Laid Off

Question:

I was recently laid off for the reason “Position Eliminated” and less than a week later my position was filled by someone else from a different department – same job – same duties – same title!

Also, now my supervisor lied on my year-end review and gave me a poor rating – even though my 6-month review was really good, our “One on One” meetings every week were good and my Peer Reviews are excellent! Is this libel/slander? He lied & said I was out for 5 days for W/C injury when I was back to work the very next day on light duty. He lied & said my coworkers couldn’t trust my work but I was the only one they’d call to troubleshoot/repair the manufacturing lines. He said I needed to “learn the production line” but then he kept giving me other duties/jobs that aren’t in my description so I never had time to do the production line. Is this wrongful termination?

Signed,

Put Out


Answer:

Dear Put Out:

I regret that you are out of a job, especially under what appears to have been false fabrication. You use the term “laid off” but from what else you said it seems you have been fired.

Our site does not answer legal questions. A labor attorney can, but I doubt that she/he will say you have a case. Why? Because probably you work “at will.” You can quit when you will for good reason or no reason and you can be fired for good reason or no reason, unless you have a union contract or are fired for discriminatory reasons. But an attorney might be able to make a case based on what was in your written and oral job description and other what you say are “lies.” Some attorneys make first consultations free, others not. The issue now is what have you learned from this and can you find another job? I imagine that you have reviewed again and again what might have been the reasons your supervisor built a case against you when previously you had a good working relationship with him. You don’t say if you were given the chance to speak with him and to refute his bad report. You might learn what he saw that you didn’t if you could keep your cool and look him in the eye and have a frank conversation. Or you might get some valuable insights from former coworkers. You might have learned that your supervisor saw a less that committed employee rather than one who approached his job responsibly and enthusiastically. If so, why was that? Work rarely is not without its disappointments. What matters is how we react. Can you keep your chin up and sell yourself in a job hunt? Undoubtedly you have skills and job experience that will be wanted if you can state them positively and not badmouth your former employer. You have peer reviews and a 6-month review that were positive. Make several copies of these. You made contacts that might provide job leads. Don’t allow this experience to sour you or cause you to withdraw. Get out there every day in a job hunt. Does this make sense? My best to you. I hope before long you will find a new workplace and appreciate the hidden meaning in my signature advice: working together with hands, head and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden