I was fired for insubordination but there’s no proof, is it lawful?

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I was fired for insubordination but there’s no proof, is it lawful?

I was fired and on the termination papers it said “insubordinate”. When my manager fired me there was no one in the office for a witness. Our policy said 3 write-ups for the same thing and then a termination. I was written up and fired. I was flabbergasted. I ask for the real reason I was being fired and no one had an answer is this right?

 

Asked on February 10, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

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, or even no reason, and there is no obligation to explain why.

If you had an explicit contract, it's terms on this subject will control.

You way there was a policy regarding insubordination. If so, that MAY be taken to create an implied contract. If the policy was clearly set forth and was something you and other employees were aware of; if there were no "weasal words" in the document setting out the policy (e.g., if it was in an employee handbook, nothing to the effect that policies may be changed at will; or that nothing in the book creates a contract); and the policy was in fact followed by the company (so employees had reasonable expectations to rely on it), then may be that the policy created certain contractual rights in your favor. If that was the case, you may have a claim for wrongful termination and should take a copy of the policy/handbook/etc. to an employment law attorney, who can evaluate it and the situation for you.


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