I am a California attorney and cannot give legal advice in your state. My comments are information only, based on federal law and general legal principles. YOUR STATE MAY HAVE ITS OWN LAWS THAT OFFER SIMILAR OR GREATER PROTECTION. If I mention your state’s laws, it only means I did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant. You MUST check with an attorney licensed in your state to learn your rights.
I'm sorry this happened to you. It sounds like for whatever reason, the employer was not happy with your work and was not interested in bringing you back on board. The harsh reality is employees and job applicants have very few employment rights, and employers have a lot of leeway in how they choose to run their businesses. In general, an employer can be unfair, obnoxious or bad at management. And an employer can make decisions based on faulty or inaccurate information. An employer has no obligation to warn an employee that he or she is not performing as the employer wants. It’s not a level playing field. An employer hires employees to provide work for its benefit, not for the benefit of the employees. Don't expect the employer to take care of its employees; it doesn’t have to and it rarely does.
There are some limitations on what an employer can do, mostly in the areas of public policy (such as discrimination law or whistle blowing), contract law, union-employer labor relations, and constitutional due process for government employees. Please see my guide to at-will employment which should help you understand employment rights: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/an-overview-of-at-will-employment-all-states. After you take a look at the guide, you may be able to identify actions or behavior that fits one of the categories that allows for legal action. If so, an experienced plaintiffs employment attorney may be helpful.
Employment rights come from the state and federal legislatures. One of the best things working people can do to improve their employment rights is to vote for candidates who have a good record on pro-employee, anti-corporate legislation. Another way to protect employment rights is to form or affiliate with a union, or participate in the union already in place.
I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best.
*** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***
File for unemployment (if you haven't already done so). Whether you have a lawsuit against the company for wrongful termination will depend on whether (1) the company had just cause to lay you off - they may not if you got laid off and then people were hired immediately on the heals of your lay off, and (2) whether the reason motivating your lay off was motivated by an illegal reason (ie, discrimination, retaliation, medical leave, etc.).
Because I do not know the entire facts of your situation it is difficult to give you the best, accurate advice for the situation. It is advisable for you to contact an attorney who can discuss this issue in its entirety. Providing information via avvo.com does not constitute the formation of an attorney-client relationship.
You are entitled to unemployment due to your employer's reason. If you believe the real reason was an unlawful reason rather than "lack of work" you should contact an attorney and tell him/her your story. For more information on what constitutes an unlawful reason for termination, visit my website. Also, review my blog article to see what to do if you intend to bring an employment lawsuit.
This is not legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Before taking any action, you should consult an employment attorney.
Unfortunately, Ohio is an at-will employment state. Unless you are a member of a protected class, you were treated differently than other employees, and your work cannot provide a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for this disparate treatment, I’m afraid there is nothing that can be done.
I would recommend you contact an employment attorney if you feel you have been terminated in violation of Federal and/or State Law to discuss what, if any, legal recourse you may have. I would be happy to speak with you if you would like to contact my office to schedule a consultation.
Lori A. Strobl
Strobl & Associates, Co. L.P.A.
1015 E. Centerville Station Road
Centerville, Ohio 45459
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