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Brandon, Esq.
Brandon, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1949
Experience:  Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
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Hello ,I was put on an indefinite suspension and suspect

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Hello ,
I was put on an indefinite suspension and suspect will be fired soon. Loss Prevention at my employer claims that I was giving my parents my associate discount that is against company policy. But at the beginning of my employment my HR representative told me if I was under 21 went to school and lived with my parents they could recieve my associate discount. And for some reason 1 year later, they decide to accuse me of violating company policy. They showed me the handbook that says who can use my associate discount and a paper that says I have read and understood the associate handbook. But the associate discount section gives the loophole that say please contact hr or management for further questions. Also, I suspect they are trying to get rid of me anyway since I am a full time employee and this company tries to get rid of unnecessary staff each November. So my question is can they do this to me?

California is an at will employment state. This means that your employer is allowed to terminate your employment for any reason that does not violate your civil rights or is in breach of contract.

Thus, if you are a union employee, or if you have an employment contract that says you must be fired for cause, then you might have legal recourse against them for terminating you because you were doing what you were told you were allowed to do.

Additionally, if you believe the reason that you were terminated could be related to a protected category, such as your age (40 or older), gender, race, religion, national origin, creed, or disability then the termination would be deemed wrongful and you would have a cause of action.

Other types of termination, even if wrong, are still legal. As a consequence the only potential remaining option that you can pursue would be to file for unemployment benefits and claim, quite rightly, that you were terminated 'without cause', and seek unemployment benefits. You would not be able to seek damages but you would be able to contest the termination as being ultimately invalid.

You also could try to set up a meeting with your supervisor and explain in a calm and positive manner that you really like your job, really like working there, and wonder if there is any way that they could allow you to continue your employment there. Keep in mind that there are many laws that companies constantly breach such as not giving proper meal and rest breaks, or not paying for overtime wages. Accordingly, they may decide to just keep you to avoid a potential lawsuit.

That being said, if you decide that it is possible that they are firing you because of a protected category, then you may want to file a complaint with the EEOC or talk to an employment attorney in your area.

There are many employment attorneys who would take this kind of case, however, the terms of service do not let us point you to any one lawyer in particular. That being said, if you decide to hire an attorney, a great resource is This is a nationwide directory that is useful in finding highly qualified legal specialists in various fields of law. The lawyers in Martindale are not selected because they paid to be included, but rather because they have been rated by other attorneys as qualified experts in their field. Consider consulting with two or three different attorneys prior to selecting the one you feel most comfortable with.

Good Luck!

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