If a consensual personal relationship ended with my employer, can he just fire me with no reason?

UPDATED: Nov 7, 2011

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If a consensual personal relationship ended with my employer, can he just fire me with no reason?

He initiated the relationship 2 years ago. At the time I was in an emotional and physically abusive relationship which I believe gave influence to my decision to give in to his advances. I feel if he does terminate my employment I am being punished for something he started. Do I have any rights to fight this?

Asked on November 7, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You should consult with an employment law attorney. Technically, an employer may terminate an employee at will (an employee without an employment contract) without reason, or for any reason not discriminatory--e.g. as long as you're not being fired for an intimate relationship ending, he could terminate you . . . in theory.

The reason I emphasize "technically" or "in theory" is that if there was an intimate relationship between you and your employer, then it would be very likely to be found that your termination was illegal discrimination unless the employer can advance or show some non-discriminatory reason--e.g. poor performance, downsizing, etc. In a case like this, if the employer can't show a valid reason, that may be enough to sustain your wrongful termination claim, even though technically the employer generally doesn't need to advance a reason for terminating an employee at will. Therefore, you may well be entitled to compensation and have rights; you should consult with an employment law attorney to discuss how best to vindicate these rights. Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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