Fired for having an accident

I worked for a Private Carting/Sanitation Company. I was fired for having an accident with the truck while working. A police report was not made. My boss made me return to finish my route after the accident, then fired me when I got back to the office. I have not received my last two weeks pay, and my unemployment insurance has been denied because of him. He has come to my home 2 times. He insists that I owe him money, although I do not. He will not release my paychecks for this reason. He constantly calls me, although I have told him to leave me alone. I have found another job, and have been working for 2 weeks now. What should I do?

1 answer  |  asked Jul 5, 2002 4:43 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

David M. Lira
Getting the Last Pay Check

There isn't anything you can do about being fired. New York is an employment at will state, meaning you can be fired at any time, for any reason, or no reason at all.

You might have a case only if you sincerely believe that the real reason for your termination had little to do with the accident, and that the real reason had something to do with things like your race or national origin, or because you asserted some other right, such as filing for workers' compensation benefits or health insurance benefits. If this is the case, then what you realy have is a possible discrimination claim. But only possible. Your case would need to be more thoroughy evaluated.

You can do something about the boss withholding your last pay check. In NYS, that is illegal, even if you owe the boss money. The best way to handle this situation is to contact the New York State Department of Labor.

But note, if your boss thinks you owe him money, he can still take you to court. Don't ignore a summons he might serve on you, because you might one day find somebody you don't know making a withdrawal from you bank account.

When it comes to your boss hounding you at home about the money he claims you owe him, call the police.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Jul 9, 2002 12:35 PM [EST]

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