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

Answers:

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.


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