So my father was recently fired from his job at a car dealership. He had witnessed an accident that almost killed another and gave the police his statement. The driver at fault is a customer at the car dealership and complained to the dealership, thus getting him fired. I want to know, is this legal justification for firing an employee?
1 Answer from Attorneys
He may have a claim for wrongful discharge. These types of claims are limited to discharges for reasons that violate an established public policy. Unfortunately, there have been very few successful cases in this area of the law. Generally, it violates public policy to fire someone for doing something that the law requires or for not doing something that the law prohibits. For instances, I was successful in a case where a bar/restaurant fired my clients because they refused to pay off on video poker machines. While I am not aware of any cases dealing with the circumstances you have identified, your father may be able to establish that it would violate public policy to fire someone for truthfully reporting details of an accident to the police. I suggest your father contact a lawyer who specializes in employment cases. Your father should also apply for unemployment compensation benefits because it does not appear that he was fired for a reason the constitutes willful misconduct.