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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 7331
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Im looking to buy a small property management company that

Customer Question

I'm looking to buy a small property management company that I work with. I want to bring in my wife once the deal is final. In order to afford her I need to let go of an employee who has been employed there for the last 6 years. She is over 40. What would be the proper and legal way to let her go?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  FLAandNYLawyer replied 2 years ago.
Welcome!

Thanks for your question. I am the expert that will be assisting you today.

What is the age of your wife
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Have you provided an answer yet? Not sure I have seen one to my question yesterday. Should I cancel the charge on my credit card?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Have you provided an answer yet? Not sure I have seen one to my question yesterday. Should I cancel the charge on my credit card?

 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My wife is 52. Have you provided an answer yet? Not sure I have seen one to my question yesterday. Should I cancel the charge on my credit card?

 

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello there. Different expert here. It looks like the reason for the delay in receiving a response is that your question was re-categorized to California Employment Law. Please allow me to address your concern.

Absent a contract guaranteeing employment for a specified period of time, an employee is presumed to be working "at will." More specifically, California Labor Code Section 2922 provides that: "employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other."

What this means is that as an employer, you are free to terminate an "at will" employee for any reason whatsoever, even a reason that is entirely unfair, unless the underlying motivation is discriminatory or otherwise in violation of California law.

Although age can be a valid basis for a discrimination claim, merely being over 40 and getting fired is insufficient to have a case. The employee must demonstrate that but for her age, she would have retained her position and that her age was the motivating factor in the decision to let her go. (See Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc.)

It is also not illegal to fire someone and replace them with a family member in the private sector. There are no private sector nepotism laws, and an employer is free to favor family or friends in this regard.

Thus, unless an employee had a contract guaranteeing them employment for a specified term and that contract would be breached by letting them go, an employer is typically free to fire an employee--even a long-standing one--and replace that employee with his wife or another family member.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the best.

My greatest concern is that you are satisfied with the answer I provide, so please do not hesitate to contact me with follow-up questions. Although I cannot always provide good news, I hope that my answer gives you a better understanding of the law and your rights so that you can obtain the best possible result under the circumstances. Also, please bear in mind that experts are not credited for unaccepted answers, so I greatly appreciate you taking the time to "accept" my answer and leave positive feedback.

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