I was recently fired from The Home Depot. The situation is as follows: I ended up having to call late to work in order to avoid having a no-call strike on my record of employment for the company. Luckily, I was able to get to work on time. Now, on-time to Home Depot means on the hour or within 7 minutes of the hour passing. I distinctly remember pulling in to my parking space and running through the store to clock in, whereas the time was 11:07am, which is the exact threshold time limit before an associate is late, however due to managers and other co-workers spotting me in the store and asking me questions, I was unable to reach the time clock in time. I filled out a correction sheet and put down my normal scheduled time to work that day. A week later, management says because I incorrectly wrote down my times, I am fired. No warnings, never been late prior, excellent attendance, etc. The decision was made ultimately by asset protection, not management or corporate, due to the fact that according to their system (Their clocks are always ahead of time), I was walking in the door at 11:08am, when my phone clearly stated it was 11:07am, and it was not my fault for being stopped.
Without a contract of employment in CA that specifies cause for termination, you are an at-will employee and therefore can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, unless the termination was due to discrimination based upon your membership in a protected class, or a result of retaliation for reporting a public policy violation.
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It was an unfair termination, but not an unlawful or wrongful termination. The law gives your employer the right to terminate you at any time and for any reason or even no reason at all. Unless you could prove that you were terminated in this situation because you are a member of a protected class of people, or because you engaged in some form of legally protected conduct, there will likely be no recourse for you. To explore those possibilities it would be prudent for you to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.
Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law work offer a free or low cost consultation in the beginning and then, if the matter has merit and value, will usually agree to work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.
Good luck to you.
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