I spend a good part of my days explaining basic employment law to callers, and on occassion I get a caller who tells me I obviously don’t know what I am talking about, because what I am saying is contrary to one of their cherished myths about employment law.  The sad thing is, I usually get that type of call when the employee has relied on a given myth and been fired as a result.

One example of this is the myth that you should refuse to sign a performance review or disciplinary write-up if you don’t agree with what it contains.  Wrong.  The employer can then fire you for insubordination for refusing to sign.  Another popular one is that under the First Amendment, an employer can’t fire you for something you say, and certainly can’t do so for something you said on your own time.  Wrong.  The First Amendment provides only that the government can’t abridge your free speech; that restriction does not apply to an employer.  Then, of course, there is the grandaddy of them all, that an employer needs a reason to fire you.  Wrong.  If you are an at-will employee, your employer does not need a reason to fire you.

Now, nothing is black and white under the law.  Having just debunked the above three myths, I’ll show you exceptions. ↓ Read the rest of this entry…