Fired For Being Late


Do I have rights after being fired for being late?


What Now?


Dear What Now?:

What rights? Do you mean can your employer fire you for being late? If that is your question, you should know that you could quit whenever you wanted to for a good reason or no reason and your boss could and did fire you fire you for a good reason or no reason. The only possible exception that I can think of to what is called the “at will rule” is if you were fired based on discrimination or if you employer didn’t follow procedures that were agreed to in a union contract.

Most likely the best thing for you to do is to see this as a learning experience; learning to come early and not late. Have you looked in the mirror and taken responsibility for being late or have you said to yourself that you were not treated fairly? Sure you can blame being late on the traffic or on your alarm clock not working or on any number of other factors, but I suspect that you were not fired for being late just one time. Being late can be a habit; so can you also make being on time or ahead of time a habit.

If you owned a workplace, would you not have policies about employees who didn’t show up on time or who were absent frequently? I think well over half of the reason for not being fired is simply showing up and showing up on time. The other half is doing what you are hired to do and doing it with a positive attitude. Scan our Archives. Look at some of the hundreds of questions that are sent to us. We don’t defend bad bosses and neither do we defend those who are bossed who fail to live up to being responsible employees.

The purpose of Ask The Workplace Doctors is to promote good working relationships, and we know that for that to develop it takes two-way communication. So it is our hope that the few words we sent are taken in that spirit; of wanting the best for you and from you. Put the past behind you. Don’t badmouth your employer for firing you. Don’t allow such questions as what are my rights to play like a broken record in your head. Determine to find a job you feel suits your talents and interests. If more skills are needed to do that, do your best to get that training. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. That’s the way I close almost every question I answer. How might that statement apply to you?

William Gorden