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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    7

    Default Contract Employee Fired Despite Expectation of a Permanent Position

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: IL

    Hi All,

    My fiancÚ recently took a contract to hire job in Chicago that required her to quit her current full time job as a school social worker. The job was contracted out through an agency who verbally stated that they are aggressively hiring and that they will hire after 6 months on the job.

    She took the job along with 5 others who were put into a training class. It was communicated in the beginning that if you work hard and get good scores you have nothing to worry about. After one month 2 of these of new employees in this training class were fired because they were not performing up to their standards. My fiancÚ asked if the previous class of 6 had been hired on since it was more than 6 months from their hire date and no one was hired on. In addition to that many within that group were also let go. The training assistant also informed my fiancÚ that she was the only one out of her group of 6 that is still there because a majority were also fired.

    Long story short she was let go today not due to poor performance but due to the management staff not having faith that she will be able to be successful in the future due to increased challenges they expect she will take on in the job. She received several emails within this two month time stating she was doing a good job and there are records of her good scores on work she submitted.

    Is there a law against companies that hire and fire aggressively like this. Do you believe this could be a case of wrongful termination or is this not worth the time to fight it. There was no severance included in this termination.

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere near Canada
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    35,894

    Default Re: Wrongful Termination

    Nothing illegal happened here; it is in no way a wrongful termination.

    This will explain why: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrongful_dismissal

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Florida
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    Default Re: Wrongful Termination

    *sigh*

    What does her contract say? That's what will control barring discharge because of some protected class status...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    8,238

    Default Re: Wrongful Termination

    Whether it’s wrongful termination depends on the reason why she was fired. In the U.S., most private (i.e. nongovernment) employment is “at will.” Under the common law, that meant that both employee and employer may terminate the employment relationship at any time for any reason. Federal and state laws, however, now prohibit employers for terminating employees for a few certain specific reasons. The prohibited reasons include firing you because:

    • of your race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, or genetic test information under federal law (some states/localities add a few more categories like sexual orientation);
    • you make certain kinds of reports about the employer to the government or in limited circumstances to specified persons in the employing company itself (known as whistle-blower protection laws);
    • you participate in union organizing activities;
    • you use a right or benefit the law guarantees you (e.g. using leave under FMLA);
    • you filed a bankruptcy petition;
    • your pay was garnished by a single creditor; and
    • you took time off work to attend jury duty (in most states).


    The exact list of prohibited reasons will vary by state. If, in fact, the employer fired her because they believed she would not be able to handle the work, that’s not wrongful termination because the reason isn’t one of the relatively few that the law prohibits, like those I listed above. If the company lied about teh reason and the real reason was one that it is prohibited, like her sex, race, religion, etc., that would be wrongful termination. The problem, of course, is in proving that the real reason was something the law prohibits.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Wrongful Termination

    Oh, where is cbg when I need her.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    OH10
    Posts
    17,019

    Default Re: Contract Employee Fired Despite Expectation of a Permanent Position

    Read the contract. It was likely through a temp service, however even if it was not, absent a written contract or CBA she is an employee at will.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,521

    Default Re: Contract Employee Fired Despite Expectation of a Permanent Position

    The answer in this case is in the terms of the contract, if indeed what she has is a contract. It is NOT a wrongful termination as defined by law, as indicated in Doggie's link. IF she has a legally binding and enforceable contract AND IF it spells out guaranteed terms of employment that have been violated, then she may sue them. If it is not, OR if it is but the terms of employment have not been violated, then the best she can hope for is unemployment (and I see no reason why she would not qualify).

    Naturally, it stands to reason that since none of us have read the document purporting to be a contract, we cannot say if (a) it is a legally binding contract (b) whether it guarantees terms of employment or (c) whether such terms have been violated./

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
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    Default Re: Contract Employee Fired Despite Expectation of a Permanent Position

    I realize the field is different, but this is sounding like a very expensive vacuum cleaner company.

    (Who also treat their employees - sorry, W9 folk - like pig manure)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Contract Employee Fired Despite Expectation of a Permanent Position

    Agreed with the other answers. There is one phrase that caught my attention, specifically "that required her to quit her current full time job as a school social worker". There is a legal concept called Detrimental Reliance. This is a very difficult case to make in a labor law concept, but if one is looking at very long shots, a winning DR case (what very few there have been) starts out something similar to the statement. Under Employment At Will, the termination is legal but there is a very small chance that requiring the employee to quit her prior job, in context with a whole bunch of other things not yet discussed, could support a DR claim. This is very technical stuff. Not DIY. Talk to an attorney who specializes in termination law territory.

    The big DR case that everyone likes to cite is Grouse, where a pharmacist quit his old job, relocated at his own expense, then hung around 3 weeks waiting to start work before learning that the employer decided to not hire him several months early, but kept him hanging around just in case their first choice failed to work out. The court ruled that the failure to hire was completely legal, but hanging Grouse out to dry was not. Despite the major adverse reaction in the labor law community when this came out, the court was careful to very narrowly decide the case, and stress that Employment At Will was not effected.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    18,340

    Default Re: Wrongful Termination

    [QUOTE=Taxing Matters;839683]Whether it’s wrongful termination depends on the reason why she was fired. In the U.S., most private (i.e. nongovernment) employment is “at will.” Under the common law, that meant that both employee and employer may terminate the employment relationship at any time for any reason. Federal and state laws, however, now prohibit employers for terminating employees for a few certain specific reasons.
    /QUOTE]

    Hi TM.

    I was wondering when you'd arrive at this site.

    Welcome.

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