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Wrongful termination?

I work directly for a brand as a brand ambassador and considered to be an independent contractor. I was fired this morning via email. In the email, my manager states that it has come to her attention that I used the company's product for personal use and therefore stole from the company. She also added she was going to withhold compensation from the last event I worked in order to cover the cost of the product and remove me from all events moving forward. My manager did not contact me beforehand about any accusations but I'm sure this is a result of a miscommunication with a coworker. I did not use the company's product for personal use and steal from them. My manager has no proof and is just assuming that the information from my coworker is the truth. I did call her and leave her a voicemail stating there was a miscommunation and that I did not steal but I have not heard back and I don't think I will. This manager has also fired a couple of people because of discrimination and accusations without talking to them first. Is this wrongful termination? I'm not sure if I should take legal action.

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Submitted Wed, 05/10/2017 - 12:30

Wrongful termination usually refers to termination for discriminatory reasons like race, gender, or disability, and /or retaliatory and adverse employment actions based upon those discriminatory acts.

First, we would need to get more detail about your relationship with the corporation. If you were an independent contractor, which it sounds like you were, they didn't really terminate you but may have breached your contract.

Even if you were an employee, as Massachusetts is an at-will employment state, you can be terminated for almost any reason, except for the discriminatory reasons above.

You may have a wage violation claim.

Even though you were not an employee of the corporation, they must pay all wages, commissions, and earned compensation when due, and at the end of your relationship (termination as you call it), you should receive all compensation due at that time.

You have recourse with the Attorney General's Office for a Wage Violation directly or in a private right of action with an attorney, which could entitle you to three times whatever compensation was due and possibly attorney's fees to prosecute the action.

An attorney would need to see all the documentation regarding your agreement with the corporation to show you have performed the services sold the products required by your agreement, what compensation is due, how it was calculated, etc.

These are simply some initial thoughts based on your inquiry. You should consult and attorney on this matter before taking any action or forgoing any action. This is not legal advice; just some general thoughts on your matter.

Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss your matter further.


Matthew J. Kidd, Esq.

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