Employment at Will
Unfortunately, for many fired workers, in most cases employers don't need a reason to fire you unless you are covered by a bargaining agreement or employment contract. It's called employment at will. Employment at will means that an employee can be terminated at any time without any reason and without notice.
That said, most employers won't fire an employee without cause. Most firings are termination for cause, which means the employee is fired for a specific reason. Also, keep in mind that a job termination is different from a lay-off which takes place when an employee is let go because of a lack of work.
Here's more on the top reasons employees can get fired from their jobs.
Top 10 Reasons Employees Get Fired
- Damaging Company Property
- Drug or Alcohol Possession at Work
- Falsifying Company Records
- Poor Performance
- Using Company Property for Personal Business
- Taking Too Much Time Off
- Violating Company Policy
More Reasons for Termination of Employment
Surveys report on the following reasons employers have terminated an employee from a job:
- 15% of employers have fired a worker for calling in without a legitimate reason (CareerBuilder)
- 22% of employers have fired someone for using the Internet for non-work related activity (CareerBuilder)
- 22% of employees know someone who has been fired for wasting time at the office or disrupting other employees (SHRM)
- 33% of employers have disciplined an employee for violating social media policy (SHRM)
Other reasons an employee can be fired include lying on a resume or job application, not being able to get along with co-workers or management, for posting on social media sites - or for no reason at all.
Do keep in mind that many employers have a policy in place which details disciplinary action which may be taken prior to an employee being fired. If you need information on the policy check your employee handbook or ask the Human Resources department for information on company policies and procedures.
Employee Rights When a Job is Terminated
What rights do you have if your job is terminated? Here's information on employee rights when your job is terminated and options for seeking assistance if you have questions about those rights, and/or if you believe you have been discriminated against or have been subjected to wrongful termination.
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