Can you be fired for insubordination because you contacted HR anonymously after being to do so by your manager?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can you be fired for insubordination because you contacted HR anonymously after being to do so by your manager?

I was having a problem with the GSM at my dealership. I emailed HR and she emailed the GM. I had to have a meeting with him and he forbade me from contacting HR again. The problem did not go away. I emailed HR anonymously and she gave my email to the management and let them trace my IP address and I was fired for insubordination. Is this legal?

Asked on July 12, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In an "at will" work setting, an employee can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice, absent some for of legally discrimination palying a role. This includes terminating a worker for disobeying a superior's order. Further, the fact is that absent an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, an employee has no absolute right to contact their HR department.

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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