• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

Legal Firing

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.



What is the name of your state? Vermont

If we suspect an employee of trying to do personal business that is in competition with his employer, what process do we need to go through firing the employee properly so that we do not run into trouble.


Senior Member
Is this an "at will" employee? That is, there is no employment contact or CBA in place? If that is the case, you don't need a reason. You can simply say, "Thanks, but your services are no longer required."

The caveat is that you may not terminate someone for a specifically prohibited reason, such as due to the employee's age (if over 40), race, gender, national origin, handicap, color, religion, handicap, pregnancy, etc. Nor may you terminate someone for exercising a protected right, such as taking FMLA, reporting for jury duty, filing a WC claim, making a good faith complaint to a government agency and so forth.

You certainly may terminate an employee upon suspicion that he is not acting in his employer's best interests - and doing personal business that is in competition with his employer absolutely qualifies. That said, good employee relations practices dictate that you should be reasonably certain of your suspicions before taking action. The law does NOT require that you have proof of misconduct or even any evidence of it. Since you may terminate for no reason, suspicion alone is sufficient.

I am just suggesting that a responsible employer will investigate their suspicions to the best of their ability to make sure they're making the proper decision.

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential