If I was fired for an accident that was not fault of my own, is that legal?

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If I was fired for an accident that was not fault of my own, is that legal?

I work for an armored car company and was in an accident a couple of weeks ago. I was a passenger on the vehicle when it was struck in the side. My seatbelt let go and shot me across the cab. I hit the messenger door and it opened and I landed on the street. After review my employer told me that they could find nothing wrong with the seatbelt and for this reason I was being dismissed. This happened right after I told them that the doctor gave me the OK to come back to work. Is this a legal reason to dismiss me?

Asked on January 31, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Something does not sound right her but it is difficult to put my finger on what it is without the ability to ask you more questions. First, go and file for unemployment and see what happens.  What was the reason that you were let go?  Did they say? If they deny unemployment becuase your employer says you were let go for "cause" then it may be that they think that you were lying, did not follow procedure by having your seat belt on or something like that.  But being let go after being cleared for work does not sit well with me either.  But remember: unless you have a contract or protected from some other law you are an employee at will and can be let go for any reason at any time. Seek some help from an attorney in your area for more information.  Good luck.   


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