I'm sorry this happened to you! Your status in the IRR does not change your rights or your employer's rights in this situation. There are various protections for those called for duty, but this does not seem to apply based on the information you posted.
Generally, employees and job applicants have very few employment rights, and employers have a lot of leeway in how they choose to run their businesses. In general, an employer can be unfair, obnoxious or bad at management. And an employer can make decisions based on faulty or inaccurate information. An employer has no obligation to warn an employee that he or she is not performing as the employer wants. It’s not a level playing field. An employer hires employees to provide work for its benefit, not for the benefit of the employees. Don't expect the employer to take care of its employees; it doesn’t have to and it rarely does.
There are some limitations on what an employer can do, mostly in the areas of public policy (such as discrimination law or whistle blowing), contract law, union-employer labor relations, and constitutional due process for government employees. Please see my guide to at-will employment in California which should help you understand employment rights: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/an-overview-of-at-will-employment-all-states. After you take a look at the guide, you may be able to identify actions or behavior that fits one of the categories that allows for legal action. If so, an experienced plaintiffs employment attorney may be helpful.
Now with a better understanding of your limited legal rights, consider a strategic solution instead. Consider tackling this directly, professionally and respectfully.
Understand the company may have misunderstood events, perhaps felt there was something wrong with your work but never told you. Ask to speak with HR. Ask if you’ve done something indicating you are a poor worker or if the employer thinks you were responsible for something that happened. Maybe something was misinterpreted, though probably not. But if so, you can explain your side. More likely you will never know what is really going on. However, a mature conversation may change the way the employer treats you and may cause a change in the decision.
Whatever you do, don't challenge the employer’s authority. Indicate you want to continue your working relationship and value your job. Explain you care about doing a good job. Mention your good work record if you have one. Explain you would never intentionally do anything against the company's or your boss' interest.
Do not blame anyone else even if you believe someone deserves it; this cannot help you. Only talk about yourself, that you want to do a good job, and you regret the situation. Ask what you can do to improve things for the future. Don't give anyone a reason to get angry.
The company may see you more favorably after this. Even if it doesn’t save your job, it may prevent a fight about unemployment and might get you a good job reference.
I know it's annoying to have to do this when you didn't do anything wrong, but remember, an employer doesn't need a reason to fire you. And as we all know, the current economy is tough and jobs are hard to come by.
Employment rights come from the state and federal legislatures. One of the best things people can do to improve their employment rights is vote for candidates with a good record on pro-employee, anti-corporate legislation. Another way to protect employment rights is to form or affiliate with a union, or participate in a union already in place.
I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best.
*** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***
Ms. Spencer's thorough and accurate answer probably answered your question. I would simply add that you have done nothing wrong, and as a temp, you still have rights. The problem is that your employer, the temp agency, has rights too, and their right to terminate you exists unless one of your rights trumps theirs. Seeing no legally recognizable rights of your being violated, your termination is lawful albeit unfair.
Good luck to you. And thank you for your service to our country.
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.
Employment in CA is at will and your employment can be terminated for any reason not forbidden by law or against public policy. If I were an employer, frankly, I would have to think seriously about terminating any employee discussing weapons in the workplace, no ifs ands or buts because it is possible that some other employees might find that distressing given the attacks in public places. I might even find it distressing and I would be concerned that I might not be addressing the safety issue adequately if I did not terminate that person. Of course, I would put that in the employee manual, but an employer does not have to do that. And by the way, do not get into the first amendment-as a small business employer, I do not have to let you speak about any political issue on the job--it is not a constitutional issue.
There is a federal statute protecting those called to active duty, but it does not appear to apply to you.
Also, your question seems to reflect that the contract for which you were hired was completed, so there might be a totally innocent explanation for what happened. YOu mentioned that you were there through a temp agency so obviously you knew this was not permanent employment but temporary- that is a tautology. But even as an employee employment is at will.
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