I told my coworker that our boss said she might be let go until she is of age to serve alcohol in the restaurant where I work. I'm not a supervisor or a manager of any sort; my boss told me that she might be let go, and didn't tell me to tell her. Can I get fired for saying something?

closed as off-topic by Vietnhi Phuvan, gnat, IDrinkandIKnowThings, user8365, nvoigt Jan 18 '15 at 22:36

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking advice on company-specific regulations, agreements, or policies should be directed to your manager or HR department. Questions that address only a specific company or position are of limited use to future visitors. Questions seeking legal advice should be directed to legal professionals. For more information, click here." – gnat, IDrinkandIKnowThings, nvoigt
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  • What is your question? Please edit you text and while you're at it, make it proper sentences. It is in your interest that people read your question, so make it as easy as possible. – Jan Doggen Jan 18 '15 at 18:55
  • Where do you live? Are you in an at will position or protected by contract? If you are at will you can be fired for anything. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Jan 18 '15 at 20:14
  • 2
    This question has been edited and should no longer be "on hold." It is not company-specific. "Will I get fired" would be, because that would depend on the whims of his boss, but this only asks "can I get fired" which has the same answer across all companies (in the OP's locality/state/country). – ExactaBox Jan 20 '15 at 2:27

There are three possible questions buried in your story.

Was it wrong to tell her she might be fired? You already know it was. If someone trusts you with an upcoming management decision, it's not yours to share. You will certainly not be trusted with any other ones by this boss, for quite some time if not forever. But you're probably young and might be forgiven if you show you've learned your lesson.

Could you be fired? Depending on where you work, you can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. The spelling "mom and pop" suggests the USA, and generally most places are at-will employment, meaning they don't need a reason. If having you around is worth it, they keep you, otherwise they let you go.

Is it likely that someone who told me something confidential will fire me for sharing it? It's impossible to know, and hard to even guess, but I would guess no. After all, if she just quits (I have no idea why she would do so) then they don't have to give her severance and the like. It saves them the hassle of doing it. Therefore your actions are unlikely to hurt the restaurant, and since they are down a hostess, they may not want to get rid of anybody else right now.

Your best bet is to go to your boss and communicate these facts:

  • I told the hostess what you told me. In that moment I was only thinking of what was best for her, and not what was best for the restaurant.
  • I realized immediately that I was wrong. You told me something confidential and I should not have shared it.
  • I am sorry for what I did.
  • I understand it may take time to regain your trust and I will do all I can to earn that.
  • I still want to work here and I hope you forgive me.

Then get out there and do two things all day long from now on:

  • work really hard at this job to be the best you can and maybe even to make the restaurant better
  • look for another job every spare minute because even if they don't fire, you don't like working there, right? So go see what you can find. (Careful in a small town, restaurant owners often communicate and share info about applications from each other's staff.)

Can I get fired for saying something?

Assuming you are in the US and are not in a union job or job with other written protections, then the answer is Yes - you can be fired for this reason or for no reason at all.

In your original question, you seemed to indicate that you know this was an unwise thing for you to say.

So at this point, you could ask your co-worker to please not say anything to the boss. That might give you your best chance not to anger the boss and consequently get fired.

If she does bring it up with the boss and mentions your name, then you could ask for forgiveness as needed. That might work.

And if you dislike the work as much as you say, you probably should be looking for your next job anyway.

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