resign and they are pushing that saying it would be better for me. Is that because they are afraid I will sue them?

Asked on August 30, 2011 New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First, do you have an employment contract? If you do, and it addresses investigations, discipline, or being terminated, then it's provisions  may be enforced, and the company can only take action against you in accordance with the contract.

However, if you don't have an employment contract, you are an employee at will, and an employee at will may be fired at any time, for any reason--even an unfair or mistaken one. So if you are an employee at will, you almost certainly can be fired, and your company most likely does *not* need to fear a lawsuit, since they would have the right to fire you.

Rather, this is probably for one of two reasons:

1) if you resign, you are not eligible for unemployment compensation (even if your employer asked you to resign), and so it won't affect their unemployment history or assessments;

2) internally, it may be easier for your supervisor (whomever is pushing the resignation) to have you resign, than go through whatever their paperwork and process is for termination.

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