Does my wife and I had a case to sue company if she was fired for simply texting after work hours?

My wife was wrongfully terminated from her job for texting info to another party that isn’t a part of the company that she worked for; this was even after hours. She sent text’s to a co-workers fiance proving that they had a relationship and she was fired the next work day for it. She wasn’t fired for anything else but for texting (after hours). Also, her sales manager gave out my wife’s personal cell phone number and this is how the co-worker’s fiancé got a hold of my wife asking for proof of the relationship. My wife than proceeded with proof but all done after hours. Do we had a case for defamation of character, leaking out personal info and wrongful termination?

Asked on December 14, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

First of all, I don't see where defamation comes into play in this situation. Secondly, as for the disemination of your wife's contact information to a co-worker, while somewhat unprofessional, it is permissable (unless releasing it runs contrary to company policy or an applicable union agreement, employment contract, etc.). Finally, she does not have a claim for wrongful termination. The fact is that in an "at will" employment relationship, an employer can set the terms and conditons of work as it sees fit. This inlcudes who to fire and when. In other words, when it comes to terminating an employee, a company can do so for any reason or no reason at all. Again, this is true so long as such action does not violate any agreemnt to the contrary (as discussed above). Also, an employee's treatment must not be based on any form of actionable discrimination (and such does not appear to be the case here).


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