Actually, the guy it happened to was a prick himself and should have known better. He broke a cardinal rule in this business, even if the client did overreact. And, by the way, the client turned out to be a really good guy and one of the better ones I've worked with.
And guess who was billed for the drowned phone? He paid it gladly.
i'm amazed at the number of posts saying that the guy can sue. hello, people, read the article! michigan (like CA, where I live) considers all employment to be 'at will' which means you or your employer can terminate the relationship at any time for any reason.
He has no recourse legally AT ALL.
I had a similar experience when I was living in wisconsin- I was working as a server administrator in the IT department of the state government- I was actually in charge of the email servers for all the state senators and reps, and the governor, too. Anyway, I was a contractor. I new the newly hired head of IT was trying to get rid of all the contractors in the department. I didn't want to get fired so I was doing everything exactly by the book. Eventually, I was the only contractor left working there. One day I came in, and my immediate supervisor wanted to talk to me. He offered me a permanent job there on staff. I told him I was extremely interested (public employee benefits in wisconsin kick ass) he went to talk to the deprtment head, came back 5 minutes later and told me I was fired for wearing baggy pants. We had a dress code, and what I was wearing (dress shirt and khakis) was and always had been acceptable. I talked to the boss, and he told me that the way I dressed was just too flashy. i'll never forget this. he said, "if you were working in advertising or something, what you wear would be fine. But we're in tech support. People expect us to look like geeks." obvious bull****. I checked with a lawyer, and since wisconsin does the 'at will' thing too, there was nothing i could do. Really sucked.
Any employer with a dozen functioning neurons will specify in his employee handbook that employment is "at will." It is assumed in most states unless there is a contract. I need no cause to fire any employee. Cheerios for breakfast (unless they are honey-nut) is adequate reason for me to fire someone. But I will be paying unemployment premiums on him for the privledge.
From a policy POV, labor flexibility is a good thing. If it is difficult and/or expensive to fire employees when they become unneeded or unwanted then I am less likely to hire them in the first place. I'll either outsource the work, automate the process, or pay my existing employees overtime to do the work.
depends on the state, but most places you can fire anyone you want for any reason you want. Trust me, I've been in front line management for twenty plus years. You may lose the unemployment hearing and have to pay, but you can fire them.
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