What rights do I have and how should I proceed with my employer after being suspended for false allegations?

UPDATED: Jul 22, 2011

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What rights do I have and how should I proceed with my employer after being suspended for false allegations?

It has been alleged that an inmate is in possession of my picture, a personal, as well as, electronically (on his phone, which is prohibited within the facility). Additionally, it is also alleged that I have been seeking to enter sections within the facility that I am not assigned to, I have not given any inmate my picture, have not posed for any picture for any inmate, but have visited sections not assigned on my break to talk to and socialize with the assigned officer.

Asked on July 22, 2011 Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The most important question: do you have an employment agreement, or is your job covered by a union or collective bargaining agreement, which contains terms or provisions relating to suspension, discipline, termination, etc. If the answer is yes--there is a contract or union agreement--then you need to refer to the contract or agreement to see what your rights are.

If there is no such agreement, etc., then you are most likely an employee at will. As the term implies, an employee at will may be fired at any time, for any reason. Since the employee at will may be terminated at will, he or she is also subject to lesser forms of punishment or discipline--such as suspension--at will. So if you are an employee at will, there may be little or nothing you can do, unless:

1) There is a clear and uniquivocal policy set out in a strong employee handbook, one which lacks any caveats or qualifiers (e.g. no language such as "nothing in the handbook creates a contract or employment" or "policies may be changed at will"), covering the situation; if so, that *may* be enough to create an implied contract.

2) If you are being treated differently (worse) due to your race, sex, religion, age over 40, or disability, you may have an employment discrimination claim.

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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