Is my termination legal and if not, what can I be entitled to? Posted on May 14, 2011
I am 21 years old and am a rising senior at Emory University in Atlanta. I live in New York and am living in LA for 2 months to intern with a sports agency here (I'd prefer not to name the agency unless I actually have a case). I turned down internships with two other agencies for this internship, which only provides an opportunity for college credit as compensation. I started on Monday and was doing great work for them. I was having a conversation with my colleague Tuesday about my career goals. I told her that I had interned with another agency previously (I interned in that agency's football division; this agency only represents basketball and baseball players) and that I was considering interning there in the fall to continue to get good work experience. On Thursday afternoon, I was called into a meeting with that colleague, the director of human resources, and the EVP of my division. The EVP told me that they were aware that I had worked at the competitor from my resume but just found out that I was going to go back there after this internship. He told me that because they don't want any trade secrets going to the competitor that they were terminating my internship. I iterated that the division of the competitor I worked for did not compete with this agency. I also explained that I had only gotten an offer from the competitor and that nothing was set in stone yet. They said that wouldn't matter because they did not want to tell me I could not intern with the competitor. I continued to remind them that I was only in LA to intern and that I don't know anyone here, that I paid for airfare, apartment rent and car rental in order to keep this internship. All they did was say they were sorry and explained the departure procedures to me. This is an agency that I want to work for and I think I have a good chance at working for them after I graduate. I am only interested in pursuing this legally if the legal gain would justify losing the relationship.
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