A recent case heard by the highest court in New Jersey questioned whether or not an employer can fire an employee simply because he or she is getting a divorce.

What is this case about?

The case involves an emergency medical technician who had been employed by a rescue squad for 17 years.

In 2006, the man was fired from his job after having an affair and telling his boss that his “marriage was collapsing“. The boss fired the technician based on the fear that an ugly divorce would follow.

What is the issue or legal question?

The legal question in this case centers on whether or not the employer could fire the technician solely because of an impending divorce. The facts of the case do not point to poor job performance, missing work or any other issues that could have a negative impact on the technician’s ability to perform his job functions.

What did the court find?

The court found that it is not legal for an employer to fire an employee simply because of an impending divorce. It also extended this decision to include termination based on any marital status concerns.

In addition to termination, it is also illegal for an employer to issue any form of discipline or block advancement of an employer for these same reasons.