What can I do if I was fired for a false allegation and was never allowed to prove that it was false?

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What can I do if I was fired for a false allegation and was never allowed to prove that it was false?

I was fired from my job last week for an allegation of providing duplicate documentation for different services. When my employer told me I was being fired and told me the reason, I told them I could prove it was a mistake and that I must have accidentally turned in the wrong documentation. I told them that I could print the correct documentation immediately to prove that it was a mistake, but they said the decision was already made and I was terminated. Is there any recourse to have this removed from my personnel file and how likely is it that I would be granted unemployment or win on appeal?

Asked on June 19, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) Unless you had an employment contract, setting forth the conditions, grounds, or procedures for terminating you, you are an employee at will. As an employee at will, you may be fired at any time for any reason. The employer does not need to give you an opportunity to prove that the allegations are false.

2) The employer may put anything it likes in its personnel file and you have no right to have information removed from it.

3) If you apply for unemployment and the employer contests your application on the ground you were fired for cause, you may appeal that determination and attempt to prove that you did not do what you were accused of.

4) If the employer tells third parties that you were fired due to providing duplicate documentation for different services, and you suffer some negative consequence (damage to reputation; loss of employment opportunity; etc.) and you believe that this factual allegation is false, you may possibly sue the employer for defamation.


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