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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 27889
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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I was recently terminated as retaliation, by a employee who

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I was recently terminated as retaliation, by a employee who I discovered had misrepresented her qualifications to perform the work requested. I am VP of the company and a shareholder. When I looked into why our corporate taxes were not ready filing, our outside bookkeeper (a retired CPA) explained that all the\ work was stalled on this employee's desk and that she actually did not know how to do the work required. I also came to the understanding that she was filing false timecards and was actually stealing up 2 hr everyday. Before I could present this info to my partner, this employee made a false accusation to the company president, coerced the other employees into walking out and shutting down the company for the day, while threatening my partner and the company with a lawsuit if i was not removed immediately. This was a friday, on sat i talked to my partner and she said i was being fired for installing cameras in the bathroom, as this did not happen (it's illegal) she said we would talk on monday. Come Monday I show up at work and am escorted of the premises by the police as this employee having failed with her 1st accusation is now claiming workplace violence (a raised voice?) and a TRO was filed (though later dropped). My partner is refusing to honor any of my contract except for paying termination pay , I have yet to receive the required written 60 day notice and have not been informed in writing as to cause as required by our contract. Where do I start?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon Bob,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

If you employment contract requires that you be given a 60 day advanced written notice of termination, and that is not being given, then you have the right to sue the company for Breach of Contract.

As for the false accusations made against you, while you cannot hold your company legally liable for such false allegations, you may indeed sue the party who made the false statements of fact for Defamation.

From a legal standpoint, defamation is the issuance of a false statement about another person, which causes that person to suffer harm.

1. Slander typically involves an oral (spoken) representation.
2. Libel involves the making of defamatory statements in a printed or fixed medium, such as the internet, a magazine or newspaper.

In order to win a defamation case, you must prove the following:

  1. A false statement was made about an individual, generally yourself;
  2. The statement was made to a third party;
  3. If the defamatory matter is of public concern, (for example if you are a famous person) fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher.
  4. Finally, you must show that you have suffered damages.

While in some cases of defamation you must actually prove that you have suffered some sort of damage, in other circumstances where there has been Defamation Per Se, the damages are presumed and you may simply ask for money.

The law generally recognizes four types of Defamation Per Se:

1. Where an allegation is made that a person has a loathsome disease. This is typically an allegation of a sexually transmitted disease.

2. The second type is a statement that a person committed a crime of moral turpitude. This can include everything from rape or theft to child abuse.

3. The third category deals with allegations of sexual deviance or the lack of being a virgin.

4. Finally, damages may be presumed if the false statement of facts affects a person’s reputation in regard to their business or profession.

In order to gain the most in terms of leverage in any settlement discussions, my strong suggestion would be that you immediately retain a local employment law attorney to deal directly, and on your behalf, with your company.

 

Finally, the raising of your voice does not constitute workplace vioplence, or a hostile work environment. Many people are under the mistaken impression that if they are not treated well at work, or if they are gossiped about or berated by fellow employees or their boss, that as a consequence they are being subjected to a Hostile Work Environment and have a viable legal claim as a result. However, the US Supreme Court has weighed in on the subject, and ruled otherwise.

 

The US Supreme Court has held that harassment and hostile environment laws were not meant to create a code of civility within the workplace. The phrase “Hostile work environment" is legal terminology, and relates to discrimination which is federally prohibited—race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability. Absent proof that the hostility you complain of relates to one of the prohibited acts of discrimination, then I’m afraid that you have little solid ground to stand on with regard to legal redress.



You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

I wish you the best in your future,

Doug

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

To clarify: In regards XXXXX XXXXX claim against me, i did raise my voice when addressing employees in regards XXXXX XXXXX vandalism incident in the bathroom, in order to be heard... however no individual employee was singled out. The employee in question has made the false accusations against me with regard to workplace violence, because her first lie didn't pan out.... so what your saying is that a loud voice is not just cause for termination...

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon Bob,

You wrote: In regards XXXXX XXXXX claim against me, i did raise my voice when addressing employees in regards XXXXX XXXXX vandalism incident in the bathroom, in order to be heard... however no individual employee was singled out. Raising your voice is NOT violence of any kind.

If you have a contract that mandates the need for good cause to terminate you---I am saying that raising your voice is not good cause.

If you did not have a contract---you could be terminated for breathing---literally. You'd get unemployment, but you could be fired.


You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

I wish you the best in your future,

Doug

LawTalk, Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 27889
Experience: I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
LawTalk and 2 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your positive rating of my service, Bob. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope than you will ask for me on JustAnswer should a future need ever arise.

Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have:
http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-lawtalk/

Thanks again.

Doug

When you receive your Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, please do rate me highly (9-10) there as well. It benefits my ability to assist you and other customers, and would be tremendously appreciated.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

you said: "As for the false accusations made against you, while you cannot hold your company legally liable for such false allegations, you may indeed sue the party who made the false statements of fact for Defamation."


 


what about the fact that when informed that the original allegation re: cameras was false, the company did not reverse its decision.

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good morning Bob,

You asked: what about the fact that when informed that the original allegation re: cameras was false, the company did not reverse its decision. If your employment contract demands that they have good cause to terminate you, ans they relied on this bogus allegation, that is not only untrue but entirely defamatory, then you would have a claim against the company for Breach of Contract and Wrongful termination.

This is yet another thing that you may have a meritorious lawsuit arising out of.

Doug
Customer: replied 6 months ago.

I contacted you in June regarding a wrongful termination. Negotiations have ceased at this point and i am going to file. I have written the Tort and wonder if you would be willing to review it for me.

Expert:  LawTalk replied 6 months ago.

Good morning Bob,

I'm sorry that this hasn’t been resolved for you. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to review legal documents for you as that would make me your attorney---and would thereby violate the terms of service of JustAnswer.

You will need a local discrimination attorney to look at the pleading for you. I do wish you success!

Doug

Customer: replied 6 months ago.

Well thanks anyways


 


 


Bob

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