Is it legal to terminatean employee just so thata significant other can be hired?

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Is it legal to terminatean employee just so thata significant other can be hired?

I was hired as a dental hygienist about 1 1/2 months ago. When I applied for the job, I was currently employed in another office. I left my job for the new job that was promised to me for full time. After working for 1 1/2 months my boss called me to fire me because he was giving my job to his girlfriend. I was never late or absent. In fact I was working 9 hour days with only a 20 min break. Still never complained and did my job. He fired me because he decided to give my position to his girlfriend. He said he would give me a letter of recommendation. Is this legal?

Asked on September 16, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that you have no grounds here for a wrongful termination claim.  The reason is that most employment arrangements are what is known as "at will". This means that basically you can choose to work for an employer or not, and an employer can hire or fire you for any reason or no reason.  While seemingly unfair it's the law. There are exceptions to this however. If this action was not allowed by virtue of an employment contract, union agreement, or official company policy statement.  Also, discrimination must not have played a role in your termination.  Absent any of these circumstance your firing was legal.


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