Can I be "let go" from my job without notice and no write ups.... And then have the company hire someone else a few days later?

Asked over 2 years ago - Bronx, NY

I live in NYC and yesterday as I was leaving my job I was pulled into the HR office without HR PERSONNEL present. I was told that after careful consideration and due to Industry changes I was being let go. I did not have much time to think of anything to ask, I was completely caught by surprise. I had NEVER been written up or counseled for my job performance, so of course I was not expecting this. I understand that there is already someone starting on Monday to fill my position.... What can I do? Can I sue ?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Ronald Joseph Kim

    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It appears from your question that you live and work in New York City, so while the previous commentator is correct that as a at-will employee you can be terminated for any reason, I would contact an attorney in NYC experienced in employment law. New York City residents are protected by not only Federal and State law, but also a comprehensive City law from certain types of employment discrimination. While your question does not provide any facts that would appear to support a claim of discrimination, it is probably worth it for you to sit down with someone and discuss your situation.

    If you don't know an attorney, go to and search for someone in your area.

    Good luck,

  2. Jeffrey Bruce Gold


    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . In New York, absent a contract or union bargaining agreement, an employee can be terminated at any time for any non-discriminatory reason. If you think you can demonstrate that your termination was the result of your gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or age, you should speak with an attorney. Please feel free to call to discuss.

  3. Marilynn Mika Spencer

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I am a California attorney and not eligible to give legal advice in your state. My comments are for information only, based on federal law and general legal principles. YOUR STATE MAY HAVE ITS OWN LAWS THAT PROVIDE SIMILAR OR GREATER PROTECTION. If I refer to your state's laws, that only means I did a quick Internet search and found something that appeared relevant. You should not rely on any comment I make regarding your state's law. You MUST check with an attorney licensed in your state.

    I don't have good news for you. Employees have very few employment rights, and employers have a lot of leeway in how they choose to run their businesses. There is no law that says an employer must be fair or make good decisions. An employer can fire an employee -- even an excellent -- without any reason whatsoever. An employer can fire an employee for a stupid reason, a short-sighted reason, or just about any reason. There are very few things that prevent an employer from doing whatever it feels like doing. There are public policies, such as those that prevent discrimination based on a protected category (religion, race, sex, etc.); there are contracts; and there are agreements between employers and unions.

    Please look at my Avvo guide to at-will employment which may help you understand your rights now and in the future: After reading this guide, if it looks like the employer may have violated the law, you may wish to consult with an experienced plaintiffs employment attorney in your state. To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in your area, please go to the web site of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). NELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the country for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is, and you can search for attorneys by location and practice area.

    Also, NELA has affiliates in every state and in many cities. On the NELA web site, you can look at the list of affiliates. Some attorneys will be listed in the affiliate membership list, some in the national organization membership list, and some in both. Being listed in one or both lists should not influence your selection because attorneys can choose whether or not to purchase the listing in the national directory. Each local affiliate has its own rules for listing.

    I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best.

    *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your... more

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