If I was fired for no reason, no discipline and no warning, do I have a case for wrongful termination?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I was fired for no reason, no discipline and no warning, do I have a case for wrongful termination?

Asked on May 8, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Rhode Island

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 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, without notice or warning. The vast majority of employees are employees at will, since very few people have employment contracts; therefore, it is likely that this is legal and you could be fired for no reason, with no prior discripline or no warning, just as you could resign or quit at any time, with no prior notice.

There are exceptions:

1) You cannot be fired due to illegal discrimination; so, for example, you could not be fired due to your race, religion, age over 40, sex, or disability.

2) You cannot be fired to retaliate for filing certain protected claims (e.g. for overtime or that you were discriminated against); for using certain protected benefits (such as FMLA leave); or for bringing to light certain safety or legal violations.

3) IF there was a very strong employee handbook or the like, which did not contain any disclaimers or limitations (such as "all employment is employment at will" or "nothing in this manual creates an employment contract"), such handbook sometimes is held to create an "implied employment contract." If it does, and if it limits the grounds or the procedure for termination, then you may have a claim for  breach of contract if you were fired in a way which violates the manual or handbook.

If you think 1), 2), or 3) was the case, you should consult with an employment law attorney.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption