Can I take my former employer to court for unfair termination of my contract?

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Can I take my former employer to court for unfair termination of my contract?

My school had started an investigation due to a complaint being filed about my 2 co-workers having an affair. I was notified of the investigation on Tuesday, questioned on Wednesday, and let go on Thursday. I was never questioned by an employee of HR, I have yet to meet with anyone from HR, and the reason for my termination was “ethical” reasons. When I was questioned I was asked about the affair and told the person that I found out about it when the wife of one of my co-workers showed up to my door on Monday and started a yelling match. I have no past of misconduct or negative performance.

Asked on January 15, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, West Virginia

Answers:

Archibald J Thomas / Law Offices of Archibald J. Thomas, III, P.A. - Employee Rights Lawyers

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A breach of contract claim for a teacher in Florida can be pursued through an administrative process by requesting a hearing before the school board.  There are various laws that govern the right to request a hearing for teachers and administrators.  It is also possible to file a union grievance if you are a member of a bargaining unit.  Generally, there are relatively short time periods for electing either option.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you have a contract, including a union or collective bargaining agreement, you may only be terminated in accordance with its terms. Therefore, you may only be terminated for reasons allowed by the contract, and the employer has to follow any process set out in the contract for termination. Review the contract--if the employer violated it, you would seem to have a cause of action or claim against them, since contracts are legally enforceable.

If you do not have a contract, you may be terminated at any time, for essentially any reason which is not illegal discrimination (e.g. versus a race, religion, sex, disability, or age over 40) or is not illegal retaliation for having brought a protected claim (such as for overtime or abot discrimination).


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