CanI be terminated without being able to give my side of the story?

I was a temp employee working for a company. One of the permanent employees and I had a disagreement. The permanent employee went to HR and lied about our disagreement. As a result I was terminated. My supervisor did not give me a chance to defend myself. Is that illegal?

Asked on July 26, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It's perfectly legal, unfortunately, as long as you neither had a contract of employment nor were discrminated against on the basis of a protected category. The problem is, without an employment agreement, you are an "employee at will." An employee at will may be terminated at any time, for any reason. If you do have an employment agreement and it address termination, it must be honored; otherwise, the employer does not have to let you tell your side of the story--or they could let you tell it and fire yoiu nonetheless.

The law does ban certain forms of employment discrimination, such as against a race, religion, sex, age over 40, or disability status. If you feel you were terminated for one of these reasons, you may have discrimination claim and should consult with an employment attorney.


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