CanI be fired for verbally defending myself against a third party who antagonized me at my place of work?

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CanI be fired for verbally defending myself against a third party who antagonized me at my place of work?

A person came into my workplace and told my boss that I had stolen his property in the middle of the night. My boss questioned me about the situation and then told me to deal with the person at work by myself. I was antagonized by this person and my boss did nothing to defend me in my work environment. I verbally told the man to leave the store when I had taken enough abuse. I was then terminated for no reason. Is this legal? Can I sue the company?

Asked on January 2, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The only protection you have here is if your employer's action violated company policy, an employment contract or an existing union agreement. Also, discrimination must not have played a factor in your termination.

The fact is that in an "at will" employment relationship an employer has a great of discretion in setting the terms and conditions of the workplace. This includes when and why to dismiss an employee. The general rule is that an employee can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.


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