Hello, I was fired from my job yesterday. The reason given was "Violation of Company Policy". The explanation given was that the week prior when I was out of town, I told them that I would be working offsite, they said they did research in the system and no where did it show I was doing any work so that is lying, and it is against company core values and that is why I am being fired.
I have proof of emails, phone calls, new accounts opened, travelling to customers, etc. all done the week they claim "I was not working".
They recruited me from a company where I was making 60K+ per year so I went there under promises that were not met. Now I have a non-compete agreement in place with the company that fired me. This is in an industry that I have been in for the past 5 years so it really puts a burden on me.
I know NC is an "at will" state, and people can be fired for any reason. My questions are this...
1.) Can that reason be something that can easily be proven false?
2.) Does this non-compete still hold grounds since they fired me?
3.) Do I have grounds here for a wrongful termination lawsuit?
Thank you in advance for your time and advice!
A company can fire you for having a stupid smile in a right to work state. You may be able to collect unemployment while looking for another job but suing for wrongful termination outside of termination for being part of a protected class is pretty tough.
This issue is not why they SAY you were fired, but why you actually WERE fired.
You should consult with an employment law attorney, both with regard to the termination, and the viability of the non-compete. Just because you signed it does not necessarily mean it is valid.
This response is only general information and is not legal advice. It does not form an attorney-client relationship and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. You should seek a qualified attorney before taking any action related to your inquiry.
You are very welcome. Thank you for taking the time to compose a thoughtful post, which we Avvo lawyers appreciate. I think Question (1) is irrelevant in the eyes of the law, because almost any reason for termination is sufficient, unless it is illegal per statute or public policy (namely, discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability or age if you are over 40), so whether the employer's pre-textual reason is proven false is not germane to the analysis, unless illegal discrimination is provable.
The answer to Question (2) depends on the wording of your contract: a contracts or employment law attorney would need to review the contract in order to give you a concrete, reliable answer. I am assuming the employer, foreseeing that you could be terminated in the future, drafted the non-compete clause in such a way that it is operative no matter how you eventually leave the company. I might be wrong, but it is a safe guess. A careful contract review is necessary to confirm.
The answer to Question (3) is a "probably not," unless illegal discrimination as described above is provable. Finally, although you did not ask this, I add that if your contract had some kind of tenure provision in it that protected you from "of right" termination, as opposed to "for cause," you might have an alternative legal remedy in a breach of contract case (not to be confused with wrongful termination, which is a tort action independent of the contract action). I hope the answers you have received on Avvo are helpful to you. Best wishes in landing in a better place very soon, as I am sure you deserve.
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