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I worked at will for my employer, where rules were implied about drinking on company time. I was out to lunch and ordered drink for my husband but a bar consultant bar was there. I was called into the office and fired for being seen with a drink. I explained that was for husband and I just sipped spilled foam and that I had no idea about the drinking policy. However, I was told that I was fired for being under the influence. Originally I was denied 6 weeks unemployment but that ruling was overturned stating that no breathalyzer was taken. Do I have a case for wrongful termination after 19 years of employment? I had been written up a week prior for someone in another building saying that I called him a loser, which I did, but that was before clocking in.

Asked on April 3, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless your discharge violated the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, you have no claim here. In an "at will" work relationship, absent some form of legally actionable discrimination, an employee can be discharged for any reason or no reason at all. Therefore, while you were fired for no cause so you were eligible for unemployment benefits, you have no claim for unlawful termination.


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