Can I be fired from my job for furthering my education?

I have been a CNA at a large hospital for 4 years. During that time I earned my RN. Now, they have posted my current job. I have never been given a verbal or written warning and have been told they are going to fire me. Can they do this?

Asked on July 25, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you do not have an employment contract, you may be fired at any time, for any reason whatsoever, without prior write-ups or warnings, so long as the termination is not:

1) for an illegal discriminatory reason (e.g. because you are a woman, or because of your race, religion, age over 40, or disability)

2) retaliation for having filed a protected claim (such as that you suffered discrimination or for overtime) or used a protected benefit (like FMLA leave)

3) retaliation for bringing a legal violation to light.

If you have an employment contract, you may only be fired in a way that comports with the contract's terms.

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