Can I be fired because my boss’ wife hates me?

She filed for a divorce, and my boss told me that he’d need to let me go because he needed to save his family. He said that I was his best employee, and he felt very bad, but he needed to do what’s best for his family.

 Posted 05-12-2010

Ann Kiernan replies:

In every state, except Montana, employees can be fired at any time, for any reason, or no reason at all. That’s called “at will” employment. (Under Montana statutes, once employees have satisfactorily completed the probationary period, they can be fired only for good cause.) Since you work in Pennsylvania, your firing appears to be legal. You certainly sound as if you are qualified for unemployment benefits, though.

I am sorry to give you the bad news, and wish you the best of luck in finding a new job soon.


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About the Author:

Ann Kiernan has litigated claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination before state and federal courts and administrative matters before the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, representing both employers and employees. Ms. Kiernan co-hosted The Employee Rights Forum, a weekly radio call-in show reaching up to a half-million listeners in the New York metropolitan area, and her articles on employment law have been published in many books and magazines. Both as a firm partner and as a director, Ms. Kiernan gained solid experience in management and human resources compliance. She has worked with Fair Measures since 1997.