Can I be let go from a job with no notification?

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Can I be let go from a job with no notification?

I had to return back east for a family emergency. I was told to just let them know when I would return. I did so. A few days later I called to check on my benefits and was told over the phone, by an HR rep, that I had been let go and there was a letter in the mail.

Asked on October 4, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, unless you either--

1) had an employment contract protecting your job (e.g. limiting the grounds or process for termination; guarantying your job for a certain period; etc.); or

2) were terminated because of your race, sex, religion, disability, age over 40 (i.e. were the victim of employment discrimination)

--you are an employee at will and may be fired at will; that is, you may be fired at any time, for any reason, without notice or warning.

IF you were going to provide medical care (medical care only; not to help with an emotional or financial issue) for an *immediate* family member (e.g. spouse, child, parent; but *not* a sibling, grandparent, aunt/uncle, niece/nephew, cousin) AND both you and your company are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)--which requires, among other things, that your company employee at least 50 people within a 75-mile radius--you would have the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. If all this was the case, you  may be able to claim that when you contacted the company to let them know you were leaving, that was notice you were using FMLA. If you can make that claim credibly, they cannot fire you. If you think that your leave may have qualified as FLMA leave, you should speak with an employment 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.

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