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Wrongful Termination: Falsely Accused California

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  • Wrongful Termination: Falsely Accused California

    I worked as a store manager for (deleted by moderator) for three years, up until recently. I was accused of having a physical relationship with a female subordinate. This, of course, is not true. I do not know why I was accused, but I do suspect that my assistant manager had something to do with it so that he could take my position.

    I feel I was wrongfully terminated because there was no through investigation into the allegations. I first heard of the allegations on Friday, when I was called to my supervisors office. I was told that a female subordinate had called in and reported a relationship between us. I denied the allegations and was then told that a third party was the real alleger and that the other party involved needed to be interviewed. On Wednesday, the following week, I was fired. I was told that the allegations were enough to terminate. I asked for proof, for written statements, for anything to support their claims and was told that they were not required. I was told, "why would she lie?" When the conversation was reaching an end my boss then told me, "you just don't seem that convincing."

    Is it right to lose your job because of the claim of another? Policy states in the handbook that an aggressive investigation would be undertaken. Where is the proof?

  • #2
    Employers do not have the burden the court does in the aspect of trial or proof.

    Simply put, they can fire you because they believed her more than you. They do not have to call in CSI. They could believe that interviewing all the parties was enough to qualify as an investigation. Trust me, some employers wouldn't have done that.
    Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

    I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

    Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

    Comment


    • #3
      Are you saying that there are no legal grounds to stand on in court?

      Comment


      • #4
        Not a single one.

        There is nothing illegal in your post.
        Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

        I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

        Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

        Comment


        • #5
          In theory the OP could have a possible case against the complaining witness for libel. The employer arguably is just making a good faith decision that the complaining witness is more believable then the OP. If however the complaining witness deliberately made a false statement certain to cause injury, that would seem to fit the basic requirements of a libel case. Such an action would turn the employer into witnesses, not plantiffs.

          Talk to a lawyer if this sounds worth pursuing.
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

          Comment


          • #6
            This is where we start to split hairs.

            Hypothetically...

            The OP thinks this girl is the bee's knees, but doesn't do anything about it. He thinks she doesn't know.

            However, to her, he is staring at her and looking away when she looks. He is always scheduling them together, and asks her overly personal questions. He, maybe, stands too close when they talk or shares things she doesn't want to know.

            The OP believes that he has done nothing wrong. The girl believes he is creepy. Whom does the company believe?
            Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

            I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

            Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by joec
              Under that scenario the O.P and the company have to look at the policy outlined in the handbook which states (an aggressive investigation would be undertaken).
              Was the investigation aggressive? Does it breach an Implied contract? Was it done in good faith,and fair dealing? Plus many other questions I have not even considered.
              That's what the attorney has to figure out. Which is why they go to law school. Which is also why they do intakes that can take over 1 hour sometime.
              JoeC
              agreed... but there are so many soft words in this post. Aggressive investigation are just two.

              Take it to a lawyer... but I wouldn't hope for much. Courts tend to side with the "victims" in these cases and err on the side of conservativism.
              Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

              I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

              Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you guys for the constructive opinions/feedback. I feel I was wronged as do many of my other peers in the company. My previous team members have reached out to me and have stated that they would support me by being character witnesses and giving written statements of my performance, for which I am grateful. I have also talked with an attorney who has said that I have a case, but that he does not feel I have the means to pay him if he takes the case. He said that since all I seek is reinstatement he doesn't see the pay off for his services, which he is right. I have another job offer, but my question is: is it worth a legal fight? For what is right? Would the court even be interested in knowing that I was a good employee with nothing negative on his record and many supporters? Would the court require the company to prove that it held its side of the bargain by showing what they did to investigate and showing the results of that investigation?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Your previous standing in the company, unfortunately, means nothing.

                  A single bad incident by a stellar employee is enough to warrant termination.

                  Unless the other employees had a direct view of the incident, their testimony won't help you much.
                  Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                  I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                  Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There are some that would do it just for the chance to compete with *$.
                    Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                    I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                    Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just for clarification - a wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you did not do. It means you were terminated for a reason prohibited by law.
                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I sincerely thank you cbg, for clarifying my, and potentially everyone elses, misconceptions or misunderstandings of what wrongful terminations are.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          While you may not be able to act against the employer, there is a chance you can sue the girl for slander/libel/defamation of character if you can prove it. Won't help in getting your job back though.
                          I don't believe what I write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for debate purposes only, be sure to verify with your own research.
                          Keep in mind that the information provided may not be worth any more than either a politician's promise or what you paid for it (nothing).
                          I also may not have been either sane or sober when I wrote it down.
                          Don't worry, be happy.

                          http://www.rcfp.org/taping/index.html is a good resource!

                          Comment

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