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Thread: Wrongfully Fired... New Jersey

  1. #1

    Default Wrongfully Fired... New Jersey

    Just the other day when I went to work, I was told that I was being terminated. I worked for one of the Retail Pharmacy Chains if that matters any.

    I was informed that 6 months ago supposedly I called a customer a "******". I did no such thing and I was never informed of this matter. Furthermore they said that they were taken to court and that I would be assessed $2300+ in thier court costs and fees.

    It is an unwritten policy in this company that if you do not sign off on their terms you will not recieve your final pay check for an extended period of time. I have a friend and my fionce both quit and were told that to recieve their final checks they needed to come to the store and sign their terminations.

    My fionce has been waiting between 5 and 6 months and my friend has been waiting for 3 to 4 months for their checks that still have not come. I have a child and I was the sole source of income for our family. After signing they told me I would have to wait 30 days and could no longer return to the store.

    I feel that I was coerced into signing as I was told that sign or not I was terminated and I have fears in regard to being unable to procure my childs needs with insufficient funds. Now it seems that maybe I should not have signed because after signing I was notified that I could not come to pick up my check the very next day and now have to wait to see if they send it 30 days.

    As I said before as of my termination, that was my first notice this matter occured. I was not informed 6 months ago, there was no statement taken from myself and the only other employee in the store that day was too far from the register to have heard anything. The only thing they could you to establish anything was camera footage and the cameras within the facitlity are silent witnesses.

    From my perspective the camera footage show the customer yell at me and then myself walk away. It doesn't show me call the person a name, there is no recording. If I recall the situation as it occured in my head the customer was trying to make a return without reciept and I turned them away and got yelled at.

    Another issue I have with the situation is that I was told that I was to be placed on the companies black list for the next 7 years. As per work this may prevent me from future employment as they said it would be reported to any and all inquiries and this is a job that I have had since high school...

    Is there anyway I can counter this? Is there anything I can do?

  2. #2
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    I'll try to address each question separately.

    1. You do not have to sign anything to get your pay, nor should you. If, as a discharged employee, you do not receive your final pay on the regularly scheduled payday for the pay period that includes your final day worked, you file a claim with the state Dept. of Labor. And the fact that you signed something does not preclude you from filing the unpaid wage claim. Do it tomorrow. Or today. And every one of your ex-colleagues should do the same. Don't know why you've waited so long.

    2. I'm assuming the company was sued by this customer? Makes no difference; you cannot be held personally liable for damages, since you were acting "as agent" for the employer.

    3. The company itself may flag you as "do not rehire", and they are allowed to do that. However, if they provide references to prospective employers that are untruthful, and they KNOW they are untruthful, and you suffer damages (as in that being the sole reason you are not hired), then see an attorney.

    4. If you are asking if this is a wrongful termination under the law, no it is not, unfair as it may be. Google "wrongful termination".

    Have you filed for unemployment yet?
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  3. #3

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    one of my concerns and issues regarding this termination is that by the company practices I should have been notified of this the week it happened. I was never written up and personally I do not feel they even investigated. But they did fire me, told me i did something I did not and told me they were sending me their legal bill. They never asked for a statement or in anyway informed me of the situation until I was fired.

  4. #4
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    Whether you should have been told sooner or not is immaterial. Wrongful termination doesn't mean your employer was wrong about the reason you were let go, only that there is a law that prevents them from firing for the reason they did. There is no law that requires them to believe you over a customer.

  5. #5

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    Ok for example if your register is short and you are written up 2 weeks later you cannot be held accountable by their policy, even if your drawer shows short for three weeks they cannot just fire you. I was a shift there I had to issue write ups as well...

    I was terminated for something that I should have by their policies and procedures been notified. I am not saying that I should have been believed over the customer. However what I am saying is I was told they took it to court and lost or subsequently settled. There was no statement taken and last I checked in matters involving court usually under-go an investigation in which a statement is taken? Am I wrong?

  6. #6
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    The employer is not a court of law. Company policies are hardly ever laws. Should they have followed the company policy? Probably. Is there any legal penalty for them not doing so? No.

    But, hey, thanks PattyMD for all the OTHER very helpful information you provided.
    Last edited by Pattymd; 11-06-2009 at 11:37 AM.
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  7. #7
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    There is also no legal requirement that a statement be taken from you prior to settling out of court or even before proceeding to court. If legal fees and the settlement were only $3200, I guarantee this didn't get far in the judicial process. Most likely small claims court.

  8. #8
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    Employees have no recourse! EVER!

    back to reality...asker, consider contacting legal counsel if you believe that the employer presented it's policies in contractual language and that there was a breach of this contract.

  9. #9
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    If your local management and HR group didn't follow corporate policy and procedure, you might be able to contact the corporate office and speak to them about it. I'm not saying it's likely you'll get your job back, but maybe you can at least make sure the responses they give to future prospective employers aren't as ****ing as they indicated they would be, and maybe there will be some consequences for the local folks who aren't following the rules. Calling probably won't do you any harm, anyway.

  10. #10
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    If you decide to make this phone call, I would record it so that management's response is documented.

  11. #11
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    But please be certain that you check with an attorney as to the legality of recording the phone call before you take the above advice.

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