When There’s An At-Will…

, , , , | Working | August 19, 2019

(I work in an office building. I have just clocked in when my manager calls me to her office.)

Manager: “You’re fired, [My Name].”

Me: “What? Why?”

Manager: “I’m having a bad day and I needed to take it out on someone. Lucky you.”

Me: “Very funny.”

Manager: “No, I’m serious.”

Me: *pause* “Wait, you’re not actually firing me for that, are you?”

Manager: “Maryland’s an at-will state. I can fire you for whatever reason I want.”

(She handed me a termination slip and, no joke, she actually specified,”I needed to fire someone to take out my frustration; lucky you,” as the reason for my termination. Although the manager was technically right in that her decision to arbitrarily fire me didn’t violate any employment laws, the firing, unsurprisingly, did not go over very well with the union. Upon hearing what happened, they demanded my reinstatement, and the business owner later backed up their demands. Defeated, my manager gave in and gave me my job back, along with back pay. She was fired sometime later when she got caught using the company credit card to make an unauthorized reservation at a popular amusement resort in Florida.)

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