Is it worth suing the company?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it worth suing the company?

A false sexual assault accusation was made. Without an explanation to the
employee, an investigation, or evidence, the employee accused was fired. Within a
couple days, the managers called the employee to change the status from fired to
suspended until an investigation was conducted. The employee has been cleared,
but now is behind on payments due to time and money lost at work. Were the proper
protocols followed? Does the employee have a case? If so, is the case worth

Asked on February 16, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is no such as "proper protocols," unless the employee had a written employment contract (or was subject to a written union/collective bargaining agreement) which provided for certain protocols for disciplinary actions and/or investigations of alleged wrongdoing. Otherwise, the employee's employment was employment at will and he could be legally terminated or suspended at any time, for any reason, with any or no proces the employer wanted--even due to an accusation which later turns out to be false or unsupported. Since the employer could legally terminate or suspend for this reason, the employer has no liability to him.
The employee could potentially sue his accuser for making a false statement or accusation of fact (e.g. a claim of harassment which never occured) which damaged his reputation or caused him an economic loss. Such a lawsuit would be a defamation suit. If the employee wishes to explore this option, he should consult with a personal injury attorney (the same lawyers who handle slip-and-fall cases and car accidents generally handle defamation claims, too).

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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