Can I sue my employer for wrongful termination due to a policy I did not have no knowledge of?

UPDATED: Aug 24, 2011

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Can I sue my employer for wrongful termination due to a policy I did not have no knowledge of?

I was never issued an employee handbook. I never signed the paper stating that I understand the contents of the handbook.

Asked on August 24, 2011 Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you probably do not have a wrongful termination claim. The problem is, almost no termination is actually wrongful. For example, if you do not have an employment contract (including a union agreement covering you), then you are an employee at will. An employee at will may be fired at any time, for any reason--including for violations of policies which the employee did not know, or even just because the employer didn't like him or her. The only real limitations on firing an employee at will are:

1) No termination because of the employee's race, sex, religion, age over 40, disability, etc.

2) No termination to retaliate for the employee having used a protected benefit (like FMLA leave) or for having brought a protected claim (like an overtime or a discrimination claim).

Other than that, though, if you don't have a contract, your employer can probably terminate you at will.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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