Employment Discrimination Blog

Monday, August 23, 2021

Can You Be Fired for What You Do Outside of Work?

When you’re not working, work is often the last thing on your mind. Instead, you probably prefer to focus on enjoying the moment. However, what you need to keep in mind is whether or not your conduct outside of work could get you fired from your job. This depends upon the type of activity in which you’re engaged and whether or not there is a state law that affords you any protection.

At-Will Employees

As a general rule, there is no law that protects you from being fired. Additionally, if you are not a governmental employee with special protection or a union worker, you can probably be fired without being given any reason at all. When this is the case, you are considered an at-will employee. Most employees are considered to be at-will, including those not under an employment contract.

At-will employees can be fired at any time without any notice or reason, but they can also quit their job any time without notice or reason. In other words, so long as the reason isn’t illegal, your employer can choose to terminate your employment whether they have no reason or even a bad reason. It doesn’t matter how well you performed your work.

What Reasons Are Illegal?

Under federal law, there are certain things that employers are prohibited from doing to their employees. One such thing is to fire them based upon their protected class. In other words, an employer may not fire their worker because of their age, race/color, country of origin, disability, or sex. It is important to note that at present the federal law does not protect workers from being fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. And while some states have implemented such protections, Georgia is not one of them. In fact, Georgia has limited discrimination coverage compared to many other states, with most of its discrimination protections falling under federal laws.

Therefore, unless you are fired from your job because of your status under any of the aforementioned protected groups, your employer may fire you for what you do outside of work – even though you’re off of the clock.

The GA Employment Law Attorneys at Pankey & Horlock, LLC Can Help

If you believe that you have been fired from your job against federal regulations, it’s important that you understand your rights and what you are entitled to. You may be unsure as to whether or not you have the right to compensation or reinstatement of your job. Fortunately, the attorneys at Pankey & Horlock, LLC can help you to figure out whether your rights have been violated and can hold your employer and those responsible for such treatment accountable. At Pankey & Horlock, LLC, our attorneys understand the importance of such cases and are here to help. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!

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