If I was fired from an anonymous comment that was posted on the restaurant’s message board where it was alleged that I was mean to employees, what to do?

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If I was fired from an anonymous comment that was posted on the restaurant’s message board where it was alleged that I was mean to employees, what to do?

I confronted the asst. manager for being mean to me and other employees and had to continuously tell him not to call me “honey”. Next time I went to work, the manager fired me and said it was because of a comment that a customer left online (he showed me a print out) that read, “the female manager on duty [referring to me] was rude to her employees and refused to help them wait on anyone”. My manager would not talk to employees working that night or watch the video surveillence to confirm this lie. I’ve been singled out or just wrongfully accused. I have to restore my reputation.

Asked on June 18, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Forget out being wrongfully accused or your restoring reputation: if you did not have an employment contract, you are an employee at will, and may be fired for any reason, including a wrongful accusation or one made anonymously. As an employee at will, you have very few rights in or to your job. Also, the comment you describe is mostly an opinion (e.g. being "rude" is an opinion, not a factual statement), and opinions are not legally actionable defamation.

Where you may have rights: sexual harassment or discrimination in employment is illegal. If the assistant manager is male and called you, a female, honey, that could be sexual harassment; if you were terminated for reporting possible sexual harassment or objecting to it, that may be illegal retaliation. You may therefore have sexual-harassment based claim, and should discuss it in more detail with an employment law attorney.


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