Employment law: Jack’s ‘at will’ status and subsequent termination
I am a middle manager for a trucking company with the ability to hire and fire people in an “at will” state. I have an employee named Jack who has repeatedly been written up for poor job performance, dinking on the job, and verbally reprimanded for poor job performance. I have never threatened to fire him. Jack tells me one day at work that that he is aware that of employees selling drugs out of their trucks and if I do not pay him cash to keep quiet he is going to the police to report what he knows. I threaten him with termination and he walks away.
Hours later I have a random driver call in and says a truck was seized and he was arrested. I look over and see Jack smirking and think to myself that my threats of firing him did not scare him so I fire him on the spot. Jack promises not only will he get his job back, but he will put me in jail, and get some of the company’s profits.
Who is going to win the case?
What are the best arguments for each side?