Can I sue my former employer?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue my former employer?

I was terminated a few days ago. I began working at the job 10 months ago. About 6 months later I began to hear rumors that my co-workers were complaining about me and talking slander behind my back. A month ago, I looked at a co-worker’s email account and saw the emails that she sent to our supervisor about me being lazy, among other things. I talked with my supervisor who said that she would talk to them. I still kept getting harassed from my co-workers and one of them resigned as she was moving. A week after she resigned, I sent her a letter from home to her using an envelope from work. I told her to burn and rot in hell in the letter. She went to the police and filed a complaint at our work with HR. The police called me and I lied to them at first but 2 days later I called them and told the truth that I had written and sent the letter. I apologized and the police called my co-worker and called me back and told me to never contact her again. I did not got any disorderly conduct citations. Well HR called me and I lied to them as well and 2 days later told them the truth. Then days after that, I received a called from my supervisor who said that I was being terminated and no longer allowed on the premises. Can my co-worker file a complaint on me through our work even though she already resigned and I wrote her a letter outside of work? Isn’t this a civil matter versus an employment matter? I was never written up for anything during my time there, so can they terminate me without ever giving me any written corrective action? Since I still have several hours of PTO, do they owe me that money?

Asked on October 3, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You have no claim for wrongful termination unless your treatment constituted some form of legally actionable discrimination or retaliation, or violated a union ageement or employment contract. Absent the foregoing, you were an "at will" worker which means that you could have been fired for any reason or no reason at all. That having been said, frankly the behavior that you exhibited would most likley have been reason to hve gotten you fired from most companies. As for any accrued vacation time that you have earned, when you leave you have to be paid for the time that you have earned.

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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