What can I do if I was fired from my job but my employer says thatI quit voluntarily?

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What can I do if I was fired from my job but my employer says thatI quit voluntarily?

I got notice of the hearing that my ex-employer is trying to deny my unemployment. What I noticed on the appeal note is that they have me down for voluntary quiting. I was told by my manager that I was being let go. I talked to a guy who was hired on the same day as me. He had been done the same way. He told me that whenever you go to get your last paycheck you have to sign a paper, and on that paper it says that you agree you are quitting. He ended up getting a lawyer. They ended up giving him his job back. I would just like to know what all options I have. Should I speak with en employment law attorney? In Horry County, SC.

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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First, ignore what you were told by the other employee--he doesn't have it right. An employer *may* ask you sign a release stating that you will not sue, challenge other actions they take, etc., but they have to give you something for that release; it's not always and its not automatic.

If you believe that you were fired--and not for cause (i.e. not for theft, insubordinatio, violating work rules, excessive absenteeism, etc.; if you *were* fired for cause, you are not entitled to unemployment insurance)--while the employee claims you quit, you can present any evidence--your own testimony; the testimony of other workers; emails or other documents; etc.--at the hearing to try to prove your case. The employer will present its evidence. If you lose at the hearing, you can appeal. Ultimately, it should come down to the evidence.

As a general matter, if you did not have a contract, then unlesss you were discriminated against on the basis of race, sex, religion, age over 40, disability status, etc., you may be fired at will, for any reason, and getting a lawyer would not help you get your job back. Employers generally can terminate most employees whenever they like.


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