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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20363
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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can you be fired over a text message?

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can you be fired over a text message?
Hello,

Thank you for your question. However, I will need some context (brief background information) in order to assist you properly. Is there a union or a policy that guarantees employees stepped discipline prior to termination? Also, as mentioned, I need to know generally what this text was about, when and to whom in general and what the employer is saying the specific reason for termination is.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

not the union. It was a 7-11 store in garret county md. and she fired me because someone was talking to me in the store. but I did ask him to leave the store but he refused to go.

Hello again and thank you for your reply, although I don't see any facts about the text message but instead someone talking to you in the store, where I assume you work. In any event, Maryland, like most states, is what is known as an employment "at will" state. That means that an employer can terminate an employee for any, or no, reason and with no notice or warning unless the termination would violate an employment contract, company policy or an employment discrimination law. So, that is why I asked about a union and company policy. If there was no company policy that gave you a right to a certain number of warnings prior to termination, then your employer could let you go even if the reason was unfair and misguided unless you have evidence to show you were let go because of your gender, race, age (over 40), national origin, disability, pregnancy or AIDS/hiv status.

If you do believe you were targeted because of an illegal discriminatory intent, then you can file a discrimination complaint with the EEOC. Otherwise, even if unfair, your employer has the right to let employees go for no reason at all. However, you should still, if you need to, file for unemployment benefits, since that law is completely different and your employer would have to prove that you intentionally violated a direction or workplace rule in order to be denied UI benefits.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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