Can you take legal action for being terminated without being given as reason or notice?

I received a call this morning stating that my services were no longer needed at my place of employment. My boss said to return the key and he’ll pay me for the hours worked. I went to work everyday on time, covered shifts for sick employees, and even pointed out numerous mistakes other employees made. Whatever I didn’t know or understand I asked my bosses. When I asked why I was terminated I was told nastily that, “I don’t have to give an explanation and you don’t know how to do your job”. Can something be done in this matter?

Asked on March 16, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New York


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Probably not.  Most employment arrangements are what is known as "at will".  Basically this means that an employee can choose to work for an employer or not, and an employer can hire or fire an employee for any reason or for no reason at all - with or without notice.  The exceptions to this would be if this action was not allowed by the terms of an union/employment contract or company policy.  Otherwise, unfortunately, your termination was lawful.

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