What to do if I was accused of stealing and fired with no investigation?

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What to do if I was accused of stealing and fired with no investigation?

There is a cash drawer at the desk I sit at. There are multiple people that have access to this drawer and there are no locks on it. Money was thought to be removed, not even confirmed, from this cash box. The owner of the company fired me in front of other workers, humiliating me. I did not take this cash. At this point, I’m not worried about retaining my job as I am clearing my name. Is there anything legally that can be done?

Asked on December 12, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) Unless you have an employment contract protecting your employment in some way, you are an employee at will and may be fired at any time, for any reason, even an incorrect or unfair one. So it is very unlikely that you can do anything about termination, even if the employer did not investigate or had no hard evidence--he could still fire you.

2) However, if the employer stated in front of other people that you stole--and you did not--that may be defamation; defamation is the public making of untrue factual statements about a person to others, which statements would tend to damage that person's reputation--such as being accused of theft. If you believe you were defamed, you may be able to sue your employer; you should consult with a personal injury attorney.


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