Seeing examples of what is or is not legal could help you determine if you have been a victim of unfair treatment in your workplace. Understanding some of the times when it is legal for your employer to fire you compared to times when it is not legal could help you decide to make a case against a current, past or prospective employer.
Here are five reasons that you may be fired and five reasons for which you cannot be. If you feel you have been wronged, it may be time to look into your legal rights.
5 reasons your employer can fire you
There are many reasons that an employer can fire you. You are an employee at-will, which means that your employer does not need a reason to terminate your role.
Some of the top reasons for firing employees include:
- Not being able to do the job after training and practice.
- Not fitting into the work culture, such as being disrespectful of authority or discriminatory against others.
- Lacking integrity. For example, lying about why you need time off or lying about who did work on a project.
- Violating the code of conduct or dress code repeatedly.
- Missing too much work due to unprotected reasons. For instance, skipping work because you did not feel like going in that day.
While all those reasons could lead to you getting fired, there are also situations in which you are protected.
5 reasons for which your employer cannot fire you
The following are all protected situations in which your employer cannot fire you.
- You come out as gay to your colleagues.
- You have an emergency and are in the hospital, so you have to miss work for a few days.
- You get pregnant or intend to become pregnant.
- You are transgender and start to transition.
- You report sexual harassment at work to the human resources department.
All of these situations are times when you cannot be fired. There are protections in place to prevent you from being fired when you are part of a protected class, whether you’re injured, part of the LGBTQ+ community, are pregnant or have another situation that is protected under law.
If you have an employment law question, contact an experienced employment law attorney.