Can I be terminated for an alleged bad attitude without any progressive discipline?

UPDATED: Dec 15, 2011

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Can I be terminated for an alleged bad attitude without any progressive discipline?

My employer threw a fit screaming at me because of an alleged bad attitude – I wasn’t attending a voluntary event due to financial problems and demanded I leave immediately. He left for vacation that day but was willing to sit down with me several days later when he returned. He apologized for his behavior but informed me that while I was out of work the rest of the staff voted to terminate me. I was not ever given any verbal or written warnings/reprimands for anything and when confronted the staff could only tell me I was not a good fit after 10 months of working there.

Asked on December 15, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Montana


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Did your dismissal violate existing company policy regarding terminations? Was your firing under the circumstances prohibited by a union contract or an employment agreement? Was your treatment the result of actionable discrimination (and it doesn't appear from the limited facts resented that it was)?

If no to all of the above, then no law was broken. Your discharge was perfectly legal. The fact is that in an at will employment relationship, an employer can dictate the terms and condtions of employment much as it sees fit. This incluses terminating an employee for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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