Can a Company Fire You without Giving Notice?

Can a Company Fire You without Giving Notice?


There are some instances that employees are getting fired without warning, and in others, they can not. But whether or not an employee is legally terminated without warning, it all depends on the type of job notice contract or agreement the employee is under.

There are employees that are under an At-Will Policy, this means that this employee has a higher chance of being terminated without a warning notice than those employees that are hired under an employment contract that states the duration of their employment. Furthermore, the employer will need a valid reason as to why the employee is terminated to avoid wrongful termination lawsuits.

What (Not) to Do When You’re Fired?

Getting fired is not a once-in-a-million chance. In fact, getting fired is common to every one of us, and it is pretty formal notice. There are many reasons as to why you are getting fired, but whatever it may be, you should know how to handle getting fired.

Here’s what you should do if you are getting fired.

Don’t beat yourself up. Getting fired is not the end of your career. Do not dwell on it too much as it cannot help your situation. Instead, focus on what you are going to do next. Are you going to find another job immediately?

How to Fire an Employee and Stay Within the Law?

  • Understand the Employment At-Will policy. This means that you can fire an employment application contract anytime, for any reason, or for no reason. Make sure if the employee is under that policy or not.
  • Understand the employee’s rights. You can’t fire an employee for:
    • Discrimination – You can’t fire an employee because of their age, nationality, gender, religion or disability.
    • Whistle-blowing – You can’t fire an employee for complaining about any illegal activity in the company.
    • Legal rights – You can’t fire an employee for taking legal leaves (medical or notice to vacate).
  • Be sure to document performance assessment. Before firing an employee, make sure that you have the right document to support the poor performance of the employee.

3 Things a Boss Must Do Before Firing Someone

If you are the boss, one of your most difficult tasks is to fire a bad employee. But before you would do that, here are 3 things you should do before firing an employee.

  • Find a better fit elsewhere. If an employee is bad at his current position, it does not mean that he is truly a bad employee. It may just be a mismatch of his skill to his position. So, see if there are any positions available where this person would be a great fit.
  • Consult with the higher boss. Unless you are the boss of all bosses, you need a formal approval from those above you. If you fire an employee without approval from your boss, chances are, that employee is going to complain and your boss may demand that you reinstate the person. Get an approval first before you terminate notice an employee.
  • Check if there are other departments that may be affected. There are many departments in one company and a couple of them might be connected. If you fire an employee from this department, it may affect the performance of that department. Check and explain to other departments that you have to fire an employee.