What to do if my wife got fired from her job but had no warning or was never given a verbal or written reprimand of any sort?

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What to do if my wife got fired from her job but had no warning or was never given a verbal or written reprimand of any sort?

My wife works as a teacher. Last night she was with 3 other teachers and 3 children, as they were closing the school. Later in the evening she received a phone call saying that children were left unattended, and that she was terminated. However they gave her the option of resigning her position, and they would give her a letter of recommendation. This would give her the chance to find other work, but prevent her from filing for UE compensation. In addition, my wife insists that at no time were the children left alone as there were 3 of them to 3 children(the other 2 teachers were not fired).

Asked on February 1, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The only important issue is whether your wife had a contract or employmet agreement, which includes being subject to a union or collective bargaining agreement (e.g. if she is public school teacher; most are covered by a union agreement). If there is a contract, its terms, in regard to termination, discipline, etc. are enforceable, and she could only be fired in accordance or compliance with its terms.

Without a contract, however, she would typically be considered an employee at will. An employee at will may be fired at any time, for any reason, without notice or prior write up. In that case, they would seem to be able to fire her if they choose, and it does not even matter whether or not your wife did in fact leave the children alone.


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