Can an employer fire two people for one persons actions?

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Can an employer fire two people for one persons actions?

A fellow employee and I were terminated today 12/09/16 for ‘making fun’ of
another employee. Neither of us have been written up or given any type of
disciplinary action. We also never ‘made fun’ of another employee. The employee
in question was arrested and the ‘made fun’ of incident happened roughly 25-30
minutes before this. The employee that was arrested was first detained inside a
room directly in front of the visitor seating area in which the CEO, and three
other employees were signing in. After approximately 5-10 minutes of the
employee being detained we tried communicating to find out what was going on.
After a few shoulder shrugs and terrible sign language attempts the employee
next to me made a gesture of hand being handcuffed. The employee detained then
in what I made out to be the mouthed words ‘I know’ it was at this moment the
employee and I began to grasp the possible severity of the incident. Roughly 30
min later the detained employee was ‘arrested’ no handcuffs and apparently
taken by the sheriff. Today 12/09/16 the employee who made the gesture as we as
myself were both terminated because of the gesture. Has anyone ever heard of
this and is there any possibility of temporary unemployment. I have a 10 month
old and a fiance i have to support and am now jobless because of a gigantic
misunderstanding and thoughtless action by my employer.

Asked on December 9, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless your treatment constitued some form of legally actionable discrimination/retaliation, or was prohibited under the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, it was legal. The fact is that most employment is "at will" which means that a company cnas set the terms of employment much as it sees fit. The fact is that an employee can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.


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