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Can I take my old job to court?

Tulare, CA |

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

Attorney Answers 4

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    This answer is a general interpretation of the law and is not fact specific to your case. Likewise it does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for a review of your specific facts and documents.

  3. 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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  4. 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 as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.

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