Can I sue for wrongful termination?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue for wrongful termination?

My employer terminated me for the cause of ‘job abandonment’ but I did not abandon my job. From 03/06 to 04/03, I missed work to due illness and the sudden illness and death of my mother on 03/07. I maintain continuous communication with my employer and have documentation to support this. I was a federal contract employee through a private employer. We had even agreed to new terms for an extension of my contract on 03/28. I returned to work on 04/03 as agreed and was terminated by email on 04/06.

Asked on April 24, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Did you cover your absence with PTO (sick days or vacation time)? Were you eligible and did you properly file for leave under the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act)? Did your termination violate the terms of an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement? If not, then I'm afraid that your dismissal was legal. This is true even though you kept in contact and communicated your situtation to your employer. The fact is that most employment is "at will". The fact is that in such a relationship, an employer can set the condtitons of work much as it sees fit (absent some form of actionable discrimination). This means that an employer can terminate a worker for any reason or no reason at all.

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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