Can your employer fire you for no reason?

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2023 | Severance |

You’ve been fired, and your employer won’t even give you a reason. You suspect that they don’t even have one or that it’s something petty and minor. This feels very unfair to you because this job was your livelihood.

But is it illegal? If you demand a reason from your employer, do they have to give you one? And if it turns out that they actually did fire you for no reason, is that a violation of your rights as an employee? Or can they really just take your source of income away from you without justification?

Do you have an employment contract?

Employees who have a contract may have a clause stipulating that they can only be fired for cause. This means that your employer would have to prove that there was a valid reason to let you go. If they cannot do so, they have to let you work the entire term of the contract – whether that’s just for the next month, the next year or some other specified timeframe.

However, most employees do not have contracts. They are just at-will employees. If you fall into this category, then your employer does not need a reason to fire you. They can do it at any time. The only stipulation is that they can’t use an illegal reason – such as your race or your gender. But that doesn’t mean that they have to provide you with a reason or that they even have to have one in the first place.

What options do you have?

Employment disputes like this can get very complicated, especially if you suspect that your rights have been violated and that your employer is simply refusing to admit it. If you find yourself in this position, be sure you know about all of your legal options.

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