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bosshog357's avatar

Do I have a wrongful termination lawsuit?

Asked by bosshog357 (3points) December 3rd, 2012

I work for an industry that is well known in all the states. I worked for this industry for almost 5 months. The manager of the work place has had it out for me when I told a few of the employees there that I witnessed my manager doing something that is totally against policy. The word of what I said got back to the manager’s ear, and a few days later the manager was giving me the cold shoulder and pretty much telling me in small ( but direct way )that she was aware of what I said.

A week later, while leaving work, my girlfriend came to pick me up, I got into my girlfriend’s car ( she also had both of her small children in the car ), and as we were leaving about 4 or 5 police cars surrounded her car, a police officer walks up to my girlfriend’s window and tells her to shut off her car. When we ask what are we being stopped for?, one of the police officers says that they’ve received information that I’ve been stealing from the industry ,and that I’ve been being watched and that I have stolen items in the car.

Then, all of sudden, out of nowhere my manager comes running up to the car and banging on my side of the window and she is screaming out “You fucking thief, get the fuck out of the car right now you piece of shit”! The kids were freaking out and I was in complete shock to have all these cops around my car with their flashlights all in our faces,and their car lights wailing (and a crazy manager cursing and banging on the car window)! The police screams at the the manager and tells her to get away from the car. They then ask me if we had anything in the car that would be considered property of the industry? We told the officer “no that we had absolutely nothing that belongs to the industry”. The officer then asked if we would give consent to search the car? We said “yes it was ok”. The officers then stated that my manager said that I had a tote and a bag of stolen items that I hid outside and put in my girlfriend’s car. After checking the car and the so called “spot where I was planting the stuff”, the police told me that the information that the manager provided was incorrect, and me and my family were free to go home. As I walked by my manager,( to get back in the car ), she screamed out “don’t bother coming in tomorrow because you’re terminated!” I couldn’t believe that I, and my family were put through this humiliating event ( in front of our neighbors), and now I’m losing my job too?!!

Now, I did contact the industry’s headquarters and spoke with one of the industry’s CEO and I explained the whole thing to him. He told me not to get any attorneys involved and to not consider myself fired, that I’m right now on administrative leave with pay, until an investigation has been conducted. It’s been a week and still have not heard from them. My girlfriend did call the industry and made a complaint on the manager and they told her that “she has been suspended pending an investigation”. What I am asking is, can I sue the industry, for what the manager did to me, or do I only have the grounds to sue only the manager? Do I even have grounds to sue? I was only a part time worker there and no real benefits, so I don’t know if I have a real case.

Can someone please help me by giving some helpful advice? I’m in a real bind right now because Christmas is a skip away and now I have no job, and no job means no pay check, no paycheck means no money , and no money means no presents for the kids. Please anyone, can anyone please be honest and tell me if I’ve got a leg to stand on concerning this matter? Thank you and happy holidays!

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5 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

You said that you should not consider yourself fired, and you are right now on administrative leave with pay, until an investigation has been conducted. How does that equate to “no job, no paycheck.”

If you are not satisfied with the wall of silence, of course get yourself an attorney. Perhaps call the CEO for an update first.

Jeruba's avatar

Something sounds odd to me here. Are you in the U.S.? The use of the word “industry” throughout, where we would normally say “company” or “business,” causes me to wonder if pertinent information is missing from this otherwise elaborately detailed narrative.

(An industry is an entire category of business or manufacturing, such as “the automobile industry” or “the hotel industry,” and not a place where people work. An industry has no property. You can’t call an industry or sue an industry.)

wundayatta's avatar

When the boss tells you not get an attorney, that means they know that if you get an attorney, you might cost them a lot of money. You may want to talk to an attorney and see what they think. They should be able to help you.

Of course, even if you keep your job, it is going to be an unpleasant place to work. Best to fight for a settlement and then move on to the rest of your life.

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christine215's avatar

At this time, you’re not “terminated” so you can’t sue for unlawful termination

If you are in an “employment at will” state (here in the US) you can be let go for any reason, or no reason at all

However, the trauma which you endured for apparently no reason is something you and your girlfriend COULD contact an attorney regarding.

As @wundayatta said, once you do, your work environment will be hostile, so you have to either be prepared to work in a hellish situation, or take a settlement and move on.

(it sounds as if they would offer you a settlement, I’m not an expert, but I have some experience)

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