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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38563
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I was recently disciplined by my employer for not attending

Customer Question

I was recently disciplined by my employer for not attending a one and a half hour training class. The trainng class was outside of my regular hours of employment and exceeded a 40 hour work week. I work graveyard shift and I felt sick at the end of my watch so I went home. Getting disciplined because I was too sick to work overtime seems illegal??
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.
An employer can discipline an employee for any reason it wishes, unless it expressly violates the employer's own disciplinary policy, or represents unlawful discrimination based on race, color, nationality, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age or disaiblity.

This may seem unfair, but it's legal, because under Cal. Labor Code 2922, the employer is entitled to terminate an employee "at will" -- at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. The result of this law is that an employer doesn't actually need to discipline the employee at all. The employer can state no reason whatsoever for its actions, and there is nothing that the employee can do about it (absent the previously-described exceptions).

Please understand that I "justanswer" questions "about" the law. I have no interest in providing you with anything less than a completely satisfying answer. However, if the law does not favor your unique circumstances, then the best that I can do is to explain what the law "is" and what it "is not."

Hope this helps.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am a civil servant and this is a direct violation of my MOU. Since this is a violation of my MOU do I have any legal recourse? My MOU states management cannot force an employee to work overtime
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.
You're a government worker? Oh, well that's an entirely different matter. Government employment relationships are not subject to many provisions of the California Labor Code which apply to private employment -- or collective bargaining agreements. If you have a union MOU that expressly states that you cannot be required to work overtime, then that contractual provision controls your rights, and you can file a formal grievance through the union to have the discipline rescinded from your personnel record.

Hope this helps.

NOTICE: My goal here is to educate the public about the law. Please help me in this effort by clicking Accept (or, click on one of the happy smiley faces/stars/etc., if applicable) for my Answer to your Question. If you have a subscription account, clicking Accept does not create any additional charge. It merely gets me credit for my Answer.

And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id at the beginning of your question ("To Socrateaser"), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!

Please Click the following link for IMPORTANT LEGAL INFORMATION.




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