If you have been in any workplace for long enough, you have probably heard of someone being fired “for cause.” This is a situation just about any worker wants to avoid, with a potential impact on both their ability to access unemployment benefits and their future career prospects. But what exactly does it mean to be fired for cause, and why would someone be fired in this way?
What is a “For Cause” Firing?
In simple terms, when someone has been fired for cause, that means that someone has lost their job as a result of alleged misconduct of some kind, which justified terminating their employment. This is in contrast to something like losing their job due to mass layoffs or a failure to renew an employment contract, where the loss of their job is due to no fault of their own. Employees may also be fired without a legitimate cause, although that can have negative repercussions for the employer, including increasing their unemployment insurance rates.
Why Might Someone Be Fired For Cause?
There are many reasons someone may be fired for cause. Some of the most commonly cited issues include:
- Repeatedly showing up late for work
- Failing to perform essential job duties
- Lying about job qualifications
- Lying on official documentation
- Testing positive for illicit drugs on a drug test
- Showing up to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to adhere to company rules or bylaws
- Failing to meet expectations on performance reviews
- Engaging in harassment or discrimination
- Violating the terms of an employment contract
Why is it Bad For Employees to Be Fired For Cause?
When an employee is fired for cause, they can suffer a number of negative side effects. First, if they have an employment contract, being fired for cause may be one of the only ways to legally terminate the contract, and may cause them to forfeit certain benefits they would otherwise receive. Second, employees who are fired for cause are not entitled to unemployment benefits, when they otherwise might be. Third, a for cause firing looks bad in a persons’ employment history, and can negatively impact their ability to find a new job.
What Can You Do if You Lose Your Job Due to Alleged Misconduct?
Fortunately, just because an employer alleges that you acted in a way that justified being fired, does not mean you will lose access to potential benefits. A lawyer with experience handling employment law issues can help you negotiate your firing and ensure you receive everything you are entitled to. The sooner you call, the sooner they can get to work on your behalf.
Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer with more than 44 years’ experience handling the many aspects of employment law. His new book, “Fired!: Protect Your Rights & FIGHT BACK If You’re Terminated, Laid Off, Downsized, Restructured, Forced to Resign or Quit,” is available in hardback, and contains valuable advice on dealing with employment and labor law issues. To purchase the book, feel free to contact Steven Sack at 917-371-8000 or visit the website at legalstratpub.com. To inquire about a legal matter, please feel free to contact attorney Steven Sack at 917-371-8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.