By Jack Tuckner, Esq.
Here’s a question – can you be fired in order to have your CEO replace you with his daughter who just graduated from college? And can you be fired for fighting, getting into an argument with someone at work, and you’re both shouting at each other, yet only you were fired, not the other person? And what about if you are fired because your boss doesn’t like you even though you are objectively, provably a solid worker?
The answer to all three of those questions is unfortunately yes, it’s all legal – you can be fired for being replaced by your CEO’s daughter. Nepotism isn’t illegal in the private sector in the United States. [You can] totally be fired for that reason. You could also be the one person that your company chose to fire when you had a fight with someone else, and only you’re the one who’s getting fired. Bad luck!
And if you’re a great worker but your boss just doesn’t like you, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it, unless with any of these three examples, you could show discrimination: that you were fired and you’re 55, and your boss’ daughter who just graduated from college is 25. Age discrimination. You were in a fight, you were fired, and not the other person, you’re a person of color, and the other person is not a person of color – Discrimination – race and color discrimination. You’re a great worker, but your boss doesn’t like you anyway, maybe he doesn’t like you because you rejected his unwelcome sexual advances, that would be illegal. But without some specific illegal, discriminatory, or retaliatory reason, you can be fired at any time, for any reason or no reason at all, unless you have either an individual or a collective contract, a union contract.