Was fired today, after 30 years on the job,do i have any rights?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Was fired today, after 30 years on the job,do i have any rights?

Two weeks ago, was called in to main office and was told i had violated
company rules about using computer on company time, for personal bennefit
and for violating no firearms policy. I had been on the job for 30 years
and to my understanding there was no policy in my handbook, it seems that
they had changed policies and i was not informed of these changes. Was on a
weeks break and returned this A.M. to be released from job, not sure which
way to go from here, any help would be heplful.

Asked on June 23, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Except as below, you would have no rights: in the absence of a written employment contract to the contrary (e.g. guarantying your employment, or preventing termination in this way or for this reason), all employment in this nation is "employment at will." That means, among other things, that you could be terminated at any time, for any reason whatsoever--including violating some policy you were unaware of. (Not to put too fine a point on it, but an employee at will may be terminated because his/her boss had a bad day and firing someone would make him/her feel better.)
The situations in which your termination MAY be improper or illegal, and you may have a viable claim for reinstatement, are:
1) You had a written employment contract, and your termination violated it--you can sue for "breach of contract."
2) Based on your time frame, you are over 40; if other employees who are younger than 40 and who violated the same rule were not also let go or terminated, then your termination may be illegal age-related discrimination (you can't treat over-40s worse than or differently than under 40s); if you believe it may be, contact the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency to file a complaint.
3) If you are female in a male-dominated company (or vice versa), or are disabled, or belong to a racial or religious minority, then if you were let go when employees were not terminated for the same behavior, this might be some other form of illegal discrimination--again, contact the EEOC or state equal/civil rights agency.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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