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Personal Assistant Considers Suing Company After She’s Fired Because Boss’ Wife Got Jealous

Tom Merton/GettyImages

Redditor The_Little_Dipper had landed a job as a personal assistant at a more reputable company than her previous one.

However, she didn’t last very long since she was fired a few months later due to reasons that had nothing to do with her job performance.

But when she found out the unsettling truth behind her termination, she visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA for deciding to sue the company for wrongful termination?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“Some months ago I landed a job as personal assistant at a much bigger company than I previously worked at. I guess his wife didn’t like, ‘the idea of another woman spending more time with you(him) than I do.’”

“I said something along the lines of that’s her problem. And he tried to reassure me by saying, ‘don’t take it personally, You’re not the first.'”

“I nodded and left. But later on I texted him and asked him to elaborate. Just so I could get it on text.”

“He explained that whenever he starts spending more time at work than usual. His wife gets suspicious.”

“And asks about his, ‘New co workers and secretary/personal assistant.’ Apparently, shes accused him of having an emotional affair with 3 women prior to me. And subsequently fired them to appease her.”

“I told him it was probably grounds for a wrongful termination suit or something. He asked if I’d file one, I confirmed I would see what I could do.”

“I haven’t acquired their names yet. But I have a friend at the company who might be able to tell me. And I think I could sue them.”

“Since it’s not just me. There’s apparently, ‘3 others in the past 5 years.’ In his own words.”

Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:

  • NTA – Not the A**hole
  • YTA – You’re the A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everybody Sucks Here

Many Redditors thought the OP would not be the a**hole but suggested she think carefully about how to move forward.

“NTA. You really should talk with a lawyer, it is most likely that you were working at-will, which means either of you can terminate the employment with no reason at all.”

“If the termination was for an unlawful reason, such as discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, hostile work environment, or violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) you may have a case, but that doesn’t appear to be the reason you were terminated.”

“You are not an a**hole for checking it out. Ex-Boss’s wife probably needs to know that there may be consequences for her cavalier attitude with people’s lives.” – ForwardPlenty

“NTA. HR professional here. Wrongful termination may apply in your case, but suing may not be your best course of action.”

“If your former employer has HR call them now that you have his comments in writing. Even if your boss was the CEO or sole owner, there are likely other people who he has to answer to about personnel decisions.”

“You may have a case, but settling a wrongful termination claim can take a very long time and could mean a substantial legal bill. Sometimes threatening to sue is enough to encourage a settlement, especially if placating a jealous spouse is the mean reason for your termination.”

“If your former employer (The company not the boss himself) is willing to deal it may be in your best interest to consider an settlement where they agree to give you a positive reference and say that the job was eliminated based on operational needs and not due to your performance and you get a set amount of salary paid out.”

“You are not wrong to want to sue, but a legal case creates a paper trail that may make it harder for you to land jobs in the future. I speak from experience.”

“I spent a short time at a start up working for the boss from hell who fired me after I refused to complete an illegal action that she ordered me to complete via email. After one visit to an employment lawyer with my written proof of many instances of harassment and the illegal request, the company had a letter stating my intention to sue.”

“The next day we had an offer that was negotiated to six months salary , an agreement that they would support my unemployment claim, and would give a positive reference to any who called.”

“I took it because it was better to walk away with something and start over at better professional environment. Figure out what will make you feel whole and insist that your former employer make it right before you start looking for your next job. Good luck.” – Snarkyeyebrowgirl

“NTA – I’m not sure it’s good grounds for a lawsuit, but if it is, then you’re never an a**hole for asserting your rights.” – Manofthedecade

“NTA at all. There may be no grounds if you were still in the ‘probationary period’ but a lawyer can inform you there. If you have a case, go for it.”

“No one should lose their job over a coworkers insecurities let alone their spouses. You know, assuming her claims of previous affairs are unfounded (though even then you shouldn’t lose your position over boss’s past behavior.)”

“I guess I find it odd that he’s had this issue come up 3 prior times and hasn’t hired a male for that position?” – Probably_A_Fu***er

“NTA. However, this isn’t worth your time monetarily speaking. Your lawyer will cost you a lot of money up front if you hire a good one. Also, you’re just a personal assistant that doesn’t make a huge wage, so your settlement won’t be that much.”

“The time and money you spend won’t be worth it. This isn’t high stakes where you’re an executive or something. This is a lower wage job.”

“Do yourself a favor and just move on and find a better job.” – TurbulentJudge1000

“NTA but you are not likely to find a lawyer to take your case or win. You might also be ruining your future employment chances.”

“At will states allow you to be fired for any reason or no reason at all. Just because he hires and fires only women isn’t gender discrimination.”

“It might qualify if he fired you for only being a woman, but you’d have to show that only the fact that you are a woman counted, that he would fire any and all women at that job, no matter their age, level of attractiveness, etc.”

“The fact you are a personal assistant and don’t have to meet certain professional qualifications (like a professional certification) makes it even less likely you will succeed. (See the dental hygienist case cited below—she was professionally certified and still didn’t win)”

“I don’t mean to rain on your parade, and I agree it sucks, but this may be one time where walking away is the best option.”

Although a majority of Redditors agreed the OP was not in the wrong, many of them advised her to reconsider since taking the company to court could be a complicated and drawn-out process.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo