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Wrongully terminated? Georgia

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  • Wrongully terminated? Georgia

    I was fired today, April 26th 2011, for an event that supposedly happened on April 8th, 2011. I was a loan officer at a bank. On that day I had a 3:00 appointment with a client. She was 10 minutes late for her appointment. Before she arrived, my wife arrived and came in my office to re-sign some of her own loan documents that I was told to handle (this was a conflict of interest in and of itself). While my wife was in my office (a total of 20 minutes) my 3:00 appointment showed up 10 minutes late.

    Supposedly when I was informed by another bank employee that my appointment had arrived I am accused of using a very ugly word by saying "F-it she will have to wait". The customer in question had no problem with the way in which I interacted with her that day or in the past. I confirmed this today by calling her. She was not only my customer at the bank, she is also a friend.

    How can I be terminated for something that supposedly 2 witnesses said that I said? That is heresay. Furthermore, if I had said something so offensive, why didn't one, or both, of the employees say something to the effect of "What did you just say?" I know I would not have said such a thing. I don't know if something I said could have sounded like it and if that is the case we were in the privacy of my own office.

    Another point that was brought up in my separation meeting was that I left the customer sitting there for 20 minutes. That is true, but I was conducting bank business in my office. Granted it was with my wife with her own loan at our bank but every time my wife has gotten a loan there my immediate boss has expected me to handle the paperwork and have her sign it. She had signed paperwork earlier in the week and I noticed an error. She was there to correct that. Besides, there are customers that will testify that my boss has left her customers in the lobby waiting for upwards of 45 minutes! I'm not sure what the real issue is. That I dropped the F-bomb? I was in the privacy of my own office (but I didn't say that word anyway). Or is the issue that I left a customer waiting for 20 minutes? If that is the case then why is it not ok for me to do so but it is ok for my boss to do so? My termination notices states that I was "Terminated for violations of customer service standards". I asked the bank president, who was the one that fired me and who was not even in the bank that day, if the customer complained and if there was a problem with the way I handled her. His words to me were "Well, we just can't have that kind of language."

    I want to know if I have a case for wrongful termination. Anyone that knows me knows that I do not use that kind of language. I asked my immediate boss in this meeting if she had ever heard me say anything like that in the 5 years that I have been working there and she said she had not. At the very least it is defamation of character. I come from a strict Christian family and to be terminated for something like that is unspeakable. We don't talk that way. As a side note: (don't know if this matters). The bank has a new president who has been suspected by many of us of looking for reasons to fire people and replace them with people from his old bank. He already let one loan officer go and fired 2 tellers in the short period of time that he has been there (less than a year). *Sigh*

  • #2
    This is nowhere near a wrongful termination.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrongful_dismissal
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      Ok. So based on wikipedia it isn't wrongful termination. Is it something else? I was hoping for an actual legal opinion rather than a link to wikipedia. I appreciate your response, though.

      Comment


      • #4
        Patty knows her stuff. She didn't get her info from wiki, she just refered you there for basic info.

        BTW, heresay is a legal term that has limited application. Heresay is not allowed in court when someone can testify directly to what they said. Heresay has no application outside of legal proceedings, and can be used to fire you. Or they can fire you because they just don't want you there anymore. Termination is only wrongful if if violates a law, and suspecting you of saying/doing something you didn't do doesn't violate the law.
        I am not an attorney, and don't play one on TV. Any information given is a description only and should be verified by your attorney.

        Comment


        • #5
          Agreed with the above. Employment is mostly "at will", meaning that all terminations are legal unless it can be shown that an actual law has been violated. Based on what you have said, no actual laws have been violated in your termination. Since you do not like Wiki links, you can key word search "employment at will" and find a huge number of links that will say pretty much the same thing. Not that all terminations are legal, but rather all terminations are legal unless an actual law was violated by the specifics of the termination.

          Alternatively you can key word search "wrongful termination". I can give you a non-Wiki link on that (which will say the same thing that the Wiki link does).
          http://employeeissues.com/wrongful_termination.htm
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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          • #6
            That is a start. So anyone can be terminated for any reason, even if the reason given i false?

            I agree that "at-will" employment means that they can let you go at any point. However it would seem that someone can't just make up an excuse to fire someone, especially if it is slanderous.

            In the 5 years I have been there I have never uttered anything such as that. If they truly believe that I did it would seem write-up would be in order. However I suppose that has to do with company policy rather than law.

            If the issue is making a customer wait for 20 minutes then why is it not ok for me to do that (I was doing other bank business at the time) but it is fine for someone else to make her customers wait 45 minutes or more and repeatedly?

            This is very frustrating. Thanks for the insightful replies.

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            • #7
              A wrongful termination isn't being terminated for something you didn't do but for
              a reason prohibited by law - I see no law broken here.

              Also, all employees do not have to be treated the same as long as you are not
              discriminated against due to a reason prohibited by law (example age, religion,
              gender...).

              File for unemployment ins. - the state will decide if you will receive it or not. (&
              look for other employment)
              Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

              Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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              • #8
                I don't post links to wiki unless I've vetted the information. This just happens to be a good defintion, in layman's language.
                I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You could have been fired because the new president wanting to bring old employee in.

                  Companies are not a court of law and do not have to make sure you are guilty of an offense before terming you. The company just has to do what is in the company's best interests.

                  I also don't think the customer is going to tell you if they had an issue with your handling of their paperwork. Perhaps they complained to your manager but don't want to admit it.

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                  • #10
                    Everyone has great information for you but I also want to add that there is no such thing as "privacy in my own office" while you are at work.

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                    • #11
                      Your bank's service standards could apply to how you treat your co-workers as well as customers. Someone heard you swear and reported it. Your co-workers and customers might not be aware that your wife was doing "bank" business. So yeah, you handled your personal business on company time, and got mad at the people who pointed out that you had a customer waiting. Attitude is king in a customer-facing role. Sorry that you had to learn that the hard way.

                      And if your boss was truly trying to hire old friends from another bank, if it wasn't this trumped-up reason, it would have been another one down the road.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by J.J. Brown View Post
                        Your bank's service standards could apply to how you treat your co-workers as well as customers. Someone heard you swear and reported it. Your co-workers and customers might not be aware that your wife was doing "bank" business. So yeah, you handled your personal business on company time, and got mad at the people who pointed out that you had a customer waiting. Attitude is king in a customer-facing role. Sorry that you had to learn that the hard way.

                        And if your boss was truly trying to hire old friends from another bank, if it wasn't this trumped-up reason, it would have been another one down the road.
                        Nobody heard me swear. I do not talk that way and have never talked that way. Those words have never swept across my lips. The only person that could have accused me that was in my office while my wife was there doing bank business was someone new that doesn't know me at all and neither does the new bank president. It doesn't matter that everyone else there can testify that I don't talk that way. One person (supposedly) said it and the new president believed it.

                        Attitutude has nothing to do with it. The customer that was waiting was and is a very good friend of mine that I've known long before I started working there.

                        It's bad enough to be wrongfully accused of something by people that you work with and see every day, but to come to a forum in privacy and give my story and then have someone that doesn't even know me just assume that the accusation was true, is outrageous. You don't know me. There was no lesson to be "learned the hard way".

                        As for your last comment, I will agree with you. In fact, my immediate boss told me months ago that the new president was the kind of person that if he got it in his head to get rid of someone then he will look for any reason. So you're right. It was probably inevitable since he had already commented several times that he would like to have certain people from his old bank.

                        I found out what I came to find out here: that there is nothing I can do about being terminated over a false accusation. Thanks to all who have provided valuable input.

                        Comment

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