No employee wants to wake up one day and discover that their employer no longer requires their services. After all, their job pays for their rent, groceries and other essentials. A sudden termination could mean financial ruin. But as it turns out, employers can fire workers without reason and notice.
Indiana is an at-will employment state
In Indiana, the legal doctrine of at-will employment permits both parties in an employer-employee relationship to terminate their agreement at any time and for no reason.
Still, there are exceptions to this rule. It is unlawful to fire a worker based on their protected characteristics such as disability, race or gender. Additionally, the law prohibits employers from firing workers who filed a complaint or discussed violations of their rights.
In some cases, employers choose not to explain the cause of termination to reduce the chances of a lawsuit. By not giving a basis for argument, employees may find it more challenging to retaliate or pursue legal action. However, this can also negatively affect the company’s reputation and relationship with its employees and the public.
Why companies might tell you anyway
Employees tend to be wary of any company that won’t disclose reasons for firing, especially if they suspect wrongful termination. If they get fired with no explanation, the employees are more likely to seek the advice of a lawyer and discuss their situation.
Companies that exercise suspicious firing practices may also suffer reputational damage. When word gets around, it can dampen employee morale and make it challenging to bring in new hires.
To minimize complications, many employers willingly explain why an employee was let go.
An employee can ask for the reasons for their termination if the company does not provide them. However, no federal rules require employers to provide this information, so they have the option to withhold it. When an employee believes they were fired for illegal reasons, a lawyer can help the employee understand their rights and potential courses of action.