I quit my job on Tuesday this week. Two days later, my fiancé who worked in the same department as me got terminated unexpectedly and with no prior warning or any prior communications about performance worries or anything else. The only logical reason we can come up with for his termination is retaliation for me quitting. I think he has grounds to file for wrongful termination, but we live in an at will state. Anybody with employment law knowledge and any insights here?

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Whatttt?!?!? Are you serious? That is crazy. I would def reach out to a lawyer but it is going to be very hard to prove. I'm so sorry you're going through this.

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Thanks to both of you. We are reaching out to an attorney just to ask if they think we have a leg to stand on. Half way expecting them to say no it’s not worth it (they are a friend, so don’t believe they will give us the run around just to get paid).

I hadn’t yet considered the department of labor, that’s a wonderful option as well! Also, good point about having potential future employers finding out about a suit on a previous employer. That would certainly hinder us.

Again, thanks for all the input!

The reality of employment law for an at-will state is that the employer has little need to provide cause even regardless of all the other points of discrimination.

It’s not right, it’s an abuse of power, your only recourse is appealing to a higher level manager or HR on the dismissal of your fiancé.

If it is retaliation based off a supervisors emotions, the reality of what management and the company or the law can do is subject to the humanity of the individuals involved.

Be diplomatic through it all and appeal higher and higher up the chain. But their hope is that you won’t waste the time and you will move on. Tough on all counts but in this job market, opportunity cost.

Thank you. This is kind of what I was thinking. Of course, he doesn’t really want his job back after this, so appealing the termination isn’t going to accomplish the goal, but I do wonder if a judge would have enough humanity to grant a payout for it. Thank you for your input it’s really helpful!

What proof do you have that this was retaliation?

Unfortunately no hard evidence, just suspicion based on the timeline and our direct report having no prior issues with him.

Did anyone else in the department get terminated with your fiance? Was he the only one?

He was the only one. We’ve been in contact with everyone else in the department since and they are all still there and were shocked to hear about this.

Did you give them a two week notice before quitting?

No, but I don’t see what that would have to do with anything. Retaliation is illegal regardless.

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