My son was fired because he was told to work on a machine he had never been trained to use, is that legal?

He was hired about a month ago and was doing a great job according to the shift manager. They then put him on a machine he was not trained to use before and when he fell behind on the production quota they fired him. Is this legal or does he have grounds for a lawsuit or at least a chance to get his job back? He really liked this position and would like to get back to work.

Asked on September 11, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that he has no legal recourse here for wrongful termination.  The fact is that is most employment arrangements are what is known as "at will". This means that you can choose to work for an employer or not and an employer can hire or fire you for any reason or no reason.  While at times unfair (as in your son's case), it's the law.

Basically the only exceptions to the above would be if this action was not allowed by virtue of an employment contract, union agreement, or official company policy statement.  Also, discrimination must not have played a role in his termination.  Absent any of these circumstance his firing did not violate the law. 


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