Under what circumstances can an employee be fred?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Under what circumstances can an employee be fred?

I know that in an at will state an employer can fire you for pretty much any reason or no reason at all. However, my boss has threatened to fire me for gossiping because myself and a couple of other co-workers were discussing our boss’s recent arrest for assault. This was in our local news so it is public knowledge. Would this actually be consider gossiping which would be a fireable offense? I see it has discussing the local news which just happens to involve our boss

Asked on April 13, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You pretty much anserwered your own question, namely that an at-will worker can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. So whether or not you did or did not engage in gossiping is irrelevant. If your employer wants to terminate you it can. That is unless doing would constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination or violate the terms of any union/employment agreement that you may have.

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