Can you be fired from a job because you don’t clean the refrigerator?

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Can you be fired from a job because you don’t clean the refrigerator?

Say you work in a pretty big top-rated company with a large number of co-workers, many of whom use the refrigerator. However, not everybody uses the refrigerator. Some who do use it create a mess or leave food that grows mold or leaks onto the refrigerator. It is reported that everybody who works on the floor will have their name added to a sheet on the front of the refrigerator. When it comes your time, you must wipe down a shelf. Everyone must do it even if you never use the refrigerator. You can be reported.

Asked on September 22, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Actually you can be fired for this. In fact you can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. If you are an "at will" employee (and most of us are), your employer can hire/fire/, promote/demote, increase/decrease salary/hours and impose just about any other requirements that it sees fit. This includes cleaning out the refrigerator.

Unless the is in violation of existing company policy, is prohibited by an employment/union agreement, or is the result of some form of actionable discrimination, your employer's mandate is perfectly legal. It violates no laws.


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