Each of us spends a lot of time of work and friendships develop. What do you do if your friend is fired? Do you stand by them or do you drop them as a friend? Well, as in life, it all depends.

42577548_sSometimes friends are fired or let go because of something simple they did or did not do. For example, they may have gotten caught up in a layoff or their performance slipped and management needed to take action.

Being let go or fired because of changes in business, department structures or performance are situations where you may want to continue to a relationship with your friend after being fired. Some jobs are a poor fit and that is not a direct reflection on their character. Your company or manager will most likely not pass judgment on you.

Where it gets more complicated is if your friend is fired because of cause. Being fired for cause includes being accused of or found guilty of a behavior that is unacceptable, such as theft, lying, insubordination, workplace violence, harassment or any action that takes you through the progressive discipline process.

In these situations, it is important to evaluate if remaining friends is more important than what your employer may think about you. Let’s face it; people make judgments about the company you keep.

Having a friend fired hurts. Often you may not be aware of what they have done and you may feel betrayed and sad. You may want to sympathize with their situation. Ask yourself – ultimately, who made the choice to do what they did?

How you handle the relationship will send a signal to your employer about your personal character. You may rationalize that no one will know. Do you want to take that chance?

If you believe your friend is fired under suspicious conditions, then consider how you can support them and keep some distance. Recommend that they seek professional help from an attorney or other resource and stay out of their day-to-day struggles.

Once a conclusion is reached, you can decide on what kind of relationship you want with your friend that was fired.