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Questions about Grounds for Termination of Employment

There can be several grounds for termination of employment in a workplace. Unfortunately, when an employee’s situation is “at will,” an employer can terminate him or her based on almost any reason at all. If you have questions about grounds for termination, direct them to Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer for legal insights.

Listed below are a few questions they have answered regarding grounds for termination.

Can I be terminated from employment for excessive use of the Internet?

This completely depends on what your job entails and what you use the Internet for, along with the terms of your employment contract, if you have one. If your work needs a lot of research, then being online to finish work-related projects cannot be classified as excessive Internet use. A job that involves being a secretary or receptionist who needs to perform a variety of job functions online could also fall into the same category.

Yet, if an employee uses the Internet for personal reasons such as shopping, chatting with friends, catching up on homework and so on, he or she can probably be seen as not doing what they have been hired to do.

The word "excessive" is also relative. A lot of employers are at-will, so they can terminate employees based on their own reasons. Therefore, even if there is no company policy about “no personal use of the Internet,” generally, employment principles state that all office equipment, including a computer, belongs to the employer, and all emails or content of the computer cannot be kept hidden from the employer. Employees who use property of the company for their own personal use can be fired. However, every case is different.

Can my employer terminate me on the basis of a failed computer voice analysis?

If you are not part of a union or have an employee manual that has rules that allow for a review of the situation before termination, the employer can most likely fire you for almost any reason unless it is discriminatory in nature.

In Illinois and Georgia, in what ways will a wrongful termination suit filed against a European company — which reports for operational matters to a U.S. subsidiary — be successful?

Foreign companies that set up operations in the U.S. need to follow all national and state laws with regard to employment and discrimination. In the absence of an employment agreement or contract, every employee is an at-will employee and can be fired for no reason unless the cause is discriminatory in nature. The laws that pertain to discrimination would apply to the European company, and you would have to file suit against the U.S. subsidiary.

I work in New York for a private company. I was terminated because of a staff reduction, but I do have proof that the company hired two employees to replace me. Can I sue for wrongful termination without an employment agreement in place?

Most employees have “at will” work arrangements. This means that employers can let them go for whatever reason they may choose, and there’s not much that you, as an employee, can do about it. Basically, you do not have a right to continued employment. You could try and file for unemployment, since you were fired due to no fault of yours. But it may not be possible for you to file for wrongful termination, as it would be dismissed immediately.

I had an affair with a coworker’s wife, and management later found out that I had eavesdropped on a personal call of the same worker. I listened in because I was told that it was a verbal threat to my safety, yet management feels that I abused my position for personal gain. I explained that I felt unsafe in the workplace, but it fell on deaf ears. My job was terminated, and I’d like to know if I can file a wrongful termination suit?

Since most employment is “at will,” an employee can be terminated for almost any reason at all. This could even include a reason where the company believes that an employee’s conduct outside the workplace could affect the company or people’s perception of it. If you do have an employment contract that says that you can be terminated only for cause, then you might have a small fighting chance.

Having said that, if there are many reasons for termination and even one turns out to be valid, you would not have any grounds for wrongful termination. In this case, eavesdropping on a coworker’s conversation could constitute grounds for termination due to an abuse of power.

Losing your job is tough. On top of that, not understanding the grounds for termination is harder. If you’re having trouble, Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer so that you can get your questions answered both quickly and at affordable rates.
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