What are my rights I was fired from my job for alleged lateness during my scheduled shifts?

There is nothing in the employee handbook about tardiness or what would constitute being late. Also, there is no schedule to show I was late on certain days because the schedule had been changed verbally and never documented. I was never written up or even given any type of disciplinary action taken against me during my employment. Due to this I won an unemployment claim against them. Additionally, during my firing it was at a manager’s meeting in front of the other managers and in a open public space with customers within ear shot. Do I have any grounds to sue for compensation or my job back on grounds of improper termination and on grounds of what humiliation I went through?

Asked on July 16, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

First of all, did you sign any type of employment contract that prohibits your firing under these circumstances? Are you a member of a union that gives you protection against this type of discharge? Were you singled out for this treatment when others have not been (i.e. were you discriminated against in some way based on your gender, race, religion, etc)? If not, then the fact is that your treatment was legal. In an "at-will" employment relationship, an employer can hire or fire and genrerally impose work requirements as it sees fit. Therefore, your employer could have fired you due to your tradiness (or for no reason at all). Further, there is no legal requirment that an employee receive their termination notice in private. So unless your employer defamed in you in some way, while the circumstances of your discharge may have been unprofessional, there were lawful.

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