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Patrick, Esq.
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Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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A Paramedic works 24-72 hr shifts. A Call came in at 5am(shift

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A Paramedic works 24-72 hr shifts. A Call came in at 5am(shift ended at 6am) that would have held Paramedic over for 4 extra hours. Paramedic had a doctors appt at 8am and did not want to miss the appt. (Paramedic has a manageable disease)The Paramedic "called off"and the call was sent to another Paramedic group. The Paramedic was terminated for "calling off". Is the termination justified?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X will do everything I can to answer your question.

I am very sorry to hear that you were let go from your job.

As a general matter, employment in the state of California is presumed to be "at will" absent a specific agreement to the contrary. (See Labor Code 2922) What this means is that an employer is free to terminate employees for any reason whatsoever, even a reason that is entirely unfair, unless the underlying motivation is discriminatory or otherwise in violation of California law.

The one conceivable exception to the doctrine of "at will" employment under the circumstances is that termination constituted disability discrimination. California's Fair Employment & Housing Act requires employers to "reasonably accommodate" employees suffering from any medical condition that "impairs a major life function." Reasonable accommodations are those accommodations which do not impose undue hardship.

In order to prevail on a claim for disability discrimination under FEHA, you would need to demonstrate that your employer knew about your medical condition and your restrictions with regard to length of shift, and that you "calling off" the last shift did not result in any undue hardship to the company. If you can prove these things, then your termination may have been unlawful under FEHA, notwithstanding that employment is generally "at will."

You can assert your claim for wrongful termination by either filing an administrative complaint with the Department of Fair Employment & Housing (the administrative agency charged with enforcing violations of FEHA) or by retaining an attorney and filing a lawsuit in civil court. See here to file a DFEH complaint: http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/Complaints_ComplaintProcess.htm

To locate an attorney in your area who can help, see here: http://www.cela.org/?page=4 Most atotrneys should be willing to handle this sort of case on a pure contingnecy fee basis. If you don't know, a contingency fee arrangement is one in which the attorney receives a portion of the client's settlement or award as his payment, typically 1/3 of the total amount. If there is no recovery, the attorney does not get paid. The client never pays until the settlement or award is obtained (except perhaps to cover the filing costs for his claim).

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.

Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6753
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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