Response to 1983law (Reply #8)
Wed Jan 23, 2013, 06:49 PM
patrice (47,992 posts)
9. People can be fired for practically anything at all, without recourse, EEOC offices are charged
with VERY narrow responsibilities regarding discrimination in employment, primarily: race, gender, or age, I think, and establishing a termination on any of those grounds can be an un-reasonably difficult, long, and expensive process for most people.
I know there are avenues through the NLRB for addressing employment injustice; I don't know the specifics of those, but I can guess that there's probably quite a bit of one-size-fits-all incongruence between what the NLRB does for the entire nation and the sorts of things that can be extremely detailed and specific to a particular relatively unique work environment.
"At will" is the legal tag for the employer's rights in terminations: even though there may be nothing wrong with your work, or even if it is superior, or if you have created something that has become the employer's property and some issue develops between you, the creator, and the employer-owner, and users of whatever, say, something that the employer-owner of the intellectual property that you created doesn't want users to know about the product or process, for example . . . stuff like this can result in termination, but also anything else that the employer desires to terminate for, as long as an employer can avoid a case that they are prejudiced and discriminating on the basis or race, gender, or age, they can fire you for ANYTHING, because you are employed legally "at (their) will" alone.
So terminations can be for whatever reason, dressed up a bit with whatever hokey window dressing an employer can conjure or nothing at all, a few words in some employee handbook, or a "job description" or a job title get changed, and you're out, and even though everything about you and your work and productivity is perfect or at least adequate if not actually above average, everything you do or have done, all value that you have built into an enterprise, all employee virtues and efficiency, all of that does not matter. You can be legally fired for no apparent reason whatsoever . . . but the actual reason can be things like: someone's friend's niece's daughter needs your job, or you expressed a religious view that someone didn't like on break or at a party or something, or didn't smile right at a certain type of compliment, or the employer suspects you of union sympathies, or . . . . anything. Barring a legal case for some type of discrimination or sexual harassment, you are employed 100% at the employer's will and they can fire you for anything or nothing, no matter what.
Personally, I have been thinking about the logical contradictions inherent in the concept of "at will", but I'm not a lawyer, so I ought to go read up a bit.
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People can be fired for practically anything at all, without recourse, EEOC offices are charged
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