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Samuel II
Samuel II, Attorney at Law
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 27009
Experience:  20 years of experience practicing law with diversified background.
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I'm a small business restaurant owner in New Mexico. I want

Customer Question

I'm a small business restaurant owner in New Mexico. I want to let go of an employee because he's lazy and is not good for the business. He seems to know a little about law. And seems the type of person who has a job to eventually collect unemployment or get fired and try sueing.. He's the type to want to make a living of things like that. Anyhow I want him out and want to fire him but need to know what legal risk I run if I let him go?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Samuel II replied 7 months ago.


This is Samuel and I will discuss this and provide you information in this regard.

Under the law, you can fire any employee at any time for any reason as long as it is not based on discrimination such as his race, religion, age, gender, national origin or a disability.

If you are firing him because he is slacking in his responsibilities, then that is just cause and you can fire him without fear of being successfully sued. He may file for unemployment and you can certainly oppose it and you should if you have documented his slacking behaviors - for instance, if you have told him repeatedly that he must be on time, or that he must do certain duties and he has not done them to your expectations.

You have a right to fire any employee for just cause and not being responsible for their job duties is just cause.

Please let me know here if you have other questions or need clarification. Otherwise a Positive rating ensures i get credit for my time.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
If he ask why he's being fired what should I say to be on the safe side? And what if he says he's gonna sue how should I react.
Expert:  Samuel II replied 7 months ago.


You can tell him because he is not working up to your standards, yes. But you have no legal obligation to tell him anything. If he says he is gonna sue you I suggest you ask him for what?

Expert:  Samuel II replied 7 months ago.

As I stated, New Mexico is an “employment-at-will” state. This means that an employer may generally terminate an employee at any time, for any reason, or for no reason, unless an agreement exists that provides otherwise. There are, however, limitations on the doctrine as I explained as far as discrimination.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Last question, can text messages be used in a court of law? In New Mexico. Towards same situation.
Expert:  Samuel II replied 7 months ago.

Thank you. Text messages can be presented as evidence. But the party presenting needs to be able to "authenticate" those messages. That means they have to be able to prove that the person who they say sent the messages was actually the person who did and that the phone was not being used by someone else who might have sent the text messages.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 7 months ago.

That is usually done by calling the other party to the stand and asking about the messages, if they sent them, etc. It is expected the party to tell the truth under Oath and penalties of perjury. Many times the party will stipulate to the authenticity of the messages and the means they say they agree the messages were sent by them.

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