While your lengthy employment with the company and lack of prior complaints against you certainly work in your favor, some workplace behaviors are so serious that they may warrant discharge even after 25 years. Based on my experience, some include:
• harassment based on sex, race, or another legally protected factor
• workplace violence, or threatening the safety and health of other employees
• theft or fraud
• lying, particularly to management or during workplace investigations
Companies handle these compliance violations differently so don’t assume that every company will automatically terminate the employment of every first-time offender. Also, don’t assume that these are the only reasons that someone with such a lengthy employment record will be discharged following a company investigation.
If you have concerns that you were discharged unfairly, you can try to appeal your discharge through the company first and then through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or your state human rights board. You may also think about filing an unemployment claim and talking to an attorney. If a union represents you, your first call will want to be your union steward to file an appeal.