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I am looking for some advice with a recent problem I have come across with my ex manager/employer.

I was recently fired from my position by my store manager at the time due to a lot of issues we were having with one another. I was told i was being let go and that I needed to collect my things, clock out of the system and leave.

Two days later (as I am writing this, today) I received a call from a boss higher up within the company asking why I had decided to quit my job.

I explained there are multiple reasons why I would quit but it would mainly be due to the bad relations between me and my acting manager. But, I did state that I did not quit, and did not plan to quit until I had found another source of income; I was let go by the manager.

He become very confused and stated that he ended up receiving a resignation letter from my then manager stating that I voluntarily quit instead of being terminated; and that was the reason for the phone call so he could know what happened as I was actively transitioning to a higher role within the company at the time of my "quitting".

As of writing this, I have not signed or have been asked to sign any sort of paper work regarding my termination or have written or signed anything regarding a resignation as well. I have tried calling that higher up back but I cannot get a hold of him or receive a phone call back after multiple attempts after my initial call.

Is there anything I can do about this?

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    Yeah thats.... thats pretty bad. Wild move by the manager. You will need some country tags before anyone can say for sure what your options are. That being said, depending on what you want - your job back? unemployment benefits? to sue your manager? - you should really consult a lawyer in your area as opposed to getting advice here.
    – InBedded16
    Commented May 2 at 19:37
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    How recently did you get that phone call? Perhaps the higher-up is still investigating. Commented May 2 at 19:38
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    I'd say that this question falls directly into the "Call an actual lawyer" realm
    – Peter M
    Commented May 2 at 20:26
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    Will/have you applied for unemployment insurance? Commented May 2 at 20:40
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    VTC - I think this is a legal question and one in which a Lawyer would be very interested to get the full story. I suspect the Manager has committed some form of Fraud (IIRC Unemployment in the US is tied to whether you quit or were fired and if they are falsifying that...) Commented May 2 at 21:53

3 Answers 3

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Is it illegal for an employer to falsify a resignation letter after being fired?

It sure is. Falsifying documents is always problematic. In this case the difference between being fired and resigning can have substantial legal and economic consequences (severance, unemployment, health insurance, etc.) so this can easily be considered to be fraudulent.

Is there anything I can do about this?

That depends a lot on what you actually want to happen. But your best shot is to talk to a lawyer. Do NOT interact with the company until you have discussed this with a lawyer: they can tell you how to proceed and specifically what to do and not to do and what to say and what not to say.

Chances are the something significantly illegal has happened here and that gives your some leverage. How and for what to use this leverage depends on what exactly you want to get out of this.

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  • Something illegal has happened, but it doesn't sound like the company at fault, rather one supervisor acting without the ok of the actual management
    – Ben Voigt
    Commented May 3 at 14:47
  • @BenVoigt; Doesn't matter (in some cases). If the company acts on the information and that results in damages to the OP, they are liable. One example would be that OP files for unemployment and gets declined. The company can try to recoup any damages from the fraudulent employee but that's a different legal action and the OP wouldn't be involved in that.
    – Hilmar
    Commented May 3 at 18:20
  • Or if the employee wants his wages paid, since he didn't resign and wasn't fired either. That would be the full wages, not just unemployment.
    – gnasher729
    Commented May 3 at 22:16
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Yes it is illegal, and my thought is that the only way this matters is in respect to unemployment. If you are denied unemployment because "you quit", then this fraud becomes important to the state unemployment agency.

If you do not intend on seeking unemployment insurance, then I would just let it go.

If, however, you do intend to file then this becomes a major issue. The first place I would start, is the boss that called. Inform him that you intend to file for unemployment and any resignation letter on your behalf is a forgery. If he is reasonable, then the issue is probably settled, and you can file successfully.

If he is belligerent, then I would open a case with the state and perhaps seek legal advice and only on a contingency basis. You will have to forego income during this time as the state will initially deny your claim.

If the boss is smart, then he will show you as fired so not to incur the wrath of the state.

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  • It’s not a crime the company is committing until it reports it somewhere under an obligation to be truthful (unemployment, in court in response to a defemation suit, etc). It may be a crime the prior manager was committing against the company.
    – jmoreno
    Commented May 3 at 22:05
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I can't see how this could be legal. But I am not a lawyer. And my entirely amateur understanding is that if you weren't harmed by the letter (and it looks like you weren't) then there isn't much you can do about it. Or really much you want to do about it. It's pretty much an internal matter for the company. Getting a lawyer involved is probably expensive and unnecessary at this stage.

The only thing I would do is write a letter stating the actual facts - that you were terminated, that you did not resign or write any letter that looked like a resignation letter. Send a copy to the manager who fired you, the "higher-up" who talked to you, and human resources at the company. Do it in a way that proves you've done it - recorded delivery would be great, but email might be enough.

Then sit back and see if anything happens. The only trouble you might get in is if you need to apply for unemployment benefit and the company says you resigned.

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  • Whether the OP has been harmed hasn’t yet been determined, having been fired the OP’s first step should be filing for unemployment. At which time if the company reports the event as termination / resignation, will determine if harm has been done. At the moment it could be just one company employee lying to another (or conceivably company employee lying to ex-employee for some reason).
    – jmoreno
    Commented May 3 at 10:41
  • @jmoreno That's exactly my point. The OP hasn't been harmed yet. And if the company says they resigned when contacted by the unemployment, then that's the time at which they have been harmed, and that's the time to get a lawyer involved. Writing a letter setting the facts straight is just a pre-emptive move. Commented May 18 at 18:39

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