I was just informed of this situation that occurred somewhere by a co-worker, and was wondering what the legal ramifications are (U.S. Law). To be clear, the scenario is as follows:

  • I tell my boss I've been offered a position at another company.
  • My boss later comes to me with a counter offer of a raise, if I choose to stay with them
  • I accept the counter offer, and inform the other company that I have chosen to stay with my current employer
  • After a week, my boss then informs me that I'm being let go, and that this should serve as a lesson to not mess with him.

For the above scenario, regarding U.S. law, do I hold any legal grounds against this? What options would I have to defend myself (and my family) from being blatantly told that I was fired because I was willing to accept another offer without some other counter-offer from my current employer?

As for the chap this did happen to, I'm informed that he contacted the company who originally gave him the offer, and they were still willing to bring him on-board. So, yay (somewhat) happy ending to an otherwise terrifying situation.

  • 4
    This depends highly on location. In the US in an at will employment then its in general completely legal to fire some one for any reason or no reason at all. (general since there are some anti discrimination laws out there that vary by location). Although since this question is specifically legal its off topic for this site. – RubberChickenLeader Nov 10 '15 at 20:28
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    Legal questions are off-topic here at the Workplace. However, I think this would be a good fit over at the Law SE. – David K Nov 10 '15 at 20:41
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    I would tell HR and other employees. That is just plain vindictive. – paparazzo Nov 10 '15 at 20:47
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    This is a good example of why it is not a good idea to get a raise by threatening to leave. As awful as the manager was for terminating employment, he actually was being messed with. – teego1967 Nov 10 '15 at 21:04
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    @MrDuk, I'm not absolving the employer of awful behavior, but if one is going to leave it is best to just leave. The story as given here seems like the guy was just trying to "strong arm" the boss for a raise by threatening to leave. A better approach would have been to leave or to ask for a raise and go to the new job if the raise was denied. – teego1967 Nov 10 '15 at 21:16

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