Is it legal for a managerto discuss with an employee the upcoming termination of another employee?

UPDATED: Dec 29, 2010

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Is it legal for a managerto discuss with an employee the upcoming termination of another employee?

The other two employees are not in management.

Asked on December 29, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Unless this type of situation is prohibited by an employment/union contract or violates company policy, there really isn't much that you can do about this.  While unprofessional, it is legal. In most states employment relationships are what is known as "at will". Therefore an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason whatsoever, as well has increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, generally impose requirements and conduct business as it see fit (this includes discussing an employee's upcoming termination).  

Unless some slanderous remarks were made about the exiting employee or there was some form of discrimination involved in their termination, there really isn't any legal action that can be taken in a case such as this.

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 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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