Can I be put on probation for no reason?

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Can I be put on probation for no reason?

My direct supervisor called me into his office to notify me that he had been instructed to fire me during the recent re-organization. The reason for firing me was that I made too much money for the position that I was in, and they could hire 2 people for what I am getting paid. By his account, he persuaded them to not let me go, due to my experience. He was then instructed that I would have to be put on probation if I was not let go. When he asked for what, an individual claimed that I have a bad attitude. To which my supervisor informed them that he has no problem with my attitude, nor my work. He told me that he would deny that we every had that conversation. He was not writing me up yet, he was just giving me a heads up that it was coming. I have had 0 incidences during my 17 years with the company. Starting about 5 years ago, I have periodically brought it to their attention that I was concerned that I would soon by at the top salary for my current position and would like to have an opportunity to advance myself in the company. Too be clear, I was asking what potential positions could my current job transition into and what training I would require to get there. I do not want to just be giving a new title with more pay, I want to earn my keep. I was repeatedly informed that there was no career path for me, and I should just make up a job and we could see if we could make it happen. I feel that it is extremely unethical to put someone on probation when you openly admit that they have done nothing wrong.

Asked on February 9, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that unlesss you have an employment contract or union agreement, you are an "at will" worker. This means that absent some form of legally actionable discrimination, your employer can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. Accordingly, unless your treatment violates the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, you have no claim here. In fact, you can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.


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