Q: Do employees have rights if they are fired for no reason? I have a new boss and he has made the comment that he is either going to fire me or I am going to quit. Is it right for him to fire me just because our personalities clash? Do I have any rights in this matter?
Stressed Out Reader
A: Unless you have been injured on the job or are discriminated because of “sex, age, race, creed or color” an employee may be fired for any reason, a good reason, bad reason or no reason at all. That sums up the rights an employee has to a job in Alabama unless they have a contract that changes that law by agreement. An example of such an agreement would be an employee handbook. Occasionally an employee handbook will provide workers with more protection than is provided under law.
Alabama does not offer any employment related protections other than in those cases.
Where you may have legal rights is in the area of unemployment compensation. The law regarding when a worker is or is not entitled to unemployment compensation states that if an employee is terminated for lack of work, no reason or a bad reason, the employee may draw a weekly benefits check and these are charged to the employer’s account. Eventually if an employer lays off or unfairly fires too many workers, they will have such an increase in their unemployment insurance that they will be paying for workers who no longer work there.
If you quit or voluntarily resign, you will not be entitled to seek unemployment benefits. Therefore, it would be in your best interest to write down the names of the people to whom this manager stated that he was going to fire you. Write down the dates and times that he made these statements. This information could be useful if and when the employer contests your right to draw weekly unemployment benefits.
Buckle up, drive safely and as always your referrals are appreciated!