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Jeff Jagodzinski, the coach of Boston College's football team, was fired for interviewing with the New York Jets. The Boston Herald reported that at a press conference on Wednesday, BC athletic director Gene DeFilippo announced the termination and stated it was based on a "difference of vision for the future."
Apparently, Jagodzinski had advance warning from De Filippo of the consequences of his interviewing for the NFL job after the AD got wind of the interview over the weekend. Undeterred, Jeff Jagodzinski interviewed with the Jets on Tuesday and BC kept its word.
An employee's interviewing with prospective employers before quitting their current job is nothing unusual. However, employees should be aware that, since they are likely in an "at will" state, they do risk being fired for interviewing should their employer find out about it. There are some exceptions to this general rule, however, which usually involve employment contracts. If an employee and their employer formed a contract upon employment, or thereafter, it may have provisions specifically outlining the permissible grounds for termination. If worst comes to worst, a fired employee can apply for unemployment benefits.
Fortunately, the majority of people in the work force are not in the public eye nor in media-scrutinized positions, as are prospective NFL coaches. Someone who takes some time off for a surreptitious interview usually does not end up fired from their job.
As for Jeff Jagodzinski, the Herald story indicates that he'll probably be doing fine when all is said and done, as he "appears eager to get back into the NFL and might have some options with the Seattle Seahawks if he is passed over in New York."
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.