California Employment Law
California Employment Law Questions Answered by Legal Experts
Good evening and thank you for your new question. I hope you have been well since we spoke back in July about UI premiums.I am very sorry to hear about this employee's theft. Fortunately, an employer in your circumstance retains vast discretion with regard to handling these sorts of situations. Absent an agreement to the contrary, employment is "at will" and as such can be terminated at any time, subject to very limited exceptions.Obviously, theft is a terminable offense. It sounds like you have more than sufficient evidence to support a denial of unemployment benefits, which requires showing the employee engaged in "misconduct" (defined as a willful or grossly negligent disregard for the interests of the employer).You can also report this theft to your local police, and with the evidence that you have, you may even get the DA to file charges.It sounds counter-intuitive, but even though you are terminating this employee for cause, she is entitled to payment of her final wages immediately upon being let go. The failure to make such timely payment will result in a penalty assessment for each day the wages go unpaid up to 30 days, so that is a costly blunder you want to avoid making.Any employee who routinely comes into contact with their employer's trade secrets as part of the employee's job already has a legal obligation not to reveal that sensitive information You could offer to have the employee sign a nondisclosure agreement in exchange for "letting" her resign, but most likely you don't have to get the non-disclosure in order to ensure the protection of your trade secrets. As a practical matter, if this employee is dishonest enough to commit habitual register theft, how likely are they not to steal trade secrets simply because they signed their name on a contract so prohibiting? I'd venture to guess not much more likely than if they signed anything at all--if anything perhaps less likely since now you have indicated how important the information and knowledge they have actually is.I hope this provides you with some food for thought moving forward. As always, p 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.
Thank you for your answer. Should I still pay her last wages as she stole over 20,000 dollars since March to present which I have evidence, how about the money stole?
Thank you for the clarification. With EDD, do they ask for evidence that she did a misconduct (theft)? Do I have to prove that with them? And since I am offering her just to file a resignation instead of pressing charges, would that not be coercing her to sign the letter of resignation when she reports it to EDD?
What I meant was, normally EDD does not give benefits if the employee resigns on her own. But since I am offering her to just resign instead of pressing charges for the misconduct, which I think she will choose to the former which is to resign . Am just concerned when EDD calls her, she will state that she was forced to submit a letter of resignation.
Thank you for clarifying. Usually a resignation in these circumstances is just "for show"--something the employee can use to save face when applying for other jobs. She is always obligated to be truthful in her application for benefits. The problem for her is that being truthful is not going to get her any closer to succeeding with her claim, since the real reason she is now unemployed is do to easily provable misconduct.I wouldn't worry about this.
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I would like to know if an NDA is enforceable in California. I plan to include the clients and trade secrets?
I will have this signed by the manager I caught stealing money from us.
Thank you for your prompt reply. Since she committed grand theft, I have decided that I will just have her sign a NDA in exchange for her to sign a letter of resignation and leave peacefully.
My concern is what if she denies the allegation even with the evidence laid in front of her? What are my options? I am going to confront her tonight during our meeting.
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