Is it illegal to fire somebody if they did not read employee handbook or sign it and break a policy they didn’t know about but according to their words in handbook you didn’t technically break?

Got pulled over by police off the clock. In
handbook ‘reading after termination’ says
you have to report within 3 days of any
citation. I never got a ticket that night but 3
months later I got something in the mail
saying driver license was suspended.
Gave that to them next day and fired
same day. 2 other guys went through
same thing and still work there. I never
signed a handbook or even knew about
policies regarding this and neither did
supervisor when he found out. Later found
out they have an ‘at will’ clause but didn’t
know about that either. Was never
discussed or signed anything if the sort.

Asked on April 5, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Most states have "at will" employment (it is not a company policy). This means that, an employer can terminate a worker for any reason or no reason at all. That is so long as no form of actionable discrimination is the reason for their treatment. In other words, as long as it is not based on their race, religion, gender, national origin, age (over 40), disability, etc. Otherwise, not all empoyees need be treated the same (or even fairly). Accordingly, unless this action violated a union agreement or employment contract, it was legal.

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