Stan Van Gundy and the Orlando Magic Basketball organization are having a high profile employer / employee problem. The best player on the Magic basketball team has allegedly requested that management fire Stan Van Gundy the head coach.
I am sure everyone in Orlando prefers that all parties in the organization are comfortable with each other, confident in each other’s abilities and enjoy working together towards a common goal. The same is probably true for every organization that employs staff. However, for the Magic that does not appear to be the case.
This is a very good example of a common issue that arises between employers and employees in an “At Will” legal environment.
In most business organizations there is some frustration with staff, management or ownership. Sometimes this results in the termination of an employee or manager. In some cases the termination is unfair, but probably legal. In an “At Will” State, like California, most terminations are legal. The exceptions include termination based on discriminatory reasons, like age, race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. Organizations usually cannot termination someone on medical leave or maternity leave. For almost any other reason, in an “At Will” State it is legal for an employer to terminate an employee, even if that reason is a co-worker or player complaint.
During a recent press conference Stan Van Gundy summarized the relationship between employees and management very well;
“(Management) hasn’t told me anything. They don’t need to. I’m the coach right now and I’m the coach until they decide I’m not the coach. They don’t need to tell me anything and I don’t expect them to tell me anything. … If they want to, it’s 12:02 right now. If they want to fire me at 12:05 I’ll go home and find something to do. I’ll have a good day. I’m not worried about that at all. What I’m worried about is at 7:00 tonight are we going to be able to guard Carmelo Anthony?”
At the same press conference, Van Gundy even pointed out that in any work environment there are bound to be employees who don’t like their bosses.
“Look. If you’re a player, I mean, forget players. Anybody in this world, I’ll bet in this group that we have at least one person here who has an issue with their boss and maybe doesn’t like them. … but still works very hard and does a very good job. That’s normal, everyday life for everybody and it’s no different for anybody else.
Most businesses follow the law and most businesses are fair about terminations. Good businesses only terminate an employee when they must for business purposes, individual performance reasons, behavioral reasons or corporate culture reasons. Terminations that are petty, unfair, or based on personal issues, while probably legal are really bad business. Businesses that act this way have a hard time being successful.
If you find yourself in a work environment where not everyone is working together well, you can take solace that this even happens in high paid, high profile and successful organizations like the Orlando Magic. If you are in this situation, Stan Van Gundy has some advice;
“What matters is how people approach their job and go out and do it on the floor. You’re playing for your own pride, for your teammates more than anything else. That’s what matters.”
However, sometimes employers breach the law. If you are the victim of sexual harassment, wrongful termination based on discrimination or you are not being paid salary, bonuses and wages due to you; contact Attorney Search Network. Attorney Search Network is a California State Bar Certified Lawyer Referral Service and can refer you to an experienced Employment Lawyer.