For what reason can an employee be terminated?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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For what reason can an employee be terminated?

I was on my lunch off the clock and was talking to a fellow co-worker about the different majority of races in certain towns and cities. I then went on to tell a story about my experience with race when I was in high school. A co-worker overheard me and told the managers. They brought me in the office told me not to talk about things like that and then I went on my 2 days off. They then brought me into the office and gave me a discharge paper and said that this was the only route they were willing to take. I have at no time in the past received a write-up or anything like this. I know this is an “at will” state but what rights do I have?

Asked on January 16, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that an employee can be terminated for this reason, any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. Therefore, unless your treatment violated the terms of an employment contract, union agreement or company policy, or unless it constituted legally actionable discrimination (which based on the facts detailed, it did not), it was legal. Bottom line, as an "at will" employee your employer was free to set the terms and conditions of the workplace as it saw fit or deemed neccesary.

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