Question: I was VP of a company, and I was told that it would lead to a future partnership. I was recently denied permanent immigration status, which my boss found out about.
One day I found a forged resignation letter, and confronted the President about it. To my surprise, he told me to leave the office, and not to come back. Pure and simple! He now claims I wasn’t even an employee, but an independent contractor, and he owes me nothing.
Is this discrimination, or a wrongful termination? What should I do? What can I do?
North Miami Beach, Florida
Answer: From your email note, it seems that your employer got nervous that you may not have been working legally, and has tried to get you to leave as soon as possible, if not sooner. If that was not his motivation, then it may have been that he wants to deny you the right to collect unemployment insurance, which is surely your right to collect, provided you are legally entitled to be working in this country. From what you described, this is not any kind of discrimination, or wrongful termination.
However, you might want to file for, and (if necessary) fight for unemployment insurance benefits, because that is every unemployed person’s right to do. Though different states have different tests to determine if you have the right to unemployment, almost all do not permit a person to collect unemployment insurance if he or she voluntarily resigned. However, don’t worry – most would not be convinced by a forged resignation.
Good luck in finding something new.
Best, Al Sklover
© 2009 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.