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?

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 10 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.


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