If I was fired yesterday due to poor job performance but I was never written up for poor job performance, do I have ant rights?

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If I was fired yesterday due to poor job performance but I was never written up for poor job performance, do I have ant rights?

Also, my boss went back to my former boss telling them I was going to be fired.

Asked on January 17, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The only critical question is whether  you had an employment contract, including a union or collective bargaining agreement, which provided a process for discipline and/or limited the grounds for termination. If you had such a contact or agreement, it is enforceable, and if it would have prevented you firing under these circumstances, you may have a legal claim.

However, without such an agreement or contract, you would be considered an employee at will and could be fired at any time, for any reason--even with no prior warnings or write ups.

If the current boss made an untrue factual statement about you, which damages your reputation, to your former boss, that might be defamation and you may have a legal claim. So, for example, if the current boss accused you of having stolen from the company when you never did, that is defamatory. But if the current boss simply made a true statement--such as that he/she was firing you, when he/she was doing that--or expressed an opinion--such as that you were lazy or didn't care about quality--there is nothing you can do. People are allowed to make true factual statements or state opinions, even when they are negative.


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