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Firing a Worker Under Suspicion

I have an employee who is doing her job satisfactorily, but I am certain that she is telling some of my company secrets to a competitor, a charge that she denies, but I have been unable to prove. May I fire her?

If you could please provide me with background to your answer. This seems to be the question that the Beer Mayim Chayim discusses.


According to Torah law, there are no official restrictions on employment and firing of workers. Whenever the contract allows, you are within your rights to fire an employee, for whatever reason you feel justified.

At the same time, firing without legitimate cause is a moral wrong, and might be against the labor laws of the local jurisdiction.

In the case of the question, although you cannot prove your suspicions, if you are certain (as the wording of the question states) that she is telling company secrets to competitors, you are certainly within your rights to fire her. See Minchas Shlomo, Vol. 3, no. 105, sec. 7, where Rav Shlomo Zalman zt”l writes that it is sometimes better to fire a worker under suspicion than to embarrass her; it is clear at any rate that there is no prohibition in firing the worker.

Beyond the suspicion, it stands to reason that you’ll find it hard to work together, and this is also just cause for ending the employment contract.

Best wishes.


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