Wrongful Termination

I was let go from a large Public Accounting firm in June 2000. They said it was for poor performance. However, this came as a shock since I always had good written reviews, which I still have. In addition, I was never told before my termination that my performance was a problem.

I never considered doing anything since they said they would help me find another job. They never did. I found a new position on my own. However, in thinking about it I was not let go for a valid reason.

2 answers  |  asked Oct 19, 2001 8:50 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (2)

Outten & Golden LLP

Unfortunately, employers in New York do not need a "valid" reason to fire you at any time; they only need a non-discriminatory one. Generally speaking, if you did not enter into an employment agreement with your former employer, you are an "employee-at-will," and can be fired for any reason not prohibited by law (such as age, gender, race, religion, disability, etc).

If you were terminated for an illegal reason, including those listed above, then in most cases, you have 300 days from the termination to bring a discrimination claim to the appropriate venue.

Our firm has extensive experience with evaluating discrimination claims and can offer services of this type on an hourly fee basis, or perhaps, a contingency fee. If you are interested in retaining our firm, please telephone us at 212-245-1000 and ask to speak to Erica Rivera, who handles our intake process.

posted by Outten & Golden LLP  |  Oct 23, 2001 1:14 PM [EST]
David M. Lira
Termination Allegedly for Performance

In NY State an employer does not need a valid reason to terminate an employee. The reason can even be untrue, and you could not do much about it. This is because of NY's employment at will doctrine.

The probably is that there is nothing much you can do, unless you can show that your termination falls into one of the exceptions to the employment at will doctrine. Basically, an exception says that you can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all, provided that the reason is not one prohibited by law.

Exceptions to the employment at will doctrine include employment agreements, and anti-discrimination laws.

Please note that there are statute of limitiations attached to the exceptions. The applicable statute of limitations varies depending on the statute and right involved, and can vary from 120 days to 6 years.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Oct 22, 2001 09:41 AM [EST]

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