Can I sue my ex-employer for an unjustly terminating me and denying me unemployment?

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Can I sue my ex-employer for an unjustly terminating me and denying me unemployment?

I was written-up for the first time in 16 months for insurbordination, which was unjust Then a week later fired, this was clearly retaliation from the so-called insurbordination, which was me asking a supervisor a question

Asked on December 11, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you had no written employment contract, you were an employee at will and could be fired at any time, for any reason, even if you believe it unjust. Therefore, unless you can show that you were fired due to specifically illegal discrimination--that is, due to your race, religion, age over 40, disability, or sex--your termination was not legally wrongful and you would have no cause of action.

You can appeal the denial of your unemployment, on the grounds that what you did was not "insubordination" and therefore you were not fired for cause. But you may not sue unless you can show not merely that your employer was wrong, but that they knowingly lied about you--that is, they knew the claim that you were insubordinate was a lie when they told it to the  unemployment office, and not merely that there were mistaken. If they lied, you may have a defamation lawsuit.


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