Is it legal to make fun of an employee while firing them?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it legal to make fun of an employee while firing them?

I was employed by a company and was fired with no reason on my second day. I am aware that in the state of Oregon it is not required by law to give anybody a reason why they’re being terminated. Although while being fired I became extremely upset and in fear of losing my home and my vehicle in which I started to cry. The operations manager was the only employee other than myself in the room while I was being terminated and I unfortunately was laughed at and smile that while I was crying I buy the operation manager in the midst of my termination. I am wondering if there is any legal action that I need to take because I have lost a lot of money in gas and time getting to and from each interview and first and second day I was there and having to get home after termination. I am just curious as to why there was no other person in the room while I was being fired and if there is anything illegal that had gone on that I may not be aware of. Although it is not a legal obligation to give an employee a reason for why they are being terminated it is extremely inappropriate and wrong for them to laugh at an employee while being fired.

Asked on July 9, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

First of all and as you seem to be aware, absent an employment/union agreement to the contrary, a worker can be discharged for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice (absent some form of actionable discrimination). Further, there is no law regarding the appropriateness of the circumstances surrounding a worker's termination. While it was unprofessional of your co-worker to laugh at you while you were being fired, it in no way, shape or form gives rise to a legal claim.  

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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