Can an “at will” employees be fired for unjustified reasons?

UPDATED: Aug 6, 2012

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Can an “at will” employees be fired for unjustified reasons?

After an appeal, the unemployment judge stated that I was discharged but not for wilful or negligent misconduct connected with the employment. My employer used and quoted policies from their employee handbook for reason of my termination. Does that mean those stated policies are considered a Contract for my employment? Being “at will”, can I be fired for an ethical breach that I was not proven guilty of?

Asked on August 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can be fired in Arizona for basically any reason other than an illegal one.  An illegal one would be discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, gender or religion, or as retaliation for complaining about discrimination or for refusing to violate a state law.  So, yes, you can be fired because your boss thinks you violated a company policy and/or committed an ethical breach.  However, you will be eligible to collect unemployment unless whatever you allegedly did was in direct contravension of your employer's  interest.

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