Today I was verbally counseled by my lead and she had one of my fellow employees sit in as a witness.
In California, there is no employee right to only be verbally counseled only in the presence of management. More broadly, I don't see a privacy interest in being verbally counseled in front of a non-managerial coworker because there probably is no reasonable expectation of privacy or confidentiality in such a communication.
You should not rely on this response as legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship nor any professional responsibility for the outcome of your case. Please hire a lawyer as soon as possible to advise you on your circumstances.
There is nothing illegal about have another employee present for a counseling session.
Best of luck.
Employees do not have a legally enforceable right to privacy with respect to their employment. This means that your employer can have whomever they want present when counseling you about your performance. You would have no legal claims because someone that you didn't want to be present was there.
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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