Do I have a wrongful termination case?

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Do I have a wrongful termination case?

Worked at a company for 25 successful years. Took a promotion to a different division and less than a month into the job realized it was a hostile work environment (although not in the legal sense) with very little training, no or nasty direction and zero mentoring. 53 days into the job I was put on probation becauseI wasn’t productive enough – no more specific than that. First 30-day review I was told I was overthinking things and I just needed to get things done. Second 30-day review was told I wasn’t seeing the big picture and was just doing things transitionally. So we agreed with HR to look for another job within the company. Wasn’t allowed to interview for a position in my old group because it was a 2 grade level jump. Was allowed to interview for a position outside my area of expertise at a 5 grade level demotion. Job was not offered to me. Now 3 days after they have fired me. I believe they are going to rehire the person who had the job before me and left for another opportunity. I know this person kept in contact with my old manager – which isn’t a crime – but I believe they worked in cahoots to make it miserable for me believing I would quit and when I didn’t she fired me so the old person could have her job back. Do I have a case?

Asked on June 12, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you probably don't havve a case. Companies don't have to be fair to employees; for example, it's perfectly legal for a manager to fire person A because he or she would like to hire person B; similarly, the manager can try to make A miserable so A will leave or mess up at work. In the same vein, a company  does not generally have to allow a person to switch jobs, transfer, etc.

If you were discriminated against on the basis of a protected category--e.g. because of your race, religion, sex, age over 40, or disability--then you may have a cause of action. Or if there was some employment contract or agreement protecting your jobs or setting forth grounds or process for termination, that  can be enforced. Otherwise, though, you probably do not have a claim, though you may wish to consult with an employment attorney who can evalute your specific case in detail for you.


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