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.

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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