Can You Get Fired By Text or Email?

Submitted by rachel on

If you have been fired, but the way you were fired wasn’t direct, such as face to face, but indirectly by email, phone, or text it can be unnerving. You may be wondering whether it is legal for an employer to fire an employee in this way. 


Unfortunately, in most cases, it is not illegal to fire an employee by email, phone, or text. There are some situations that could be considered wrongful termination according to state and federal employment law. If you have been wrongfully terminated, you may be able to sue your employer

Can An Employer Fire You By Text or Email?

Yes, in most cases, an employer can fire an employee whenever they want, for any reason, and in any way they choose. This is because the majority of waged employees are employed under what is called at-will employment. Only Montana does not allow at-will firing. Under at-will conditions, both the employer and the employee can terminate employment whenever they like without having to give a reason.


Apart from the case of Montana, the only exceptions to at-will firing are when the method of employment termination is specified in an employment contract, or if the reason for firing an employee is due to discrimination or retaliation. 


Both state and federal employment and anti-discrimination laws prohibit discrimination in the workplace or retaliation because the employee was a whistleblower or refused to carry out an illegal activity. 

Is My Firing Wrongful Termination If It Is By Text or Email?

It is not the method of firing an employee which could be illegal. It doesn’t matter whether you are told that your job is over in the manager’s office, or you were informed by email, text or phone. Wrongful termination has nothing to do with the way you were fired but for the reason you were fired. 


It may be considered wrongful termination if you believe you were fired just because of your gender, age, race, color, religious affiliation or disability amongst other cases of discrimination. If you were fired because you applied for workers’ compensation or family or medical leave or exposed wrongdoing at work, then this may be considered wrongful termination.

What If My Firing Was Illegal?

If you believe that you were the victim of illegal firing, you should file a complaint with the relevant state or federal agency that has the responsibility to enforce employment and anti-discrimination laws. For example, every state will have a government agency that enforces that state’s human rights and anti-discrimination legislation. 


The federal equivalent is the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC). You can choose to file your complaint online or in person by completing a form and submitting this with appropriate evidence supporting your complaint. In most cases, if the government agency cannot resolve a case of wrongful termination, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer alleging a breach of employment law. You will then find that you may need legal help from an employment attorney.

Consult with an Employment Attorney

It can be difficult to determine if your firing was illegal. An employment lawyer can help. Fill out the free case evaluation form to get connected with an independent attorney who subscribes to the website and may be able to help with your case.