Can someone befired after2 days on the day because they did not finish college?

The question of college never came up in her interview except: “Which school did you go to?” She told them and that was it. Never the question of whether or not she graduated. The first day on the job they found out she didn’t graduate and fired her the next day; at the end of the day. When I inquired as to why, they told me that she was not qualified. I asked what qualifications she needed and what the job duties were. Basically she needed a BA to clean the office and take calls. I asked a BA in what? They didn’t care. I feel like there is a bias against those without education.

Asked on July 29, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There might be a bias against those with a college degree. However, that bias is legal. Only certain forms of discrimination or bias are specifically illegal: e.g. vs. race, sex, religion, age over 40, disability. Over types of bias are allowed, so it's ok, for example, for a business owner to fire someone because he doesn't like the fact that she's a Tea Party member. Generally speaking, except for those few, specifically protected areas, employment is employment at will, and employers may terminate someone at any time, for any reason.

Moreover, a good case could be made that your girlfriend lied on her application, which would generally be grounds for termination for cause. When someone asks, "which school did you go to," it is understood to mean which school(s) did you graduate or receive a degree from--that's the purpose of the question. Answering that you went to a certain school when you never received a degree or graduated would usually be considered an untruthful answere in that context.

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