I was hired on march 2011, I did not tell them I was fired from my prior employment because at the time I was pursuing suing my prior employer for sexual harrassment. My boss turned around and accused me of stealing money from the company, when I went to court I pleaded not guilty, the case is still open and I am currently on PTI program. THey gave me 2 years probation. When that is completed the charges will be dropped. IS a long story but the attorney I consulted with he pulled out from the case telling me that I should seek other counsel. The problem is that is I tell my future employer I was fired for stealing they will never offer me a job anywhere. I worked a whole year and now they tell me I am terminated for lying in my application, can they do that? Do I have a case?
Your employment in NJ is "at will" which means that both the employer and the employee have the right to terminate the employment relationship at any time for any reason. There are some specific state and federal laws that prohibit the employer from exercising that power on the basis of prohibited grounds of bias such as race, gender, religion, etc. But there are no laws that prohibit an employer from terminating an employee for deception in the hiring process. Moreover, in at will employment, the employer's reason for termination, unless it is a pretext for prohibited bias, is not required by law to be correct or provable and the employer does not need to investigate the truth of the matter.
The facts that you have summarized here do not support a legal claim for wrongful termination. If there are additional facts, consult with a local employment attorney.
My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.
I am a California attorney and not eligible to give legal advice in your state. My comments are for information only, based on federal law and general legal principles. YOUR STATE MAY HAVE ITS OWN LAWS THAT PROVIDE SIMILAR OR GREATER PROTECTION. If I refer to your state's laws, that only means I did a quick Internet search and found something that appeared relevant. You should not rely on any comment I make regarding your state's law. You MUST check with an attorney licensed in your state.
Please look at my Avvo guide to at-will employment which may help you understand your rights now and in the future: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/an-overview-of-at-will-employment-all-states.
*** 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. ***
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