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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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To Joseph only, I have another situation with a combative

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To Joseph only,

I have another situation with a combative employee that I need your legal advice on. She has been employed here for over 2 years. Although she has always been combative with me, not having any formal training as a manager I didn't realize this could be grounds for legal termination. She will draw me into arguments consistently There were other reasons why I didn't let her go prior to this day and time. Just to name a few I'm very understaffed and need everyone that I have on hand. Also, she is a single mother and I know she doesn't have many options elsewhere. But now its to the point that she feels its acceptable to be combative with me anytime that I bring to her attention something that I feel as her Manager that she needs to improve on. I don't have experience writing up employees but today was so unacceptable that I know I have to. Below is the beginning of the warning that I put together and realized that I have no idea if this is legally acceptable or not. Can you please take a look at it and let me know what else I can add that would keep me within legal boundaries. It will also give you insight on the situation that erupted today.

Today 5/10/2013 at 11:05am PDT A VIP called and advised you that he wanted to take an earlier flight. In turn as the person responsible for answering the phone and getting the basic information advised me that the VIP wasn't going to make his flight and wanted his options for a later departure. After I researched his options, I picked up the phone and reiterated his request and he stated "Wow, that's not what I said at all" I am ready to go now and wanted an earlier flight. Not sure who she was having the conversation with but it wasn't me. When I finished the call with the VIP I asked you to pay more attention to what clients are saying on the phone to you because you make many errors when talking to the clients and taking messages, and that's mostly with their names. You were given instruction to pay better attention as to what the client is requesting on the phone. You then became very defensive and combative with me resulting in me dismissing you for the remainder of the day.

On a side note, she is consistently late everyday by at least 2 minutes but also ranging as late as an hour on many occasions. She has been verbally talked to about this several times that she needs to be at her desk ready to work at the start of her shift. She walks in the office consistently 2 minutes past the time she is already supposed to be at her desk signed in and working but many days later than that. She is easily distracted with personal situations that result in poor work performance as well as errors.

Not sure if I can put in there that this is a warning and the next time she behaves in this manner it will lead to termination.

Any advice you can give me will be greatly appreciated.



Sorry that you seem to have such bad luck with your employees. You can definitely put in there that this is a warning and that any future similar behavior will result in her termination. This would benefit you if she is terminated and files for unemployment benefits.


As an at-will employee, you can discipline her for any reason at any time with or without any prior warning, and can terminate her for the same reasons. As long as her relatively erratic behavior is not due to a known or suspected disability, there is nothing preventing you from disciplining in any way you see fit or terminating your employee.

Please remember to rate my answer positively or ask me any follow up questions you have!



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