If I was told over the phone that I was laid off but when I met my manager they wanted me to sign a resignation letter or I would be fired, is that legal?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I was told over the phone that I was laid off but when I met my manager they wanted me to sign a resignation letter or I would be fired, is that legal?

My manager said they would have to fire me instead of me signing the forged letter she had written herself on my behalf. She also threatened me that this will go on my record and she would give me a bad reference if I did not sign it! When I asked why she presented this letter to me she said, “It’s better for you and it covers my ass.It’s just business!” I did not sign it. She also could not explain why she told me over the phone I was laid off. Should I contact HR and file a complaint?

Asked on August 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There is nothing to complain about, from a legal point of view.

1) Being fired and laid off are the same thing, legally, so long as you are not fired for cause--for example, for insubordination, for violating company policy, for excessive or unauthorized absenteeism, for criminal activity at work, etc.

2) If you do not have an employment contract, you are an employee at will and may be fired at any time, for any reason.

3) A company  is free to ask you to sign a resignation letter rather than be fired; you are free to refuse to do so.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption