Can I take my old job to court?

I was fired for apparently talking back to one of my managers, when I know for sure I never had. They also said that the things I said to myself, when I thought I was alone, like wanting to go home or just saying I was tired. I never got a warning or talked to about any of this until the day I was let go. I would never talk back to my managers because I need that job and at the time really liked it. I just really need some help. Thanks

Tulare, CA -

Attorney Answers (4)

Kristine S Karila

Kristine S Karila

Employment / Labor Attorney - Irvine, CA
Answered

Unless you had a written contract in which the company agreed to hire you for a specified period of time, you, like most employees, were an at-will employee. That means you can quit at any time for any reason. Similarly, your employer can fire you at any time for any lawful reason and there is not requirement to provide notice or a reason, etc. As long as you received your final paycheck including any earned and unused PTO (not sick leave) or vacation, based on what you stated in your question, you have no case.

Patrick John Phillips

Patrick John Phillips

Employment / Labor Attorney - San Diego, CA
Answered

If you were an "at will" employee--and most private sector employees are--you can be fired for unfair or untrue reasons. Your employer has no obligation to provide warnings or give you a second chance. I am sorry.

http://www.johnphillipslaw.com

This answer is a general interpretation of the law and is not fact specific to your case. Likewise it does not... more
David Herman Hirsch

David Herman Hirsch

State, Local, and Municipal Law Attorney - San Luis Obispo, CA
Answered

Most private employment in California is "at will". This means you can be terminated for any reason, or no reason at all, at any time so long as it isn't based on discriminatory reasons (i.e. because of race, sex, national origin or another protected classification), or your having engaged in a protected activity, or in violation of the terms of a contract or collective bargaining agreement.
Being “at will” also means that the employer is not required to provide a warning or advance notice of a termination decision and is not required to justify the decision with “good cause.” So, based on the facts you provided there is no basis for suing your employer. Sorry...

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Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Administrative Law Lawyer - Pasadena, CA
Answered

I concur with all of the comments by the responding attorneys here. But to your specific point let me add: if you were an at will employee (no contract, no union, no civil service) your employer had the right to terminate you even if you did not "talk back;" even if you can prove that you did not talk back; and even if the employer knows that you did not "talk back." At will employment can be very brutal and unfair, but it is the law in 49 and a half states.

I am sorry for this loss to you and I wish you well in finding new employment.

No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended... more

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