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False accusations led to lost wages, bogus ultimatum

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? Montana

I live in Washington State but had a summer job in St. Mary, Montana where I was hired by a seasonal resort as Assistant Cafe Manager. My contract stated that I would be an hourly employee, receive no less than 52 hours per week ( I averaged 67) and would receive an incentive-based bonus upon completion of my contract. About a month and a half before completion of my contract, I was called into the GM's office. He told me that on two occassions, he had employees of mine come to him and accuse me of stealing their tips. Although he admitted that he has no proof and never saw me take any money that I had lost all credibility as a manager and had two choices:

1. Take a demotion to a line cook position which paid half of what i was makng as a manager and would also cut my end of season bonus by more than 50%.
2. Quit and go home

I chose the latter as I can not live off of $6 an hour and did not desire to explain the situation regarding my demotion to everybody that asked. I guess what I'm asking is if any of my rights were violated and is there any action I can take against my former employer regarding lost wages and defamation.


Senior Member
You are mistaken if you think you have certain rights under this scenario.

you don't. It matters not why you quit. The simple fact is you did quit. And even if you had been fired, it would have been legal.


I'm a Northern Girl
No, none of your rights were violated. No, this does not even remotely approach giving you a defamation claim.

However, if you had a bona fide contract (as opposed to an offer letter) it probably wouldn't do any harm to run it past a local attorney to see if it was violated. I suspect that what you have does not constitute a valid contract but there's no harm in checking, since Montana law is different from that of all other states when it comes to terminations.
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