Can my boss fire me over somethingthat Isaid that is completely unrelated to my job?

I made a crude comment about a woman standing outside of our storeand turns out it was my boss’s girlfriend. I had no idea and appologised relentlessly. About a week later I was coming in for my shift and he started screaming and yelling at me while threatening to call the cops telling me to leave. I was so embarrassed since he was screaming at me in front of other employees, and I just don’t feel that he has the right to fire me. I’m a good worker and never have been written up or anything. What should I do?

Asked on March 11, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, your boss can almost certainnly fire you for this reason. Employees are employees at will, unless they have a contract (including a union agreement) which guarantees or protects their employment. If they do not have such a contract and are an employee at will, they may be fired at any time, for any reason whatsoever, including conduct allegedly unrelated to the job. (Though note: if you made a crude comment to someone outside your store, then you were arguably making your store/employer look bad, since you, as an employee, were making an inappropriate comment near the store; therefore, this action may not be as unrelated to your job as you might otherwise think. For future reference, be aware that many employers will terminate employees whom they believe make the employer look bad in some way.)

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