Is it legal if my sister and her husband worked at the same company for 17 and 13 years respectively but when her husband resigned she was fired 2 days later?

Asked on September 2, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Most employers can set the terms and condions of the workplace much as it sees fit. Accordingly, an employer can discharge an employee for this reason, any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. This is true so long as the employee does not have protection agianst such an action by vritue of an employment contract or union agreement. Additionally, this must not violate existing company policy or constitute some for of legally actionable employment discrimination or retaliation.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

This is legal, if she did not have an employment contract protecting her from being fired or limiting the reasons her employment could be terminated. Without an employment contact, she was an "employee at will" and could be fired at any time for any reason, even unfair ones--including employer anger that her husband resigned, or concerned that if he left, she may leave, too, soon, so better to be in control of the timing by firing her, rather than waiting for her to quit. Employees at will have no protection for their jobs.

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