Is it legal for my employer to fire me for sexual relations with an employee?

I was a manager. The relations in question did happen. It was mutual and initiated by the other partner. I went for it and won’t deny that part. She wanted more and I told her it couldn’t happen. She became very emotional and aggressive. I tried to patch up so we could have a friendship and good working relationship. These allegations are now appearing 6+ months after. Similar cases I’ve seen in the past, at most they just move the employees. Is there any point in appealing/getting a lawyer? I have seen a psychiatrist for the last 10 months (anxiety, sexual compulsion, depression).

Asked on November 1, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New York


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Was there an employment contract or union agreement that prohibited your employer's action? Was there an existing company policy that governed such a circumstance? Were you treated this way due to some form of actionable discrimination (i.e. for reasons of race, religion, sexual origin, etc)? If not, then your employer violated no laws. The fact is that in a work relationship, an employer has a great deal of discretion in the terms and conditions of employment. This includes when and why to terminate an employee. The fact is that an employee may be discharged for any reason or no reason at all.

Note: For the company not to take action could open them up to potential litigation regrading sexual harassment  since you were in a managerial position.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.