If I wrongly fired for stealing and my ex-boss is telling everyone that I did which is ruining my reputation, can I do anything about it?

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If I wrongly fired for stealing and my ex-boss is telling everyone that I did which is ruining my reputation, can I do anything about it?

About 6 days before I got fired I was asked to take a pay cut. I refused but was then told it was OK but I would have to drive 1 1/2 hours to his other facility. I said yes and then he fired me for stealing when I had records and proof that I didn’t however he would not let me show him the reports.

Asked on August 25, 2011 Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First, you probably can't do anything about being fired, unless you had an employment contract protecting your job (for example, defining the process for termination, or limiting why you could be fired). That's because without an employment contract, you are an employee at will, and therefore may be fired at any time, for any reason, or even no reason at all. If you are employee at will, if your employer wants to fire you, they can.

Second, though, if the employer is publically (so to any other people, including coworkers or customers) making an untrue statement of fact about you (saying you stole, which is a factual statement, when you did not) and that statement could damage your reputation (which being accused of theft could), you have have grounds to sue for defamation. You should consult with an attorney on the matter. Good luck.


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