Can I be fired on accusationswith no proof?

UPDATED: Aug 20, 2011

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Can I be fired on accusationswith no proof?

I am the laundry supervisor and a large hotel. I work closely with the housekeeping staff and was asked by some of the housekeepers to open doors and check if rooms were empty so they could clean them. I unlocked 3 doors, poked my head in, never entered the rooms and told the ladies the rooms were empty. Tip money was missing from the rooms and I was fired. Nothing in the termination papers said I took the money just that my key opened the doors. I had been employed for 2 years prior to this incident and have an excellent work record. Can a lawyer get me my vacation pay and pay for the time I was suspended?

Asked on August 20, 2011 Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) If you did not have an employment contract, you were an employee at will. An employee at will may be fired at any time, for any reason. So you may in fact be fired on accusations with no proof, since no evidence, cause, etc. is actually required to terminate you, unfortunately.

Note that if you had a contract or employment agreement, including union or collective bargaining agreement, it's terms in regard to termination, discipline, etc. should be honored.

2) It's doubtful you can get pay for the time you were suspended if you were an employee at will; they may not only be  terminated at will, but may also be disciplined or suspended at will.

3) As to vacation pay on your termination, PA itself does  not require it. If the policy of your employer is to pay vacation pay on termination, then it must do so--it has to be even-handed and can't exclude you while paying others. But if it's policy is to not pay vacation pay on termination, it does have to do so.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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