Can i sue my place of employment if an employer retaliated against me?

I have reason to believe that an employee that works in the same department has retaliated against me and now i am on a weeks leave of pay waiting to see if i am terminated. About a month ago an employee who is just an auditor and i had a fall out. She didn't like that i had questioned her about a request that she was asking from me. I went to my supervisor about this and he took it to the manager. I told the manager that i was in fear that she was going to try and get me fired. Of course the manager sided with her end of conversation. I left the fall out alone and just went about my every day work duties. I wasn't rude with her and when she would ask me to do something i did it willingly. Just recently i was pulled into the office because HR seen a descripency in my timecard. there were a few times that i was running late to work and so i would clock in from home (dumb mistake in my part)She questioned me and i told her that i was trying not to be late. She then questioned me about why was i not logged onto my system until 20min after walking into the building i proceeded to explain to her that my system was acting up and so i would have to shut down all the way then reboot it in order for my applications to come upon the screen. She then proceeded to tell me that there was a witness that seen me come in late. I told her that yes i clocked in from home but there were others that when i walked into the building were also standing around talking. She reminded me of the policy that when i am in the workplace that as soon as i come in i need to be ready to work. I also know first hand of employees in my department that leave for hours for lunch come in clock in then clock back out half hour later but i did not share that with her. Wether she is going to investigate that issue i am not sure. To me it just seems like a coincidence that i get to work at 6 there are only 3 people in the area and one of them i had the fallout with then all of a sudden i am pin pointed for fraud when this individual knows of the others who also commit fraud. This employee is known to have people transfer out or get fired or quit. The manager does not know this because she has only been the manager for 2 yrs. So now not only do i look like a trouble maker but now i might have fraud in my records. I went through the latter of commands and not one of them protected me now i am on the verge of getting fired due to this employee. Do i have a case here? Should i talk with a lawyer about this?

1 answer  |  asked Feb 6, 2013 12:15 AM [EST]  |  applies to Arizona

Answers (1)

Francis Fanning
To answer your question I have to make some assumptions. First, I assume that you do not have a written contract of employment and that your employer is not a government agency. If these assumptions are correct, this means you are an at-will employee and your employer does not need a reason to terminate you. You would have to show that the reason for your termination was something that violates the public policy of Arizona. If the auditor was asking you to do something unlawful and, after complaining, you were fired in retaliation for your complaiant, that could amount to a wrongful discharge for "whistleblowing." However, if she merely asked you to do something that you disagreed with, even something contrary to company policy, you would not qualify as a "whistleblower" and your termination would not be wrongful. There is no law that prohibits retaliation generally. The laws that prohibit retaliation are narrow and specific. For example, complaining about unlawful discrimination (i.e. discrimination on account of race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age or disability) is protected conduct, and retaliation for such complaints is prohibited by the same laws that prohibit those forms of discrimination. But generic complaints are usually not protected conduct. If you think your complaint was a complaint of some kind of unlawful conduct and if you actually get terminated, you may want to consult with an attorney for a more in-depth evaluation of your case.

posted by Francis Fanning  |  Feb 6, 2013 2:22 PM [EST]

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