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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 34393
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Can I have a lawyer present with me if Im being questioned

Resolved Question:

Can I have a lawyer present with me if I'm being questioned by my companies head of the
Human Resources in her office? And if I can will the lawyer be allowed to speak and/or give me advice? Can the lawyer request the meeting be stopped and continued in the future if I just can't answer a question without research? Does having a lawyer present make an employeer/employee meeting legally different somehow? Can I object having a corporate lawyer present for them if I don't have someone to advise me, or if I'm alone?

Thanks, XXX@XXXXXX.XXX
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.
Can I have a lawyer present with me if I'm being questioned by my companies head of the
Human Resources in her office?

A: If you are a member of a union, then you have what is known as "Weingarten rights," which is the right to have a union representative present during an investigatory interview. Otherwise, while you always have the "right" to have an attorney represent you, your employer has an offsetting right to either refuse to conduct the meeting in the presence of the attorney, or to flatly terminate you for refusing to submit to the investigation without your attorney's presence.

So, the answer here is mostly "no," unless you want to put up a hard line -- which may result in your being fired immediately.

And if I can will the lawyer be allowed to speak and/or give me advice?

A: Assuming that your employer does not object, then yes. But, see my previous answer above.

Can the lawyer request the meeting be stopped and continued in the future if I just can't answer a question without research?

A: See previous answer above.

Does having a lawyer present make an employeer/employee meeting legally different somehow?

A: No. The only thing that a lawyer would do would be to put the employer in the position of not being able to fool the employee concerning his/her legal rights.

Can I object having a corporate lawyer present for them if I don't have someone to advise me, or if I'm alone?

A: Yes, but the employer can say, if you don't like it, you can resign effective immediately.

Note: California employment is "at will." Cal. Labor Code 2922. An employer can demote, suspend, or terminate an employee at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. There are exceptions (discrimination, violation of important public policies, implied covenant of good faith), but they are narrowly interpreted and do not apply in most circumstances.

Please understand that I "justanswer" questions “about” the law. I cannot be responsible if the law does not favor your unique circumstances. The best that I can do is to explain what the law "is" and what it "is not."

Hope this helps.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“ToCustomerrdquo;), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If being questioned by my HR department for an accurzation made by another employee (who has no proof) how can I be sure they will let me prove my side? They are known for just adding one question after another which just muddies the process and confuses the primary issue. I'm not very good at talking in this kind of thing and was hoping I could have help while being questioned. This is just the HR department as it was suggested I go to them instead of our ombudsman. Is one better then the other?

Thanks,

XXXXX@XXXXXX.XXX

 

I hate adding this to my first question, but I don't want my questions going to more then one person. And I may have one more tomorrow. If I just Accept Answer will I lose you? I playing it safe and just Reply to Expert. You can add charges if necessary.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.

If being questioned by my HR department for an accurzation made by another employee (who has no proof) how can I be sure they will let me prove my side?


A: You can't. And, in fact, you may be better served by simply telling HR something like: "I unequivocally deny any of allegations made by the other employee concerning my conduct, and I have nothing further to say concerning the matter. I am inclined to believe that your efforts are principally intended to ascertain whether our employer has any liability, and as soon as you make that determination, that you would be free to terminate my employee "at will," regardless of the outcome of the investigation. Therefore, I respectfully XXXXX XXXXX assist you in your efforts, unless you are prepared to provide me with a written promise that in exchange for my cooperation, that you will not terminate my employment for at least then next 12 months."

 

My comments here are self explanatory. HR doesn't work for you, and its interest is not yours. If you cannot obtain a concession in advance concerning your continued employment, then you are effectively giving away any leverage that you may have, in exchange for nothing.

 

They are known for just adding one question after another which just muddies the process and confuses the primary issue. I'm not very good at talking in this kind of thing and was hoping I could have help while being questioned. This is just the HR department as it was suggested I go to them instead of our ombudsman. Is one better then the other?

 

A: Everyone who works for an employer owes a duty of loyalty. No one can be an ombudsman, unless that person has been provided with express instructions that they are to act objectively and are released from any duty of loyalty to the employer. If that is the ombudsman's status, then it would be a far superior recourse to HR -- which is organized for the principal purpose of protecting the employer's interest against the employee. If not, then there is no difference other than the name: ombudsman.

If I just Accept Answer will I lose you?

 

A: If you use my userid in your future questions, then you will get me again.


You can add charges if necessary.

 

A: I am prohibited from negotiating price with a customer. You solely determine how much you will pay, and whether or not you will pay. You can give me a bonus if you like, but the amount and whether or not you choose to provide a bonus is entirely your decision.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Please understand that I "justanswer" questions “about” the law. I cannot be responsible if the law does not favor your unique circumstances. The best that I can do is to explain what the law "is" and what it "is not."



And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“ToCustomerrdquo;), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!

 

 

socrateaser, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 34393
Experience: Retired (mostly)
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