Can you get fired for something you did in your personal life that didn’t affect your work life?

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Can you get fired for something you did in your personal life that didn’t affect your work life?

Last year I got suspended pending termination for receiving inappropriate

pictures of some employees outside of work before I got promoted to manager. I didn’t show these photos to everyone, I didn’t blackmail the people who sent me the photos, I just deleted them immediately after. These photos didn’t affect my performance at work, nor theirs. I especially feel discriminated since I’m a homosexual because of a heterosexual male received photos from a female, they would still be working. Did they have the right?

Asked on February 11, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be terminated for something you did in your personal life, even if you believe  it did not affect your work life. (Though in that regard, since the pictures involved other employees, it does arguably have an impact on work and employee relations.) Unless you had an employment contract to the contrary, you were an "employee at will" and as such, could be terminated for *any* reason or behavior, including outside-of-work behavior.


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