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Can your boss fire you for no reason?

A few months ago, you got a new job, and you’ve been learning the ropes. You feel like it’s going well. You think that you may have a long future at the company and this is a stepping stone in your career.

But then your boss comes to you and tells you that they’re going to be letting you go. You’re shocked because you have been doing a good job and there haven’t been any complaints about your work ethic or your conduct. When you ask your boss for a reason, they tell you that there isn’t necessarily a reason, but that it’s just not working out and they want to cut costs.

From your perspective, this feels very unfair because you didn’t do anything to lose your job. Your boss can’t even tell you why they’re firing you. Is it illegal for them to do so?

Are you an at-will employee?

If you are an at-will employee, this is legal. Your boss does not need a reason to fire you. 

Additionally, they can use almost any reason at all. It could be as simple as feeling like they can’t get along with you on a personal level. They don’t need to fire you for cause, such as if you made mistakes at your job or participated in illegal activity at work. They can fire you for no reason at all if you are an at-will employee.

The main thing to keep in mind is that there are still unlawful reasons why people get fired. For instance, if you get fired because of protected characteristics such as your gender, your religion or your ethnic background, that is unlawful because these are protected classes under Federal and State law. 

So, your boss doesn’t necessarily have to give you a reason that you feel is valid, but they are still prohibited from using these unlawful reasons. If they do, then you may need to look into all of your options moving forward. Your rights as an employee may have been violated.



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