I went to work one day and my manager said that we need to talk. He told me it was already decided and that there was nothing that can be done, but he can't tell me why I was fired. When I asked why he couldn't tell me he says he can't talk about it. I called HR and they said they will look into it. Is there anything I can do?
Unfortunately, unless you have an agreement to the contrary you are an at will employee and that means you can be terminated for any reason or even no reason at all. Your employer is not required to give you a reason. Therefore there is nothing legally you can do.
If you are in a company with an HR department you can try asking there. You can try asking your bosses' boss. None of these people have to tell you however.
Good luck to you.
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Unfortunately, most private sector employment is purely "at will" and as such can be terminated at any time for any reason not amounting to discrimination on the basis of a legally protected trait (race, religion, gender, etc) or retaliation for engaging in certain protected activity (filing a workers comp claim, taking FMLA leave, etc.), regardless of whether the basis for termination is fair, reasonable or true. For this reason, you likely have no recourse aside from applying for unemployment benefits and looking for a new job. 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.
At-will employment is a doctrine in which an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason without having to establish "just cause" for termination, and without warning. The basis for this rule is that an employee may be similarly entitled to leave his or her job without reason or warning. This includes hiring, work hours, pay, policies and job assignments.
In workplaces with a trade union and a collective bargaining agreement, if you have an employment contract, and in many public sector jobs, the normal standard for dismissal is that the employer must have a "just cause". Otherwise, subject to statutory rights, such as protections against discrimination and/or retaliation, the general principle is that an employee may be discharged without cause and without notice.
If you believe that you are being discriminated against or retaliated against because you are a member of a protected category, you might benefit from consulting with an experienced employment law attorney and having them evaluate your case. The California Employment Lawyers Association maintains a list of employment law attorneys who represent employees against employers. Follow the link to: www.cela.org.
You can ask to get a copy of your personnel file. Sometimes, the reason for the termination is noted in the file. You can send a certified letter to the company's human resource manager, asking for a copy of the file under California Labor Code, section 1198.5. They are required to send it to you within 30 days. If there is nothing noted there, as my colleagues have indicated, they are not required to tell you.
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.
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