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Do I have any legal rights for being fired over personal issues that we're acted upon?

Rancho Cordova, CA |

I have been employed by a company for ten years, under one supervisor (Grey). No write ups, no warnings or complaints of my job. He retired at the end of the year (2013). The new supervisor (Tom) that got appointed the job has shown personal hate and judgment against me for over 3 years as an assistant supervisor. Talking about my termination and his bad will towards me. I tried to fix this in 2012 by talking to him (Tom) and the supervisor at the time(Grey). Nothing was resolved at that time and was told, " just go do your job." Now that Tom is the supervisor he fired me only having the new position for 2 months. Asked why he said "Don't have to discuss this." Talked to the owner he said "misconduct." Again no write ups, nor warned for misconduct.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Unfortunately nothing you describe is unlawful or gives you the basis to legally contest your termination. 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 advance notice of a termination decision and is not required to justify the decision with “good cause.” Sorry...

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  2. As cruel as it was for this supervisor to fire you and the owner to back him up, if you are regarded as an "at-will" employee, there is little you cab legally do unless you have evidence that you were fired for an unlawful reason. A personality conflict is not an unlawful reason.

    If the owner is claiming you were fired for misconduct, be prepared for a fight when you file for unemployment benefits because misconduct is a basis to deny those benefits. It may be worth your time to consult with an employment law attorney for a better assessment of the circumstances and to discuss how to prepare for an unemployment appeal should that become necessary.

    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 based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.

  3. I agree that you should speak to an attorney. It is legal to terminate an employee because you don't like him as long as the reason you don't like the person is lawful. You used the words personal hate and judgement. You should explore that with an attorney. Many will provide free consults.

    The answer provided should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter. Neither the transmission of the information contained in this answer nor your use of the information creates an attorney-client relationship between you and Pierce & Shearer LLP. An attorney-client relationship can only be created by the mutual assent of both parties and only after a consultation. Pierce & Shearer LLP cannot agree to be retained as counsel until a conflict-of-interest check is completed and a written engagement and fee agreement provided by Pierce & Shearer LLP is signed by you and a Pierce & Shearer LLP attorney.

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