Fired day after associate resigned?

by Ron

On Thursday, a working partner resigned from where I work, giving 4 weeks notice so as to not leave the employer in a tough situation involving software product delivery.

My employer was mercurial and lambasted the partner, but later that day offered him a different arrangement, where he could work-from-home exclusively AND had no more company travel demands. The partner refused the offer and the employer went ballistic.

On Friday I arrived to work early, as was my habit for 19 months, and was immediately ushered into the conference room and given a termination letter, stating that my performance/skills no longer meet the performance/skill needs of the company. This may have no relevance, but I am 68 years old.

I believe, as does the partner, that my termination was intended to punish the partner for resigning. This employer has done this twice before that I am aware of. I think this is a "breach of covenant of good faith." I have kept good notes and have communicated with other former employees who were party to the prior resignation/discharge scenarios.

The work plan and schedule before and after Friday was no different, therefore I fail to understand how the claim that my performance/skills were no longer useful holds any credibility.

Six months prior, I received a very nice annual review and pay increase based on performance/skills. Other employees had previously engaged in conversation with the employer, who cited my contribution to the overall effort in very positive and appreciative terms. These folks have agreed to testify to the factual content of these discussions.

The discharge has turned my life upside down. At my age, finding new employment is more difficult than ever, but I am conducting a structured job search effort. Is there anything I can do about this? Do I have a case for wrongful termination? Thank you for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Fired day after associate resigned?":

Ron (Florida):

You may have the basis of a breach of contract case, if you were dismissed in violation of that contractual agreement. Unfortunately, under the facts you present it appears you were not working under such an agreement.

While you were clearly an excellent employee, it appears you had an "at-will" employment relationship with your employer. With that said, you don't appear to have any legal recourse.

In the alternative, if you have proof you were terminated strictly on the basis of your age, you would have the basis of a discrimination case against your employer. Once again, the facts you present do not seem to support to support such a case.

Unfortunately, after a review of the facts you present, it appears you don't have the basis of a wrongful termination case.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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