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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    1

    Default Wrongful Termination and Defamation

    My dad has been driving semi-truck for over 30 years. He had worked for the company he was fired from over 10 years. He was fired for supposedly being an unsafe driver. Every year with the company he was rewarded with a safe driving bonus. On the day he was told he was fired, he was advised he would be receiving an award for one million miles of safe driving.

    We believe for some reason the safety director didn’t like my dad, and he used this excuse to fire him. Because some anonymous person called to complain about my dad's driving. He didn’t receive any ticket, there was no police report, and he has no idea who the person is who called to complain.

    In his 30 plus years of driving, which he has driven millions of miles, he has only had 3 chargeable accidents. Every company he has worked for he has been rewarded as a safe driver.

    I know he was an at-will employee, but does he have any case for defamation? Because being labeled and unsafe driver could hurt his chances of finding another job.

    He applied and received unemployment, and the company tried to fight it. The New Jersey Dept. of Labor sided with my dad. Saying they had no right to fire my dad for the reasons given. They stated they had no proof to show that he was an unsafe driver.

    Just wondering what his options might be.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Wrongful Termination and Defamation

    It isn't immediately clear if there is any cause of action against the company; as you note, your father was an at-will employee, and a report of bad driving (even if unverified) would not ordinarily be an unlawful reason to terminate an at-will employee (even if unreasonable from the standpoint of trying to deny him unemployment insurance). If the supervisor made up the report, or lied about something, there may well be a cause of action against the supervisor. He may wish to have his situation reviewed in detail by a plaintiff-side employment lawyer.

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