If my employer terminated my job saying I served a minor alcohol over a year ago, can they legally terminate me so far after the fact?

The minor was a friend of mine and several other employees. This individual was served by many other employees as well. No one knew he was a minor. Can I collect unemployment?

Asked on March 2, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

1) If you do not have an employment contract of some kind, you are an employee at will. An employee at will may be terminated at any time, for any reason--including a year or more after the alleged violation or incident.

2) If the employer chooses to contest your application for unemployment, on the grounds it was termination for cause (e.g. for violating the law about drinking age; for violating their policy on serving minors), then you may not be able to get unemployment compensation. It depends on whether they choose to characterize this as a "for cause" termination or not.

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