What can I do if I was fired for allegations of theft and it’s effecting my future employment opportunities?

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What can I do if I was fired for allegations of theft and it’s effecting my future employment opportunities?

I was fired for an allegation of theft from a restaurant I worked at years ago. Coincidentally, I had told the manager that I was pregnant a week prior. Multiple investigations have been done, including one by the unemployment office, and every one has deemed these allegations complete bogus. I recently found employment with an urgent care center. After working there for 3 weeks the owner caught wind of the rumor that I stole money from my previous employer and called me on it. The restaurant owner proceeded to give me a very bad reputation. I was fired. How can I do something about this?

Asked on March 27, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Defamation is the public making (which means to any third parties--such as potential employers) of untrue factual statements which damage a person's reputation and/or cause others to not work with/do business with him or her. If the allegation of theft is untrue, it may be that the former employer has defamed you and you might have a cause of action.

Also, if you feel you were fired from that other job for being pregnant, you may have a wrongful termination or illegal employment discrimination claim: federal law prohibits employers from discriminating aginst women due to pregnancy.

 A critical factor will be how long ago these acts occured; the "statute of limitations" bars lawsuits for things that occured too many years ago. You should consult with an attorney right away (many provide a free initial consultation; you can ask the attorney if he/she does, before speaking with him or her) to evaluate whether you have any legal claims and your options. Good luck.


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