Can my boss fire me because she doesn’t like me?

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I have a new boss (as of June 2013). As new bosses tend to do, she came in with a “better way” of doing things. I try and be open minded but I do not agree with her vision. I say “we can agree to disagree” but that is not good enough for her. She demands agreement, which I cannot give since I do not agree. She comments on my body language, which she tells me she does not like. I find her to be creepy and my gut reaction is to be as far away from her as possible.

I am extremely good at my job. I have received “exceeds expectations” on my performance reviews by my former bosses (exceeds expectations is the highest rating you can get in my company). I have the respect of senior management.

I feel that my new boss is not a fan of me and I am wondering if I can be fired because of that. She and the SVP of HR are very chummy. They eat lunch together, spend time in each other’s offices (the offices at work are all glass).

If asked “do you like working for , do I have to answer that question? Is liking your boss a job requirement?

Please let me know what you think about being fired because my boss does not like me and vice versa.

To read the answer, click here: Can my boss fire me because she doesn’t like me?

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8 thoughts on “Can my boss fire me because she doesn’t like me?

  1. well she can but not directly. she will have to find a specific reason for that.i.e breach of rules ,coming regularly late,absenteism. but i hope you know how to manage all these problems. your boss has just one thing superior in hand i.d relationship with svp hr .you need to make yourself credible infront of that svp and other high management. you won’t be get fired then .am sure.

    1. Nope. In the US, you boss needs no reason to fire you, just as you need no reason to quit. Most companies don’t allow that, but legally, they can.

  2. I had to comment on this one, and the person who asked this question may not like my response. It’s not about the firing (and yes, you can be fired for any non-illegal reason or no reason at all). Leave the personality differences aside for now.
    Were you ever open to seeing things from her side? If I were your new boss, coming in with possibly a broader perspective of experience, I would see your “agreeing to disagree” as narrow in focus and lacking in the ability to see things from a different perspective. What if her vision truly is better for the company (regardless of your personal feelings about it) and your digging your heels in is impacting that improvement? Just because you disagree with her vision doesn’t make her vision wrong.
    Also, you may be making assumptions about the amount of time your boss is spending with the SVP of HR. If she reports to this person, it stands to complete reason that she’d spend a lot of time with that person (especially since she only started this June). If I were your boss, I’d spend lots of time with my SVP of HR too, as I’m learning the operations and as I’m attempting to possibly bring about strategic change to the company. I think your assumptions of chumminess send the message that you’re making the situation all about you. (Sorry if that offends but put yourself in your boss’ shoes for a moment). Your boss has a responsibility to the company, and spending time with her boss is likely part of how your boss could be working on those priorities.
    I don’t know you nor your work ethic, but I also recommend extreme caution in trusting all “exceeds expectations” reviews from the past. What were the expectations of the person giving that review? Were they thrilled when people just showed up to work on time? What were their standards, and did they have the training to conduct real performance reviews? No employee is ever perfect, all can work to improve something (and if you don’t believe this about yourself, reconsider your take on reality). So if really you have only ever received all “perfects” in reviews, sadly that manager has done you a terrible disservice. If you were always exceeding expectations in the eyes of the company, why aren’t you now the SVP of HR?
    Let’s assume for a moment that your new boss is right about your body language (and from the question, I have to wonder if your boss isn’t right about that). How do you physically respond to people whom you don’t like? If you truly do recoil at others, this is going to be very apparent to everyone (and, again not to be harsh here, but this is immature and unprofessional). I would strongly recommend (whether you think you’re displaying this in body language or not) take some communications classes (especially the ones about dealing with difficult people and about responsive listening). Perhaps it would sting a little less if an uninvolved instructor comments that they see the same body language in you. Then ask yourself, how much does this matter to you? If this is something you find out that you actually do, do you care? Does it matter to you if you send “I don’t like you” messages with your body language? If it doesn’t matter to you how others perceive you, I am afraid you will continue to find yourself in similar situations in the future.
    Also who is asking you if you like working for (her)? Is it any of their business whether you “like” someone or not? Try the age old adage of trying to say something nice, or say nothing at all. Try taking off the blinders and start looking for the positives in this new boss. You may be surprised at what you can learn.
    I’ve been that new boss coming in, with a new subordinate who refused to make any attempts to see the new vision I brought. That employee did not last, but the new vision did, and the company is doing extremely well going down that new road. Hopefully you want to join your company on that trip, and not be a roadblock.

    1. This is complete corporate speak and the problem with America. So you’re saying to just be a yes man? Be a robot who can’t think for themselves? How telling it is when you say that person is no longer there and how good that makes you feel. If that company wanted to get rid of you they would, in a heartbeat.

      1. Wow that’s a big jump from asking questions about one situation to blaming a nation’s downfall. Actually sounds like the questions are employing critical thinking skills, which ultimately require the thinker to see others’ perspectives, even when it makes them uncomfortable. Perhaps the lack of critical thinking skills is actually more of “what’s wrong in America.” Also there’s no indication at all of what the feelings were about the person who left, only the statement that the company was thriving. The assumption that they felt good about the situation is an erroneous conjecture.

  3. Unfortunately a huge part of the work experience is relationships; and sometimes personality types just don’t mesh well, no matter what. That being said, the Boss is the Boss, and unless they are breaking a law, they can pretty much do whatever they want. Have you done everything you can to adapt to fit their style; because as the subordinate, it is you who must adapt. If so; and it’s still not working, you need to find another job. I know that sounds cold, but the workplace is rarely fair and there is not point in wasting time.

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