My boyfriend got fired last night. He worked at C.R Bard through a temporary agency. His 90 days was almost up. They told him that he was fired because he called off one day. They never gave him verbal warnings or written warnings ahead of time and i don't think he called off more than 2 times in the 90 days he was there. I have the attendance and punctuality policy and it states that "If an employee has one unexcused absence during the first 90 days of placement, a verbal warning and a warning letter will be sent to the employee's address". We never received those documents. They are sending him the termination letter in the mail tomorrow. can they do this? Is it legal?
Unfortunately, this is probably perfectly legal. Unless your boyfriend had an employment contract, was a member of a union, or was a government employee, he was probably an employee at will. That means he can be hired or fired for any reason or no reason as long as there is no unlawful motive such as discrimination (based on a protected category such as age, race, sex, disability, etc...) or whistleblowing. In employment at will situations, employers generally have a lot of discretion when deciding when and how to dismiss an employee. Not following the company's policies does not usually create a claim for wrongful termination.
Of course, a local employment attorney can fully evaluate the matter and advise him on the specifics of his termination. Good luck.
As an at-will employee your friend could be fired for no reason or any reason except a discriminatory reason such as based on race, religion or gender.
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Generally, unless you are in a union, step discipline is not a binding program and the employer can let you go without adhering to it.
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Unfortunately, company policies are not usually binding. With very few exceptions, they are merely guidelines. But if his absences were related to a medical condition he had, he might want to consult an attorney or the NYS Division of Human Rights.
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