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If you complain to a coworker’s manager and later that same day you fired because of “team compatibility reasons”, could this be grounds for a retaliation lawsuit despite living in an ‘at will’ state?

likefunny
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Were there other incidents before? Just wondering if there were other reasons. And how exactly did she not know how to talk to people? Even if you might be right in complaining about her, you’d have done better off speaking to her directly about it. Going above her head reeks of white male superiority and shows you’re not a team player, tbh. Not saying you can’t do that ever, and maybe you were in the right, but I’d also look at how you could have perhaps approached this situation differently.

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likehelpful
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Hey ED-your title has a typo

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likefunny
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😮

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Wow you must have done something wild to get terminated so swiftly

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likesmartfunny
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What did you actually say to her boss? There are right and wrong ways to bring up criticism/feedback. Don’t want to jump to conclusions, but based on some of your responses here, it seems plausible you were less diplomatic than you perceived yourself to be in the conversation. “Retaliation” in a legal sense only applies if you’re being retaliated against for a protected activity, like reporting harassment or fraud. Critiquing another employee’s performance is not a protected category of action. Particularly if you do it inappropriately

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Without knowing more details I’d say this: - Yes , you potentially could sue. You are an at will employee so technically they can term you at any time. That said, if they didn’t need to term you and did so unfairly you could have a case. When we term someone we look at all liabilities regardless of at will. No idea if you have a good case though. - If I’m reading between the lines it sounds a little like you may have crossed the line in your complaints. I’m a little surprised it didn’t lead to a warning, but I wonder if you’ve already been warned. Or if your comments were just that bad. - As a white male I’ve caught myself saying “in this environment” too, but you’ve got to remember that “this environment” before wasn’t so awesome to anyone not a white man, so you have to be sensitive to DEI initiatives that are trying to make our industry a better place. Sounds like this will be a tough lesson.

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You sound like a great, informed ally. Need more people like you in the workplace. Thank you.

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Nope. And take this as a lesson to not bite the hand that feeds you, even if you’re technically in the right.

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likehelpful
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Noted. For my next role, I’ll put “Doormat” on my email signature .

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likefunny
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You're better off not working there anyways

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likeuplifting
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Depends which state honestly and the details around the dismissal

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The burden of proof is on you. And this one is easy to chalk up as coincidental. Unfortunately, I'd say no.

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CW2: Good points. I tried talking to her directly. Lesson learned.

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What did you say?

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