Is my situation a wrongful termination suit?

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Is my situation a wrongful termination suit?

I was terminated from employment
08/11/16 without notification. I
never received a warning verbal or
written. I have gone through the
hand book and have a procedure
that is to be followed and I was not
notified until sitting down with the
owner who told me the reason they
were letting me go was I lacked
technical knowledge of the
business. Although this is correct, I
was never trained just told I
needed to have repetition and
learned by teaching myself. The
company upon hiring knew of my
technical background and was fully
aware of this issue. The owner
was upset with me for personal
reasons and terminated me based
on his emotions. I haven’t had any
problem or misunderstandings
between my self and the employer.
It is a long story but I feel like this
was wrong. Please help. Thank
you Cassandra M. Jensen
7633070880

Asked on August 15, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Some handbooks do in fact constitute legally binding contracts. However, most do not which means that such policies can be changed at will by an employer. In order to know about you specific situation, you should consult directly with a local employment law attorney or contact your state's department of labor. Although, typically an employer can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit unless such action violates the terms of an employment contract (or handbook as discussed above0 or union/collective bargaining agreement. That all having been said, an employee's treatment must not be based on legally actionable discrimination. Accordingly, if your firing was really due to your race, religion, disability, nationality, age (over 40), gender or the like, then you may still have a claim.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It would only be wrongful termination if the handbook policy that was not followed constituted a binding contract--most handbooks, however, do not. To form an enforceable contract, the policy must be clearly stated, in no uncertain terms; and there must be no limitations or restrictions on the handbook forming a contract. That means that if there is *any* language in the handbook to the effect that--
"all employment is employment at will" or "nothing in this handbook makes employment not employment at will"
"this handbook does not constitute a contract or guaranty of employment"
"policies may be changed at will"
--then it is *not* a contract. And if it was not a contract, you may be terminated at any time, for any reason, in any way.
On the other hand, if it did form a contract, then if they fired you in violation of the policies in it, that may be wrongful termination. If you feel that was or may have been the case, bring a copy of the handbook to an employment law attorney to review with you.
 


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