Can an action be taken if someone got fired for "Perception of the intent to steal?"

Asked almost 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

My boyfriend's been working for this really well off private club that is endorsed and invested by the members . Since he's been working there , he's gotten a promotion to be an Operations Manager from a Bar Manager . He does very well , very honest , the members like him , his boss likes him etc . Long story short , there was an upper management meeting one day , while listening to the HR / Controller to her presentation on how much the club is making etc , numbers , she's good with numbers . My boyfriend who saw her numbers as incorrect , called her out on it , calculated it and showed that she was thousands of dollars off . This angered her , since then , she's been cutting his hours off , tel lining the club owner that they need to budget , because alls he does is shows him numbers and he agrees . She cut his hours , but when he got hired he was promised a full time job , now he's part - time . She makes him work as a bartender instead of what his position is , she's been emailing the owner about how he's been trying to hire his friends ( which is not true ) . She's been picking at him and trying to find every little thing to get him in trouble . When he's home , they're calling him because things are going wrong . When he's not there , things go wrong and it falls on him . When he's there , things are going good , but they cut him short . Does that make any sense ? The HR / Controller also tried to mention to the owner that his position for the club an Operations manager isn't needed . Just today , he got fired and was given the reason " Perception with the intent to steal " . The HR / Controller saw him with a bottle of alcohol in his bag , which regardless if he wasn't taking it or not , they fired him . My boyfriend plays by the rules , because the members like him , they give him gifts . This was a gift , which he's taken home more than once before with no problem . Can he seek legal advice ? He's afraid he won't be able to get unemployment and because the reason for his firing was Theft ( ridiculous ) will that ruin his chances at other places ?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Michael Robert Kirschbaum

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . Your boyfriend committed the cardinal sin of embarrassing the HR/Controller and that is almost certainly the reason she was determined to find a way to get rid of him. Unfortunately, assuming he is, what we call, an "at-will" employee, he can be terminated for almost any reason, as long as it is not an unlawful one. And your post does not identify an unlawful reason.

    Now, if this HR/Controller were to publicly accuse your boyfriend of theft, he might have a claim for defamation. When I say publicly, I mean to a third party, such as a prospective employer. It does not include the EDD. However, if the employer does say they fired your boyfriend for even the perception of theft, the burden of proof is on the employer to prove that he actually did steal something, if they were to succeed in denying his benefits.

    They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion... more
  2. David Gary Jones

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . Unemployment is likely. Any other claims will not work, as California is an at-will state, and the emloyer can terminate even if they are undeniably wrong on the basis for termination.

    Please check the law of your state

Related Topics

Wrongful termination of employment

Wrongful termination is when an employer illegally fires someone, often in a discriminatory manner, such as firing someone who becomes pregnant or disabled.

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