Wrongfully accused

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Wrongfully accused

My job is accusing me of stealing a jacket from my co-worker. However, I did not steal. They are expecting me to turn in something I don’t have on a day that I am scheduled off and said they have video evidence but the video does not capture me taking the jacket because I never even touched it. Can I sue? I am so humiliated, upset and embarrassed by this.

Asked on May 31, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

If your former employer is defaming your name, that is telling others that you did something that you did not do, then you may be able take legal action against them. The key will be proving that what they said is false yet they knowingly made the statements anyway. For this you should consult direclty with a persona injury attorney who handles these type of cases. As part of "discovery" they should be able to gat a copy of the tape that you mentioned. As for your termination itself, unless it violated the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, it was legal since most work relationsgips are "at will". This means that a worker can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice (absent some form of legally actionalbe discrimination being the cause).

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

If the job is publicaly telling people you stole (e.g. not just telling you) and that is untrue (i.e. you did not steal), that would be defamation and you could potentially sue. The key is, they must be making the statement to others, like coworkers; saying something only to you, no matter how upsetting, is not defamation and not actionable.


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