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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4887
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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I was just terminated for the follow issues; 1. Having unauthorized

Resolved Question:

I was just terminated for the follow issues; 1. Having unauthorized guests visit me in the shelter, duing my shift hours. 2. Being outside the shelter for a short period of time, leavng the program unstaffed. 3. Leaving the incoming laundry to sit for an extended period of time before putting it away. 4. Addressing residents in an inappropriate manner, using a harsh tone clling out a resident in the 10.9.12 house meeting, making statement like "I'm in charge, this is my show," and calling residents "motherf**kers" openly on the floor. 5. Sleeping at the front desk while on shift (6:40pm, 10/9/12) and 6. Canceling a residents reservation without cause (8:30pm 10/1/12. First, I've been employeed with this organization for over 10yrs, I just recieved my performance evaluation about 6 months ago and it was 5's 4's & 3's it did not say anything about these issues pluse I was never offered supervision or progressive discipline. I explained to my supervisior that on 10/9/12 I took some medication for my back which was hurting me and that's why I nodded off. When I requested proof of these other issues, management had none, they stated their proof was verbal reports. Can they terminate me with giving me progressive discipline and are these issues terminatable? Do I have a unlawful termination case?

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

Unfortunately, in California, as an at-will employee, you can be terminated at any time for any reason (even a bad or false one) with or without any prior notice.

Your employer is not obligated to provide progressive discipline prior to termination, and can terminate you immediately for any reason or no reason at all.

This stems from the employment at-will doctrine, which is codified in California Labor Code Section 2922, and states:

"An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at
the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a
specified term means an employment for a period greater than one
month."

That said, unless you believe that you were discriminated against due to a protected characteristic (such as race, gender, national origin, or ethnicity) you would not have a cause of action against your employer for wrongful termination.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate a direct and honest answer to your question.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I'm not an at will employee. I belong to a union.

Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello Wendall,

In that case, I would suggest that you contest the termination with the union. Under a union contract you can only be terminated for 'good cause,' so your employer has the burden to prove that either one of the instances or all the instances taken together constitute sufficient good cause for your termination.

It is a fact-dependent analysis, but generally, issues such as using profanity and/or hostile language in the workplace and falling asleep while working would tend to constitute sufficient good cause to terminate you.

Despite that, you may also have a claim, however, that you are suffering from a disability due to your back injury and that you need to be accommodated for it as long as you are still able to perform the essential functions of the job. This is a difficult argument to make, but still a good one to bring up in your defense, since the potential for a lawsuit may be sufficient enough for your employer to place you on probation instead of outright terminating you.

Again, I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate direct and honest answers to your questions.
Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4887
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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