One of the worries of an employee is getting fired without any employee warning notice whatsoever. There are definitely situations where an employee can get fired without a warning and there are also those circumstances where there is a need to go through due process. Getting fired without a warning can usually happen if you are an “at-will” employee as these types of employment have more termination and quitting flexibility compared to a contracted employment that specifies the duration of time an employee should be with a company.
In this article, we will let you know about whether you are an employee who can be terminated without a notice or otherwise. This can help you out in being able to determine whether you are to file for a lawsuit against wrongful termination or if your employer has all the right to terminate you even if they did not issue a warning. Keep reading to find out more.
At-Will Employment vs. Contracted Employment
An employment that is at-will in nature means that an employee has been employed in a company usually without a contract. Since there is no contract, this means that an employee can quit his/her job any time he/she wishes to. However, it also means that an employer can terminate his/her employment at any time without the need to write a warning letter or a termination notice. This also means that an employer can fire an employee for whatever reason there is.
A contracted employment is a type of employment that involves an employment contract. Termination only occurs when the contract has expired or if an employer wishes to fire an employee under this type of employment. He/she should go through the correct protocol usually stated in the contract about how to terminate employees. This usually involves documentation leading up to the termination such as incident reports, warnings, letters suggesting improvement (for employees with low performance), and other documentation that will specify that an employee is not following certain grounds stipulated in the employment contract.
Issues to Consider When Fired without Warning
In any termination circumstance, there are about two things you need to consider if you have been fired without any warning.
- Does a contract exist that contains any terms that covers reasons how an employee can be terminated? If yes, this means that both parties, the employer and employee, should bide by what has been stipulated in the contract. Otherwise, lawsuits might be filed.
- Are you getting fired for reasons under illegal discrimination (unfair treatment due to race, gender association, religion, disability, or age)?
As discussed earlier, if you are an employee under an at-will employment, then an employer may fire you any time he/she wishes to do so. It will always be dependent on the employer’s discretion. Petty or serious reasons can be the reason why an employee may fire someone in the workplace. However, for an employment under a contract, an employer can only fire an employee for reasons stated in the contract given that he/she has also done the correct process leading up to the decision of termination. With this being said, it can be concluded that firing an employee is way easier when employees are under an at-will employment compared to employments involving an employment agreement contract.
As for the second issue to be considered, remember that in the workplace, no one is to be treated differently from anyone else no matter what his/her race, gender association, religion, age, or disability is. Despite an at-will employment giving the employer power to just fire an employee for any reason he/she can think of, a smart employee will never try to fire an employee for discriminatory reasons as there are laws that protect employees from discrimination. If you feel like you have been fired due to reasons that are deemed to be discriminatory, unlawful, if you feel like you have been verbally assaulted or sexually harassed, remember that you may consult a lawyer with an expertise on employment grounds.
Remember that whenever an employee feels like he/she has been terminated on illegal grounds, an employee can always file for a wrongful termination lawsuit. There are laws implemented to protect both employers and employees from committing any violations in the workplace whether or not the company hires employees at-will or in a contracted manner.
Signs You Might Get Terminated
Sometimes, you may find yourself surprised that you got fired from your job. However, there might also be cases wherein you might say, “I saw that coming.” There are actually a few signs that your employer might have been giving you that is leading up to a possible termination. Here are a few telltale signs of your boss trying to warn you about getting kicked from your job.
- Your employer is starting to get unhappy about you. Whether it is due to your performance or some behavior he/she finds inappropriate, once your boss lets you know that he/she is disappointed in you, then it is sign of a problem in the way. Before things get a whole lot worse, make sure you try your best to turn things around or else you just might get a termination letter due to poor performance.
- Exclusion from things you used to be a part of. It is a definite red flag when you find yourself excluded from a ton of things you used to be a part of. It can either be lunch meeting or get-togethers where you find yourself not getting invited to. Or maybe you used to be a part of a significant body in the workplace such as a working committee for events or a decision-making committee.
- You find yourself getting demoted. If you find yourself having lesser authority or work than you can remember, then you should be worried.
When you find yourself getting into this situation, remember to take things calmly and remain professional about everything. To remedy some of the signs mentioned above, you can set up a meeting with your boss telling him/her that you want to find out if there is anything you can do to up your game in the workplace. You can also ask your colleagues if there is anything that you can do to improve.
We hope you learned a lot from what we have shared with you today. You have your rights as an employee so it is important that you know what these are. Review the company policies and handbooks if there are any. However, do not take it too hard if you do get terminated for justifiable reasons. There might just be another job waiting for you right around the corner. When one door closes, another one opens. Keep your head up!
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