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How long does an employer have to write up an employee in California.

San Francisco, CA |

There was a scheduling miscommunication where I did not come to work because I believed I had been given the day off (the next week's schedule was not posted when I left for my days off). I believe I am going to be written up for this almost three weeks after the occurence.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Writing up is a custom and a business practice, not a legal matter. No law limits the time in which an employer can write you up.

    A long period between the alleged offense and the write up would diminish its evidentiary value. One would question whether the employer got the facts right after so long a time and whether the offense was so bad that it took the employer three weeks to to a write-up.


  2. Mr. Eschen is correct. For most employees, there is no time limit whatsoever on an employer's ability to present you with a written warning. There may be some union members who may have more protection arising out of their collective bargaining agreements, so if you are part of a union you should address this question to your union rep.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.


  3. Unless you have a written employment agreement or are a member of a union, there is no legal requirement setting forth the time or regulating when an employment must present you with a written warning or to discipline you.

    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.


  4. The previous attorneys are correct. The driving principle here is the principle of "at will" employment. Since "at will employees" can be fired or disciplined for any reason, regardless of whether the basis is fair, there are no laws which govern how that discipline must occur. Simply, it is not within the province of the law to tell employers how to discipline their employees.

    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.

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