CanI be fired due to another employee’s fraud?

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CanI be fired due to another employee’s fraud?

I was managing a small finance company office for 3.5 years and found at least 5 fraudulent contracts (customer fraud). These were done when I was off work or out of the store and a subordinate employee wrote them. A few days after reporting this, I was released from my employment. The only explanation being, “we are our numbers”; no other discussion. I was also told by my immediate supervisor that I would be paid for that entire week but was not. This is not the first over the line incident with this DM. Can I sue?

Asked on January 12, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that you have no legal recourse here for wrongful termination.  The reason is that most employment relationships are "at will".  What this means is that you can choose to work for an employer or not, and your employer can fire you for any reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all - without notice.  While seemingly unfair it's the law.  Exceptions are if this action was not allowed by the terms of an employment contract, union agreement, or company policy.  Also, discrimination must not have played a role in your termination. 

As to your pay, you only needed ot be paid for the time that you actually worked.  However, if you were not compensated for such time, then you can file a claim with your state's department of labor and/or consult directly with an employment law attorney.


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