Can I be fired if I did nothing wrong?

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Can I be fired if I did nothing wrong?

We use AIM messenger for work. During my shift, I had a conversation not work related. It was, however, with another employee. I was working from home, and using my own computer and internet that I pay for. As well, they said I made no sales calls during this time. I was not scheduled for sales calls at all. My work was technically complete for the day, though I was still scheduled to be on the clock. My team lead was aware of the conversation, and never asked me to sign-off. Instead, she was asking me to share the non-work conversation with her. I was terminated for “improper internet use” and “not making any sales”.

Asked on July 1, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that you really don't have any cause of action here for wrongful termination.  The fact is that in an "at will" employment situation you can work for an employer or not, your choice.  In turn, employer can fire you for any reason or no reason at all; with or without notice.

Essentially, the only way that you would have a valid claim here would be if there was some kind of employment contract, union agreement or company policy contrary to the way in which your employer handled your situation. Also if discrimination was a factor. Otherwise your employer's actions were perfectly legal (although unfair). 


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