Is it right to fire an employee that broke a store policy that he only saw one time and never received a copy of?

UPDATED: Aug 3, 2011

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Is it right to fire an employee that broke a store policy that he only saw one time and never received a copy of?

This one night a customer came in and asked to use the phone, well he was on there for a while and my co-worker had a customer that was using food stamps. Which is connected through the phone we,ask the customer politely to get off the phone, he did then as I headed towards the office to do my paper work the customer came in and ask if he could borrow my cell phone. I let him borrowed my cell and that’s when he got loud and he shut the door to the office. I was still in there but because the door was shut is the reason they fired me.

Asked on August 3, 2011 Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you did not have an employment contract or agreement, you were an employee at will. An employee at will may be fired at any time, for any reason whatsoever. There is no need to share with the employee all the different reasons for which he could be fired, or all the policies, violation of which could result in termination; instead, if the employee does something which the employer disapproves of, they may simply terminate him. Also, an employer cannot anticipate every possible violation or problem; for example, it may reasonably not have occured to anyone that an employee would let a customer into the office and shut the door to the office.

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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