Is it illegal to fire an employee for inappropriate behavior?
Some kinds of inappropriate behavior are not only inappropriate but unlawful in the workplace. A person can get fired after complaining about inappropriate behavior of another employee, but under certain circumstances, the firing may be unlawful retaliation for a complaint about unsafe working conditions.
Can a person be fired for making a complaint about unsafe conditions?
A person can get fired after complaining about inappropriate behavior of another employee, but under certain circumstances, the firing may be unlawful retaliation for a complaint about unsafe working conditions. If a customer wants an employee fired, the reasons cannot violate civil rights laws.
Can you be fired for criminal activity outside of the workplace?
Employers can fire workers engaging in criminal activity outside the workplace. Whether termination is appropriate depends upon the nature of the job and the type of crime committed. Violent or sexual felonies are almost always acceptable grounds for termination.
What are the rights of an employee not to be fired?
Depending on the state, employers may not have the right to terminate an employee for certain reasons, such as taking action that benefits the public. Additionally, workers cannot be fired because of their race, gender, religion and other discriminatory reasons, states the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.
Unless an employee works for the government, belongs to a union, or works in Montana, they are subject to employment at-will. That means with some exceptions, an employer can terminate employment at any time they like without even having a reason unless an employment contract specifies otherwise.
State Protections against Terminating Employment At-Will Employees for Behavior Outside of Work
Many states provide some protections against terminating employees for behavior outside of work even in at-will states. For example, under New York Labor Law § 201-d, an employer cannot terminate an employee for participation in political activities off the employer’s premises, legal recreational activities, and legal use of consumable products.
State Protections Against Terminating Employment At-Will Employees for Tobacco Use
Let’s step back a moment to take a look at some similar but more specific protective state laws. In an effort to promote health, it has become a trend for some employers to avoid hiring employees who use tobacco. There are even employers who terminate employees who refuse to quit smoking even when the employees practice their vice outside of work.
To Fire or Not to Fire?
So how do you decide if you should fire your employee who behaved badly outside of work?
You should report it, and retaliatory firings are illegal
First of all, you should report what’s happening. It’s a key step in the process. In fact, one of the main things that the California Department of Justice recommends is reporting any of this behavior to your employer. Do not stay silent or keep it to yourself.
What legal steps should you take?
If you get fired or if you need to take legal action to put an end to the harassment, it’s important to know what options you have and what steps to take. Working with an experienced law firm can help you during these challenging times.
What is the potential for embarrassment that justifies disciplinary action?
As a rule, the potential for embarrassment that justifies disciplinary action hinges on the prominence of the employees involved, the ethical or moral element in the organization’s mission, and the efficiency of the communication network involving the organization’s clientele.
Why was Mary Ann Smith fired?
She was fired from her job in the laundry at the Maimonides Institute, a New York City institution for emotionally disturbed young people, because her presence at work made the residents apprehensive. The arbitrator upheld the institute’s action. 11.
What factors should an employer consider when considering an employee’s behavior?
Naturally, the employer will consider such factors as the employee’s trustworthiness, propensity for violence or drug abuse, and the possible reaction of customers and coworkers. Anticipate the possibility that an employee who is guilty of a crime may “beat the system.”.
What did the arbitrator decide in the case of Hilton?
In sustaining the Hilton, the arbitrator, noting that the employee had been given access to guests’ rooms with a master key, ruled that he had irreparably damaged the trust that the hotel had placed in him.
Why was the board’s action reasonable?
The arbitrator said the board’s action was reasonable because the counselor’s conduct related directly to her work of advising students and parents on drug abuse. 9. Obviously, the outcome in such cases depends a lot on the circumstances and the nature of the business.
Who said “It was while he was at work that was my business”?
It was while he was at work that was my business.” (President Harry S Truman commenting on FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover) 1. The consequences of private indiscretions on the lives of Senator Gary Hart, television evangelists Jim and Tammy Bakker, and other prominent people make President Truman’s words appear outmoded.
Can an employer frown on employee’s privacy?
Employees who are disciplined for moonlighting, extramarital affairs, or other off-the-job activities that employers frown on may raise the privacy issue as a defense. Their constitutional guarantees of privacy and freedom of association, they may argue, make their outside behavior of no concern to the employer as long as they are available to work as scheduled and perform satisfactorily.
How to protect yourself and your employer?
Protect yourself and your employer by notifying a supervisor of any inappropriate behavior. Note the time, date and name of the supervisor. The supervisor should take the complaint seriously. If he does not, you can notify the nearest office of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration as well.
How many states have the right to work without unions?
Twenty-two states have laws that guarantee employees, other than those employed by a railroad or the federal government, the right to work without joining a union or paying union fees. If you work in one of these “right-to-work states,” your employer can terminate your employment for any reason or no reason at all.
Can an employer discharge a worker for complaining about inappropriate behavior?
Obtain Names of Witnesses. An employer can discharge a worker for complaining about inappropriate behavior unless the worker takes certain steps. If you’re fired, you must understand the reason for your discharge.
Is retaliatory firing against OSHA unlawful?
OSHA has said since 1992 that inappropriate behavior by employees may present a safety hazard, depending on the facts. Retaliatory firing for filing a complaint with OSHA is unlawful.
