Can you get fired when…

When Your Boss Knows That You Are Looking for Another Job


Can you really get fired for job searching?

As unlawful as it may seem, you absolutely can. There is nothing stopping your boss from terminating you at any time for any reason, with or without notice. This is called At-will employment. It is legal to terminate an at-will employee in almost every state, except Montana. In Montana, employees are protected by a law that prevents termination for “unspecified reasons after a six-month probationary period”.

Keep in mind that, just as you are preparing to leave they are preparing to fill your position. At the end of the day, they have needs that must be fulfilled with or without you and it is their job to make sure that the work continues and they don’t miss a beat.

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Be Discreet.

The best way to avoid hearing “YOURE FIRED” is to be discreet when job searching. In other words, never let the right hand know what the left hand is doing! Do not start asking your co-workers for reference letters at your current job. This is a major NO-NO! Refrain from browsing job sites at work, and do not take any phone calls or send any emails about your job search while at work. Also, do not switch up your behavior, for example, the dress code is casual and you go to work with a two piece button-down suit on. REG FLAG someone will notice!!!

Here are tips for job searching when you’re employed.

  • When asked, “May we contact your current employer?” Kindly say, NO! Or say upon job offer.
  • Keep your job search to yourself. Your co-worker that you think is your friend and won’t tell may slip up during a conversation which will lead to everyone now knowing including your boss.
  • Use non-work references or previous work references.
  • Schedule your interviews carefully. Spread the interview dates out and try to choose times when you are not usually working.


  • Have a change of clothes in the trunk so you are prepared even with the little amount of time that you have.

And when you do find your new position, make sure you offer to help with the transition and provide adequate notice.

We wish you well on your search to finding another position. If you have any questions regarding your search see how a staffing agency can help you, visit .


This information is not legal advice and is for guidance only. These are personal opinions mixed with facts from the sources below.