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Can I sue my employer for firing me over the intercom for the whole company to hear, I was mortified!

Westminster, CA |
Attorney answers 5


Unfortunately, you probably do not have a claim against your employer. If your termination was unrelated to your membership in a protected category (such as age, race, sex, disability, etc...) or some other violation of the law (such as whistleblowing) and you have no employment contract and are not in a union, there's probably no claim.



I am homeless myself confidence is already in shreds I've been slowly slipping into depression. I've tried to get myself off the streets and it's been a struggle. I didnt need the extra knock at my self esteem and confidence. It's the mental tear down that will leave the most damage and will take years to heal. I really dont think public hazing is a good work ethic nor is publicly terminating an employee over the intercom so that the other employees could joke and add to the belittling I felt.


Not the best way to go about terminating your employment and I certainly understand how it could be embarrassing, but you were most likely an "at will" employee. This means you could be terminated for any reason, or no reason at all, at any time so long as it isn't based on discriminatory reasons (i.e. because of race, sex, national origin or another protected classification), or your having engaged in a protected activity, or in violation of the terms of a contract or collective bargaining agreement, Therefore, you could be terminated for "burning leads" and you won't have any recourse. Sorry...

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While not the best practice, firing someone over the intercomm is not illegal. Moreover, employers have a qualified privileged to make statements regarding their employees that might otherwise be defamatory.
Moreover, statements of opinions are not actionable. Generally, in most states to overcome the qualified privilege you would need to prove that your employer made false statements about you with actual malice.

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Probably not.

As an at-will employee, the firing does not sound unlawful. So, the remaining question is whether announcing the fact and the true reason you were fired over the intercom for your coworkers to hear unlawful?

If you were truly "burning leads" - whatever that means - then the announcement of this true fact over the intercom is not illegal. It is not within the "zone of privacy" to be protected from public disclosure, unlike for example your medical information, or other personal and private details.

If the announcement that you were "burning leads" is a lie, then you could theoretically have same claim for slander or intentional infliction of emotional distress. But, more practically speaking, whether these are weak claims not worth pursuing is something you might discuss with an employment lawyer. In fact, an emotional distress claim here is probably preempted by the workers' compensation law.

Overall, this does not sound like a claim with pursuing based on the limited information available.

I'm sorry you experienced this humiliation. I hope this information is helpful to you. Good luck!

Follow me on Twitter @joeroselaw. I answer questions on Avvo to try to help get you pointed in the right direction. But, I am not your attorney. Beware, my answers here are general, limited, incomplete, and can never be as complete, thorough, or accurate as one I would give to a client after hearing all of the facts and details of my client's situation and applying the correct law. Also, I am admitted to practice law only in California and all of my answers are intended exclusively for the Golden State.


There would not typically be any legal claim on the basis of the facts you have described. I am sorry.

This answer is a general interpretation of the law and is not fact specific to your case. Likewise it does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for a review of your specific facts and documents.