T Nation

USA Labor Laws

Guys,
I live in Italy and from what I’ve seen in many movies,series and also from what I read on the internet it seems that in the US the boss can fire his employees for the fun of it. Is that so ?
Here in Italy and in most european countries it’s almost impossible (it takes long,and it’s complicated,many laws protect the employee from being fired) to fire your staff once they get a regular contract.

To be fired “on the fly” you either have to get caught stealing money or assaulting someone.

What’s the deal in the US ?

Legally, employees can quit or firms can let them go “at will” for most jobs. Contract work is a different story.

Most companies have their own policies though that prevent frontline managers from firing people for poor reasons due to a bad day or a mean streak however. But a company does not have to keep an employee around if they do not want to.

[quote]Horazio wrote:
Guys,
I live in Italy and from what I’ve seen in many movies,series and also from what I read on the internet it seems that in the US the boss can fire his employees for the fun of it. Is that so ?
Here in Italy and in most european countries it’s almost impossible (it takes long,and it’s complicated,many laws protect the employee from being fired) to fire your staff once they get a regular contract.

To be fired “on the fly” you either have to get caught stealing money or assaulting someone.

What’s the deal in the US ?
[/quote]

Don’t believe what you see on TV in the movies because that’s usually not how things work here. Firing employees for the fun of it? If an employer actually did that, then people wouldn’t apply for work at that company, which is bad for business.

Any violation of the working contract by an employee can have a severity of punishment up to and including termination. Instant termination usually happens for violations like assault, theft, harrassment, stuff like that.

Other violations, like tardiness and missing work, can be punishable by termination, but depends on the employee. If they’re in good standing, a tardy or absence can be overlooked.

Then there’s union employees, where it’s similiar to the situation you described for European workers.

This really depends on your job and if you have a contract or not. You may hire into a union job, where it is hard to get fired. You may sign on for a contract, where you have (for example) 6 months of work.
Most jobs at the entry level are “At will employers”. Either party (boss or worker) may terminate the employment at any time for any reason. Even with that though, the boss better have a reason, or they may be open to a lawsuit.
Also, a lot of companies have a 90 day probation period. Any time during the first 90 days they can end employment.

Here the worker can terminate the employment at any time but he will loose a part of the salary (a little) if he quits without 15 days notification.

Bosses can never ever fire an employee once there’s a regular contract,unless very severe situations (theft or violence).
Even for those workers who don’t belong to unions.
And this applies for all kind of jobs,no matter the company/firm.

[quote]Doug Adams wrote:
Horazio wrote:
Guys,
I live in Italy and from what I’ve seen in many movies,series and also from what I read on the internet it seems that in the US the boss can fire his employees for the fun of it. Is that so ?
Here in Italy and in most european countries it’s almost impossible (it takes long,and it’s complicated,many laws protect the employee from being fired) to fire your staff once they get a regular contract.

To be fired “on the fly” you either have to get caught stealing money or assaulting someone.

What’s the deal in the US ?

Don’t believe what you see on TV in the movies because that’s usually not how things work here. Firing employees for the fun of it? If an employer actually did that, then people wouldn’t apply for work at that company, which is bad for business.

Any violation of the working contract by an employee can have a severity of punishment up to and including termination. Instant termination usually happens for violations like assault, theft, harrassment, stuff like that.

Other violations, like tardiness and missing work, can be punishable by termination, but depends on the employee. If they’re in good standing, a tardy or absence can be overlooked.

Then there’s union employees, where it’s similiar to the situation you described for European workers.

[/quote]

In the financial markets, most employment is “at will” and terminations are almost always immediate.

DB