Is it legal to fire someone over the phone?

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Is it legal to fire someone over the phone?

I repeatedly informed my boss I was not able to work sundays due to transportation issues. One sunday I missed my bus. The next one didn’t come for two hours. I called work and the manager on duty said that everything was fine and that he would just mark it down as a call off. The next morning the head manager called me at home and fired me. I didn’t call off often and had never received any warnings or been disciplined in anyway previously.

Asked on June 22, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, it is legal. Pennsylvania is an "employment at will state"--employers may fire employees any time, for essetially any reason that is not discriminatory  or against an employment contract. That means that if your boss wants to let you go, he can, regardless of your prior record. Firing you over the phone is generally considered inappropriate, but it, is legal.

(If you have an employment contract, ignore the above--what counts is what's in your contract.)


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