Can you be fired for lying at work?
Lying at work could get you fired, for example. Your employer cannot, however, discriminate against you because of your sex, race, age, where you were born, a disability or genetic information, a prohibition found in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Offer Block | SmartAsset.com. Loading.
Can you get fired for complaining about an employee?
Some kinds of inappropriate behavior are not only inappropriate but unlawful in the workplace. A person can get fired after complaining about inappropriate behavior of another employee, but under certain circumstances, the firing may be unlawful retaliation for a complaint about unsafe working conditions. If a customer wants an employee fired, the …
What are the negative consequences of inappropriate behavior?
If employers fail to address and correct bad workplace behavior, negative consequences such as poor morale, employee stress, damage to reputation, and employee turnover might occur.
What are the issues that are addressed with supervisors?
Issues such as sexual behavior, indulgence in alcohol or drugs, or conflicts with supervisors are best addressed with one’s family, friends, or a therapist. Inappropriate dress: It includes anything outside of the company dress code.
What is poor behavior in the workplace?
Poor workplace behavior can take several forms, including the following: Workplace aggression: It refers to the repeated mistreatment of one or more employees with a malicious mix of humiliation, intimidation, and sabotage of performance.
What should employers be very specific about when discussing expectations?
Employers should be very specific when discussing expectations, including skirt lengths and types of clothes and shoes allowed or prohibited on “casual dress” days. Educate employees. Give all managers learning tools to identify what’s inappropriate in the workplace and establish a company policy for handling such behavior.
How many people are bullied at work?
The Workplace Bullying Institute revealed that 37% of American workers have been bullied at work. Disruptive work behavior: It can include yelling, tantrums, bullying, displaying the need for excessive control, disregard of duty, and insubordination.
Is inappropriate behavior subjective?
Inappropriate behavior should not be subjective or questionable. Identify any behaviors that you feel are inappropriate for your workplace and give clear guidelines in your employee handbook on consequences for the behavior, up to and including termination.
Why is it important to make sure your employer has the legal grounds to fire you?
Employee conduct outside the workplace is subject to interpretation. That’s why it’s important to make sure your employer has the legal grounds to fire you. Wrongful termination, or wrongful dismissal, occurs when an employee’s work contract is terminated for illegal reasons or when the company’s own termination guidelines are not followed.
Who was the woman who was fired for walking her dog off leash?
For example, you may have heard about the case of Amy Cooper, which made headlines a few months ago. Ms. Cooper, a Caucasian woman, called the police to report Christian Cooper, a Black man who told her that it’s against the law to walk her dog off-leash in Central Park. The woman was fired shortly after the incident.
What does it mean to terminate an employee at will?
Generally, there is a fine line that separates an employee’s professional life from what he does when leaving the office. Most states recognize at-will employment, meaning that companies have the right to terminate a work agreement for any reason.
Why is outside work more relevant today than it was in the past?
A recent article published in the Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal (ERRJ) in May 2019 notes that outside-work behavior is more relevant today than it was in the past due to the rising popularity of social media, remote work and flexible work arrangements.
Is at will employment legal?
Simply put, at-will employees are legally protected from wrongful termination . Furthermore, most states have exceptions to at-will employment, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. For example, companies based in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Illinois and other states can only terminate employees for certain reasons …
Can an employer fire you for misconduct?
Employee Conduct Outside the Workplace. As you see, an employer may or may not be able to fire you , depending on the situation. If you’re an at-will employee, you could be terminated for misconduct outside work. It all comes down to the laws in your state. Americans working in New York, for example, cannot be fired for drinking alcohol …
Can you be fired for posting inappropriate content on social media?
The media is flooded with stories of people who were fired for posting inappropriate content on social media. In some situations, employee conduct outside the workplace can be grounds for termination. Generally, there is a fine line that separates an employee’s professional life from what he does when leaving the office.
Link to The Job
Two truck drivers employed by a retail grocery chain went on a drinking spree during a layover and assaulted two other drivers for the same outfit. Their intoxication, coupled with the injuries they inflicted on the other pair, disrupted the company’s delivery schedule. This, according to the arbitrator, was adequate grounds for discharge.10 Here t…
The Company’S Image
An employer naturally has a vital interest in protecting its good name, but companies have had trouble sustaining discharges by claiming damage to reputation. Parke-Davis maintained that the “notorious and embarrassing media coverage” of its employee’s case hurt its “very visible and highly competitive” business which depended on the trust of the public and the government age…
Right to Privacy
Employees who are disciplined for moonlighting, extramarital affairs, or other off-the-job activities that employers frown on may raise the privacy issue as a defense. Their constitutional guarantees of privacy and freedom of association, they may argue, make their outside behavior of no concern to the employer as long as they are available to work as scheduled and perform satisfactorily. T…
What Policies Are Necessary?
Clearly the proper posture for the organization to take about off-duty behavior is not always obvious. But in anticipation of the necessity of making a decision about an employee, it’s advisable to have policies in place and in mind. Here are suggestions: 1. Establish written and specific prohibitions against off-duty conduct that management regards as unacceptable, like a…