My son was fired because he was told to work on a machine he had never been trained to use, is that legal?

UPDATED: Sep 11, 2010

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My son was fired because he was told to work on a machine he had never been trained to use, is that legal?

He was hired about a month ago and was doing a great job according to the shift manager. They then put him on a machine he was not trained to use before and when he fell behind on the production quota they fired him. Is this legal or does he have grounds for a lawsuit or at least a chance to get his job back? He really liked this position and would like to get back to work.

Asked on September 11, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that he has no legal recourse here for wrongful termination.  The fact is that is most employment arrangements are what is known as "at will". This means that you can choose to work for an employer or not and an employer can hire or fire you for any reason or no reason.  While at times unfair (as in your son's case), it's the law.

Basically the only exceptions to the above would be if this action was not allowed by virtue of an employment contract, union agreement, or official company policy statement.  Also, discrimination must not have played a role in his termination.  Absent any of these circumstance his firing did not violate the law. 

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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