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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12517
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I have an employee who has somewhat of a temper, jokingly he

Customer Question

I have an employee who has somewhat of a temper, jokingly he wrote on our board in the kitchen because someone didn't put a lid back on some sport peppers and when he grabbed it, they spilled all over - in the morning when I came in - he had written on the board
I am going to kill whoeverr left the lid off of these peppers. I had 2/other employees see this....what should I do - I would never want to put my employees in jepeordy, and I know he was joking but I believe he crossed the line....
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 12 months ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

As an employer you have complete discretion in this circumstance. The general rule is that employment is "at will" absent an agreement to the contrary, which means you don't need a good reason of even a reason at all to terminate someone. Any language suggesting violence is completely inappropriate in the workplace. However, if you believe this employee was joking you do not "have" to fire them. You can reprimand them in writing and advise them not to make similar comments in the future. Of course, if you think it would be better for your business to fire this employee, you are free to do that as well since employment is "at will." Again, you have discretion in this circumstance.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.