Is an employee justly fired for allowing a co-worker to remove an item that has remained unclaimed for 3+ months from Lost and Found?

UPDATED: Jun 13, 2011

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Is an employee justly fired for allowing a co-worker to remove an item that has remained unclaimed for 3+ months from Lost and Found?

An item that remained unclaimed from Lost and Found is removed by an employee in the presence of a supervisor. The supervisor does not prevent this, as the owner of the item is ambiguous. As a result the supervisor is fired, not for theft, but for facilitating theft. Is this a valid reason for termination?

Asked on June 13, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Nevada


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that you have no claim for wrongful termination.  The reason is that most employment arrangements are what is known as "at will". This basically means that you can choose to work for an employer or not, and an employer can hire or fire an employee for any reason, a bad reason, or even no reason.  While this may seem unfair, it's the law.  This is true unless this action was not allowed by the terms of a union agreement, employment contract, or company policy.  Also, discrimination must not have played a role in your termination.  Absent any of these circumstance your firing was lawful.

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 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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