People get fired for a multitude of different reasons, and you can even be let go due to company policies you had no idea about. This article will explore the most common reasons that people get fired to try and help you avoid it.

Damaging Company Property

Whether it was intentional or not, damaging company property is a fireable offence in many employers’ eyes.

Drug or Alcohol Possession at Work

Employers don’t want you doing anything on-the-job that will affect your work performance. Being intoxicated or consuming drugs and alcohol whilst at work is a bad idea and 100% a fireable offence. Not to mention that with some drugs it’s illegal, and employers don’t want illegal activity happening on their property.

Falsifying Company Records

This could result in long-term legal trouble or performance problems for the company. Not to mention it is completely unethical.


Refusal to obey orders or to do simple tasks runs you at a high risk of getting fired. Although you do not need to say “yes” to everything your boss asks you to do, you can’t constantly say no either. Employers want someone who can take direction and is willing to work hard. If the problem is that you don’t agree with your managers’ requests or policies, then politely express how you feel or get in touch with the HR department.


Misconduct is a word for a wide spectrum of things that you can do wrong in a company. This covers everything from sexual harassment to fraud. Unethical conduct also includes behaviours such as; lying, stealing, industrial espionage, criminal misbehaviour or bullying in the workplace can easily get you fired.

Businessman harassing female colleague at computer desk in office

Poor Performance

Companies want someone working for them who does their work and does it well – this is to help ensure the success of the business. If you’re not fulfilling the duties of your job description or your work is constantly low standard and needs to be redone this could be grounds to fire you.


We touched on this in misconduct. But stealing from the workplace is not only a fireable offence, it is also illegal. Stealing anything from a box of pens to a company laptop could get you into trouble and potentially get you fired.

Using Company Property for Personal Business

Most employers won’t mind if you send the odd personal email or occasionally using the office copier for a personal document, but it is always best to ask first, just in case. Constantly going on the internet for non-work-related reasons or doing personal matters during work time could get you fired.

Taking Too Much Time Off

If you’re constantly late, take frequent sick days, or take too many vacation days (ones you are not already entitled to) your employer will notice. This absence can affect your work performance as well as the performance of people around you as the amount of work needed to get done will not be getting done.

Violating Company Policy

Every company has their own policies which employees must adhere to. It’s extremely important to research and review the companies’ policies before you start working there so you know what will be expected of you. For example, some companies may have a policy about inappropriate conduct on social media or office dating and others may not, so it’s best to be aware so you aren’t surprised later on.