Do I have a strong claim to sue my employer regarding the threat of termination?

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Do I have a strong claim to sue my employer regarding the threat of termination?

My employer fired me 2 days ago because of my personal issues with another employee which did not affect my work performance at all. The issue was about cellphone. The other employee left my plan with an unpaid balance so I borrowed his phone at work without turned it back until he paid my bill. Then HR said that I violated the code of respect, so if I refuse to give the phone back they fire me ASAP. Cellphones are not authorized in the building by company policy, so they shouldn’t been involved in whatever happen to a cellphone. Do they have the right to terminate me for that? What papers can I asked them after my departure? Do I have a strong argument to sue them?

Asked on April 21, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The issue here is not regarding a cellphone per se but rather the breach of company policy. Accordingly, your employer could fire you for this. In fact, in an "at will" work relationship, a company can terminate an employee for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. Therefore, unless your treatment constituted some form of legally actionable discrimination (which you did not indicate) or violated the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, it was perfectly permissable under the law. Bottom line, you appear to have no claim here.


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