Was my termination legal?
UPDATED: May 31, 2012
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Was my termination legal?
I’m trying to figure out if what my previous employer did was legal when they terminated me. I was brought into the president of the companies office with the CFO and the CFO said “there’s no easy way to say this but we’re going to have to let you go.” I was not given a specific reason nor did I ask why, I didn’t know I could seeing as I had never been terminated before. I was not asked to sign anything (unsure if a company is supposed to have something for you to sign when you’re terminated) also I was told they were not going to give me unemployment but let me take my profit and sharing money. legally can they say I can’t collect unemployment? I requested my personnel file 3 months after and there’s still no specific reason anywhere in here stating why I was terminated. I’m just confused about the whole situation still and want to know if they terminated me legally or not?
Asked on May 31, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 10 years ago | Contributor
1) If you did not have an employment contract, you were an employee at will and may be fired at any time, for any reason, without notice or warning.
2) There is no need to have an employee sign anything when he/she is terminated.
3) The employer does not need to share with you the reason for your termination or share with you your employee/personnel file.
4) You are entitled to unemployment benefits if you were terminated or fired, so long as you were not fired "for cause." A for cause termination is for something like criminal activity at or directed against the employer, excessive absenteeism, violating company policy or a supervisor's instructions, insubordination, etc. You can apply for unemployment--if the employer attempts to contest it by claiming it was a for cause termination, you can attempt to refute that by providing evidence or testimony that it was not. You do not need their permission or approval to apply for unemployment benefits.
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