DEAR ABBY: My wife was hired for an administrative position. On her first day of work, they called her into the human resources director's office and told her she was being "let go" because of her website. The site has photos of her when she worked as a model for a large department store. They are in no way provocative or overly revealing. Photos of our children are also on the site.
The HR director told her that one of the other (internal) applicants had Googled her and had seen the site. An image so upset the other applicant that she made a formal complaint, which caused my wife's dismissal!
We consulted a lawyer and contacted the local Equal Employment Opportunity Commission only to be told that North Carolina is an "at will" employment state and that the employer did nothing wrong. We feel their actions were wrong. Is there anything that can be done? -- YANKEE IN CONFEDERATE COUNTRY
DEAR YANKEE: I'm sorry, but the answer is no. In most states there is a presumption of "at will" employment unless you have a written contract to the contrary. However, the employer cannot terminate an employee for an illegal reason -- such as age, religion, gender, sexual orientation or a disability. It does not appear from your letter that your wife was terminated for an illegal reason, but what happened stinks anyway.