What to do if I was fired from my job yesterday because of what someone told my boss that I said which is not true?

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What to do if I was fired from my job yesterday because of what someone told my boss that I said which is not true?

I am a nanny and was working for a high profile family. The family’s personal assistant told my boss I was complaining about my hours and how I never get to see my child and that I was unhappy. This is not true; absolutely false. I had a performance review just 4 days ago and was told that I was doing an amazing job. Because of these allegations, I’ve lost my family’s main income but also my reputation. They are claiming I broke the confidentiality agreement with them due to these allegations. They are refusing to me the required 3 weeks pay in our contract or my salary for this week. Can I sue?

Asked on April 27, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you had an employment contract and it limited the grounds for which you could be terminated or required some process or procedure for termination, you can enforce the contract; you may, in that case, have a wrongful termination claim. However, if the contract does not protect your employment in that way, you could be fired at any time, for any reason, including mistaken ones, and would not have a wrongful termination claim.

Notwithstanding the above, if you were guaranteed certain notice of termination or severance pay in the contract, you could still enforce those terms; if you believe that under the contract you were owed three weeks pay, you could, for example, sue that money. You could also sue for your last week of pay--even if you were terminated, you must be paid for all work that you did up to the moment of termination.

Furthermore, if the personal assistant made untrue factual statements about you which damaged your reputation to the family--such as falsely claiming you were complaining when you were not--that may be defamation, and you may have a cause of action against her. And if the family has made false factual statements about you to third parties, you may have a defamation claim against them.

Therefore, there are several potential causes of action. You should consult with an attorney in depth about them, to explore you options and the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled.

In addition, if you were terminated, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits, and should explore applying for same.

 


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