Is it legal to fire someone on false acqustions made against them?

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Is it legal to fire someone on false acqustions made against them?

My co-workers wrote a statement about me smoking marijuana. I don’t smoke weed. I requested a drug test upon termination but was refused to. What can I do about this situation? I was the assistant manager for almost 1 year. I have never had anything like this happen to me before?

Asked on August 5, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If you did not have an employment agreement, you are an employee at will. An employee at will may be fired at any time, for any reason--even a "wrong" reason (i.e. factually incorrect) or no reason at all. The employer does not have to give the employee a chance to be heard or prove his or her "case." So if the employer chose to fire an employee at will, there is generally no recourse (unless the employee can show that the termination was discriminatory against a race, religion, sex, age over 40, disability, etc.).

2) If another person made a false factual statement (such as that you smoked marijuana, when you did not) about you to another person (including a supervisor or coworkers, or generally published in some fashion) and the statment was negative and damaged your reputation, then you may be able to sue that person for defamation. The key factors are that it's a factual statement (not  just an opinion), it's false or untrue, it damaged your reputation. If you think this is the case, you should consult with an attorney who can evaluate the strength of the case and what it might be worth. You may be able to sue, among other things, for lost wages.


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