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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5041
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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My husband was recently "let go" after only 6 weeks of work

Resolved Question:

My husband was recently "let go" after only 6 weeks of work with no explanation or even a performance review. He was following the little guidance given to him and trying to fill in where he could. He showed up to work everyday and was working hard. His co-workers and the few people he knew at the firm were all shocked. When he interviewed for this position, he had already been working at another firm for 7 years. This new company offered him a bump up in salary. They even gave him 2 brand new computer monitors when he started - which is a rarity at this firm. I realize that California is an "at-will employment" state, but somehow this seems wrong. How can they lure him away from a steady job just to let him go 6 weeks later? He received no criticisms, no reprimands, very little guidance from a manager that was never in the office. He had no idea that he was doing anything wrong. The day he was let go, they encouraged my husband to try and contact his manager (who was mysteriously absent) to get a reason for his termination. She has yet to respond to his email. Is this a fair lay off? Can they get away with doing this to him?
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 husband's situation and hope I can help.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.


I need a bit more information from you before I can proceed to provide you with a complete and thorough answer to your question.

Can you tell me if your husband had a contract with your employer (or anything that could be considered a contract)?

Also, does your husband happen to have any protected characteristics that could have caused his employer to discriminate against him (ethnicity, race, color, national origin, age (over 40))?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello,


 


He had no contract. His offer letter & employee handbook do state that they the employment was "at-will". My husband is a minority (Jewish) but I don't think that anyone at this firm necessarily knew that or ever made any racist remarks about his or any ethnicity. That's the only protected characteristic.

Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello Celina,

Unfortunately, while his employer's conduct is very unfair, unethical, wrong, and also impossible to understand, it is legal.

As an at-will employee, your husband can be terminated from employment at any time for any reason with or without any prior notice.

This stems from the employment at-will doctrine, which is codified in California Labor Code Section 2922, which 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."

Unless your husband was discriminated on the basis of a protected characteristic, the termination of him after only six weeks of work and luring him away from his former employer, while nonsensical and mean spirited, is not illegal.

Also, his employer is not obligated to give him a reason for the termination.

At-will employment is one of those areas of the law that is unfair and unjust, and I personally believe that we should have a system like those in western Europe that offer job protection to employees so they have to be terminated for cause. Unfortunately, that's not our current status, and it's unlikely that will happen anytime soon.

He is definitely eligible for unemployment benefits, as he was terminated through no fault of his own.

He should apply for them immediately with EDD, which he can do online here:

http://www.edd.ca.gov/unemployment/Ways_to_File.htm#FileorReOpenOnline


I realize the above information is not what you wanted to hear and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate an honest and direct answer to your question. It would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get paid for my work.

Thanks and best of luck!
Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 5041
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and 2 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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