one employee fired for an offence another not fired for same offence

manager fired for having affair with employee another not both with proof of the affair one male one female. female not fired

Asked on June 4, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I'm not a North Carolina attorney, and I don't know anywhere near all the facts of the case, so if this affects you, you should talk to a lawyer in your area, and one place to find a qualified attorney is our website,

In general, something like this does not surprise me at all.  The starting point, I'm assuming, that both employees were "at will," and did not have contracts for their employment.  This means that they can be fired with no reason at all, as long as the employer isn't actually usuing an illegal reason, such as racial discrimination -- or gender-based discrimination.

A male manager, having an affair with a non-manager female employee?  An employer really has no alternative but to see that as very poor judgment on the manager's part, because today's affair often becomes, after the all-too-frequent breakup, tomorrow's sexual harassment lawsuit.  Without some very unusual facts, I'd be astonished to hear of a court not backing up an employer making this decision.

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