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wrongfully terminated?? Ohio

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  • wrongfully terminated?? Ohio

    I was recently fired from my job for 2 reasons. 1 being that i took a personal phone call at work, which everyone in the office does. My office manager was interupted during a staff meeting to take a call from her son. I have taken messages for the asst. office manager for personal calls. Discrimination?? and the second reason was just a flat out lie and I have prove of it. They said I didn not complete a certain task that i was asked to do, when I in fact did. I even documented in very great detail what was done and was even asked to show my boss (8 hrs before being fired) that it WAS completed and she looked at it and said "ok" and walked away. NOt a word was said. I was simply fired because of a personality conflict between me and the office manager. I know about the Employment at-will doctrine and understand that I can be fired for no reason at all. But I believe they screwed up when they gave me 2 reasons for my termination. 1 which borderlines discrimination and the other is absolutely false.
    Any comments??

  • #2
    A wrongful termination means that a specific law prohibits the employer from firing you for the reason he did.

    What law do you believe was violated? (HINT - no law says that all employees have to be disciplined the same way for the same offense)
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      Where does discrimination fall into play? Employees may not need to be disciplined the same, however I was terminated, not disciplined at all. I was also told 2 days prior to being fired that I should feel that I have the most job security and should feel most at home at my job because I can perform in all areas of the office, and well. (told so by the office manager) To me that falls under the exception to the Employment at-will doctrine of the Implied-Contract Exception???

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      • #4
        Sorry but it doesn't. Compliments on your ability to do your job are just that. It doesn't invalidate "at will" or imply a contract of any kind.

        It isn't illegal to fire you for taking personal calls even if mangers are permitted to do so. Nor is it illegal to fire you for mistakenly believing that you failed to complete some task. It would be just as legal to fire you because of a personality conflict with the Office Manager.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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        • #5
          Employers are not required to treat all employees equally. What they are required to do is to not treat employees differently on the basis of a protected characteristic (such as race, age, gender, religion, national origin...). Nothing in your post indicates that you were singled out for disparate treatment on the basis of a protected characteristic.
          I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!

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          • #6
            Maybe I'm confused by the laws... and with no disrespect, do you guys actually have some sort of law degree or experience? I'm going to quote the exception to the at-will doctrine... tell me if I seem confused by the implied contract by orall assurances on job security that I was given 2 days prior to being fired. Thanks for all your inputs!

            Implied-contract exception
            The second major exception to the employment-at-will doctrine
            is applied when an implied contract is formed between an
            employer and employee, even though no express, written instrument
            regarding the employment relationship exists. Although
            employment is typically not governed by a contract,
            an employer may make oral or written representations to employees
            regarding job security or procedures that will be followed
            when adverse employment actions are taken. If so,
            these representations may create a contract for employment.

            To summarize, then, employers’ oral or written assurances
            regarding job tenure or disciplinary procedures can create an
            implied contract for employment under which the employer
            cannot terminate an employee without just cause and cannot
            take any other adverse employment action without following
            such procedures.
            Employers can prevent written assurances
            from creating an implied contract by including a clear and
            unambiguous disclaimer characterizing those assurances as company policies that do not create contractual obligations.
            Oral assurances must create a reasonable expectation in the
            employee in order for an implied contract to be created.

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            • #7
              What you've quoted says that oral assurances can create an implied contract -- it doesn't say that they always will. I think you would have an uphill battle proving that you had an implied contract here.
              I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!

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              • #8
                While in some cases verbal assurances can imply a contract, that bar is fairly high and would not necessarily preclude the company for firing for cause. Ohio tends to take a very narrow interpretation of implied contracts. Here is a link to an article about a very similar situation to yours and how it was viewed by the courts. http://hr.blr.com/news.aspx?id=79838

                Of course we only have the few details you shared so if there is more to the story, it may be worth your while to consult with an attorney in your area.
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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                • #9
                  Thank you for that article and your help. I think I have more to go on now.

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