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Do I have a case?

Discussion in 'Law School & Careers in Law' started by snilesor, Oct 9, 2007.

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  1. snilesor

    snilesor Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm curious if I have a case for breach of contract or wrongful termination? I moved out here from California for a job which started 3/22/07. Before starting the job I did sign a contract with the company. On September 28 2007, I was called in without notice and was told that they were "letting me go". No discussion previously happened, and I was in fact surprised. About a week or so before that I had a disagreement with the owner of the company but since then everything seemed to be ok. I was doing what was asked of me and in good faith kept to the agreement/terms of the contract.

    Now, I realize that I was employed by an at will company, and that I can be terminated for any reason. They didn't give me a reason though, just that it wasn't working out. So, I took it as a personality conflict or a not a good fit. The feelings were mutual. However, upon reading the contract there was a paragraph that stated:

    Compliance with Employer's Rules: Employee agrees to submit to all of rules and regulations of Employer. Either employee or employer may terminate Employee's employmen by written notice to the other party at any time, for any reason or for no reason.

    My issue with this is that I had no previous notice and definitely wasn't given written notice of termination. They did give me a weeks' severancy pay though. I need to know if I could make a good case for breach of contract? The move to CA was very fast and so I wasn't as careful about the paperwork as I usually am. I do have emails indicating acceptance of the agreement and I have a job offer letter. However, I'm unable to locate a signed copy of the Employee Agreement. How strong would the case be given that there is an agreement via emails, indicating that I've agreed with the Agreement?

    Is a legal case worth pursuing? How much could one sue for? It was a big blow to me. The paid me an income close to what I made in California. Looking for a job is tough here and the salaries aren't even close for the same job. So, it might be a long haul. I don't want to pursue a legal case if it means that there is a good chance that I would lose and waste a lot of my time and energy.

    I would appreciate any legal advice that can be given to me. I'm really tired of rich greedy employers like this one taking advantage of their employees. I didn't deserve to be terminated.

    Thanks,
    Selena
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2007
  2. seniorjudge

    seniorjudge Super Moderator

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    Tell us your definition of contract.
     
  3. snilesor

    snilesor Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Bear with me, for I'm not exactly sure of write terms to use. It was stated as an "Employment Agreement" at the top of the document. Basically it outlines the terms of the employment. What both parties by signing the document are agreeing to. Not sure what further information that I could give to make it clearer.
    Thanks!
     
  4. seniorjudge

    seniorjudge Super Moderator

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    Sounds like a contract to me.

    Now tell us EXACTLY what it says about termination (leaving out identifying and personal info).
     
  5. snilesor

    snilesor Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I thought that I had. It was in bold in the original posting. It has a paragraph in there about AT WILL EMPLOYMENT but other than that I don't see anything specific to termination except for confidentiality clauses after termination.
     
  6. brendo927

    brendo927 New Member

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    At will employment means that they can fire you at any time for any reason. Rhode Island has that same law. There is really nothing you can do about if it did say AT WILL EMPLOYMENT, unless they owed you wages. I worked for a mortgage broker who fired me AT WILL and tried not to pay me for commission that I had made. I sent a letter to my states labor board and they threatened to fine the company 1000 a day until they paid me. NEVER give up if you know you are right.
     
  7. Scooterdog

    Scooterdog New Member

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    If the company has an "employee handbook" they generaly do not go with "at will doctorine".

    Montana, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have all overidden the doctorine through state legislation.
     
  8. brendo927

    brendo927 New Member

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    really doesnt state laws override something like that?
     
  9. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    What Montana, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have done makes no difference in Rhode Island, which is still an employment at will state.

    No one here can say if there has been a breach of contract since we cannot read the contract from here. No wrongful termination, as defined by law, has taken place based on the poster's description but only an attorney in Rhode Island who has read the contract in full can say if the contract has been breached.
     
  10. Scooterdog

    Scooterdog New Member

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    If you have a handbook, those are the rules. This is how the oilfield screws employee's and kills and dismember people left and right and get away with it.


    If you knew how to argue the law it sure would.

    .

    Um, you are entitled to use the best law from the most advanced state.

    States that use the old out dated At Will Doctorin, which stems from stale case law dating back to 1884! The case was Payne v. Western & Atlantic RR.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2008

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