What to do if I was fired along with another employee for having an inappropriate work relationship in a virtual work environment?

I used to be a supervisor and a female employee that directly reported to me sent inappropriate pictures of herself to numerous male employees on the program (from employees to upper management). She also had inappropriate instant message chats with different men on the program. However, ours was done outside of our shift. Recently, myself and her were the only ones that were fired but no one else was including her manager (my boss) that also had inappropriate relationship with her. Is this right? Can I do anything about this or fight it? What legal options do I have?

Asked on October 25, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You my not have any legal options. The fact is that not all employees need to be treated the same or even fairly. Unless some form of actionable discrimination was a factor in your dismissal (i.e. based on your race, religion, etc), no laws have been violated. Your only protection here would be if you have an employment contract, union agreement or company policy to the contrary. Absent that, your employer's actions where lawful.

In an at will work environment, an employer has a great deal of discretion in setting the terms and conditions of the workplace. This includes termination for just this type of behavior. In fact, an employee can be fired for any reason or no reason at all.

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