How doI know if I have grounds for a lawsuit for wrongful termination?

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How doI know if I have grounds for a lawsuit for wrongful termination?

I worked for a hotel chain for the past 12 1/2 years. Last month I was terminated from the company after being placed on a 60-day action plan. I was placed on the action plan because the GM and F&B Director said they were not happy with the way the hotel food and beverage operations were running. Prior to this I never had any issues with performance, in fact I received the Manager of the Year in the same hotel 2 years ago. I feel like I was forced out by the 2 because they began adding to my work load and were not willing to provide assistance that I requested.

Asked on September 30, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The key--possibly only--issue is whether you had an employment contract. If you do, you may only be terminated in accordance with its terms, and if you either were not terminated in compliance with the contract, or if you allegedly were, but you believe that the facts were false and the contract otherwise not complied with, you may bring a lawsuit for damages (i.e. backwages and front wages for some period).

However, if you didn't have an employment contract, you are almost certainly an employee at will. An employee at will may be fired at any time, for any reason, even bad, unfair, or incorrect ones, and prior performance evaluations, etc. do not matter. It may be that they cooked up false evaluations of you, placed you on an unneeded and unjustified action plan, etc. to satisfy internal corporate politics or policies, but those are generally not legally enforceable. If you were an employee at will, your suprevisor could have legally fired you at any time. Also, a supervisor or employer is under no obligation to provide support, and may increase an employee's workload to impractical, or even impossible, levels.


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