My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: North Carolina
I was recently terminated for "actions unbecoming of a leader". I was a supervisor in a corporate contact center with over 500 people in my department. I started talking to an employee and it eventually turned sexual, not physically, but through texting. She would send me explicit messages and I would send her some as well. She was not a direct report for me, nor did she report to the same manager that I did. There was never a text or an indication that she wanted to stop or that she was uncomfortable.
She did stop talking from time to time, but would pick right back up when texting me. She sent me a subjective picture of her in the tub showing only her legs in a sexual manner. She texted me about going to her parents lake house and us being naked and having "fun" together. She recently took this to HR and I was fired. I had to go into a room and have a phone conversation with someone in employee relations in our main corporate office.
I advised of the entire situation and that I had recently got a new phone so all of the other text message were on my old phone which was sitting on my dresser at home, but that I could get this and bring it in to show the entire string of texts and the context of them. The only response I got from this was "uh huh". Moments later, HR entered the room with my senior member of management and they advised me that I was being terminated for "actions unbecoming of a leader". I have a few questions about this.
1.) Am i not supposed to be able to provide evidence that this was mutual?
2.) My department consist of 700 agents, 42 supervisors, 13 managers, and 3 senior level managers. The company policy on fraternization clearly states that it is only a violation if the two parties report to the same manager and we didn't, so how can this be "actions unbecoming of a leader"?
3.) Will I be entitled to unemployment? If they pushback on my unemployment, would the consensual texts between her and I be enough to overturn their refusal to allow unemployment?
4.) Do I have any leg to stand on whatsoever with North Carolina being an "at will" state?