What to do if my company is trying to terminate me under policy violation that was given by the store manager?

The company told the staff that I was terminated before they ever spoke with me. I found out when I turned in my letter of reginsation today. They also cut my hours down to 25 hours before they supspened me and I am a full-time employee. I over heard a conversation with my dm and store manager saying that i make to much money and that they could not afford me any longer. They are trying to elminate my position through LP so that they do not have to pay a severance package or unemployment. If I get fired for LP, I can never work retail again and that is my chosen profession. Can they do that?

Asked on January 16, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you do  not have an employment contract, you are an employee at will; an employee at will may be terminated at any time, for any reason. (Or could have his/her hours cut, even if he/she was considered a "full-time" employee.) There is also no law against telling other employees of a termination before the terminated employee. What you write about, therefore, appears to be legal.

Note that if the store claims you were fired for LP and you believe that is not true, if they tell anyone that, you may have a claim or case against them for defamation--for making an untrue statement of fact about you to third parties. Also, there is no central datebase or repository of the reasons why people were terminated, so it is not a given that this would come up in the first place on seeking new employment.

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