Is it legal for my employer to fire me on grounds of conflict of interest?

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Is it legal for my employer to fire me on grounds of conflict of interest?

The owner of the apartment complex had me hire my wife as a contractor to paint and clean. The management company he employed to employ me fired me on the grounds of conflict of interest. Is this legal?

Asked on August 19, 2011 Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Do you have an employment contract. If you do, then its terms, in regard to length of employment, reasons for termination, and process or procedure for termiation, have to filed.

However, if you do not have an employment contract, you are an employee at will. An employee at will may be fired at any time, for any reason--even unfair ones. So without an employment contract, you have no protection from being fired, and your employer could elect to first hire your wife, then fire you due to an alleged conflict of interest. Essentially, if you are employee at will, as long as you are not fired due to your race, sex, religion, disability, or age over 40, you can be fired at any time, for any reason.


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