What are the laws for termination and suspension for at-will employees?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are the laws for termination and suspension for at-will employees?

Long story short, I sent a pretty nasty message to a co-worker on Facebook messenger. Take note, I have never had a lengthy conversation with this co-worker and I rarely actually see him at work and we are in completely different departments. The message I sent was completely not work related. It concerned a personal, at home issue, yet he reported me to my employers. What rights does my employer have legally if they’re allowed to discuss such personal matters, if he has a right to make a complaint through work, how it would affect my employment with the company? What are the discipline regulations and what counts as a situation that could affect my employment? I am an at-will employee.

Asked on September 19, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you are an "at will" worker (i.e. have no employment contract or unon agreement) then you can be suspended/terminated for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice, absent some form of legally actionable discrimination. Bottom line, your employer can set the conditions of continued employment much as it sees fit.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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