California Employment Law
California Employment Law Questions Answered by Legal Experts
Hello my name isXXXXX and I am a General Sales Manager for a large corporation. My manager discussed with me that a couple of people said that I was a micro manager and have been demeaning. He did not have specifics or did not give me any names and did not ask for my side of any story. I do however have notes in each employee file of things that have been said or done that I feel need to be documented. He just asked that I have some additional management training (it is purely my choice though) and I agreed. I believe this came from someone I hired and he went back to his employer 2 months later and it came out in an exit interview. I know I am not perfect and I have asked my employees to come to me and I will make any reasonable changes necessary to the office environment. Unfortunately, I hear constant gossip from my assistant that gets back to me as soon as I leave the office. I think before the employee left she pulled him in and now this exit interview has damaged my reputation with my boss a little. My boss has never seen that with me and was very shocked to hear such and really has down played it a bit. I want to know when an employee gives a review on the exit interview about the manger what is the mangers rights for hearing their side. I can bet most of these do not turn out too good, who like there boss? As a manager isn't my assistant being insubordinate to me running to every employee and speaking against me in a public forum? What can I do about that? MY concern is that if I do something about it now that I have had complaints I will be the bad guy?
Sandra,Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do everything I can to answer your question. I am very sorry to hear that you are being bad mouthed by some obviously biased employees and former employees. That is very unfortunate and I completely understand why it is frustrating.Unfortunately, I must tell you that a manager in your circumstance enjoys little in the way of protection from such statements or from any adverse employment action that may be prompted by such statements.Employees and former employees violate no law by speaking their honest opinion about the management style of their boss. Only if the employees make false statements of fact (i.e. accuse you of theft or say you were drinking on the job) would you have any basis for legal action (a claim for defamation), but even then, a claim would not secure your job, it would only entitle you to damages against the former employee, which may be difficult if not impossible to collect and would necessitate a long and drawn out battle in court that would require you to prove the falsity of what was said.Employers are free to base employment action on false statements or statements of opinion from former employees. This is because, absent an agreement to the contrary, all employment in the state of California is "at will," meaning terminable at any time for any non-discriminatory reason, regardless of whether the basis is fair or reasonable.Of course, any reasonable and savvy employer will take into account the source of criticism, and when criticism comes from a recently fired employee or an employee who has quit, it has an obvious bias that should cause the employer to give it little weight. You can hope for this, but you unfortunately cannot demand it.
The very most you can do is attempt to influence your employer not to give weight to the criticism by proving your management skills through action and by demonstrating a will to improve by attending additional management training (as you have graciously agreed to do) and incorporating any additional suggestions your employer may have about how to hone your management style (however much you disagree with their assessment). In terms of legal leverage, though,I am afraid that an employee in your circumstance has none.I realize that the law is not entirely in your favor here and I am truly sorry to have to deliver bad news. Nonetheless, I trust that you will appreciate an accurate explanation of the law and realize that it would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes and kindest regards.
please explain insubordination as there have been many a times that I feel that I have recourse on that?
I have been dubious in keeping notes in all my employees files and personal notes if I need them and am prepared to use them.
Sandra,Did this answer your question? Please let me know if you need any further assistance and it will be my pleasure to provide additional help.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).