Getting fired on your first day at a new job feels like it can’t be possible. Don’t you deserve some sort of warning? Don’t they have to give you a fair chance to do the job well?
The truth, though, is that at-will employees can get fired on their first day, with or without a warning. For instance, some employees have shown up 20 minutes late for work on the first day. Instantly, the boss likely begins thinking about firing them. If that’s their mindset on day one, it’s not likely to get any better, so the company may decide to cut their losses and hire someone else as soon as possible.
When this sort of abrupt firing becomes a problem, though, is when you had some sort of guarantee that they would follow a specific process. For instance, maybe the employee handbook tells you that all employees are entitled to two written warnings before getting fired. If you lose your job on the first day, without a warning, that may now be a wrongful termination because you were given different terms when you were hired.
The same is true if you signed an employment contract. It may stipulate that you need warnings or advance notice. It may also lay out specific reasons you can get fired, so your boss cannot simply release you without cause. A firing that breaks those terms may also be wrongful.
If this happens to you, make sure you know what legal steps you can take. You may have options to fight back against such an unfair (and illegal) firing.