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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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My employer wants me to sign a form that states that I am suspended

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My employer wants me to sign a form that states that I am suspended for not completing mandatory hospital education (I was 4 days late). I was never physically suspended. I was not notified of this action until 10 days past the due date of when I should have been in compliance of completing the mandatory education. I do agree nor do I feel comfortable signing this form because that would be a falsification of what really occurred. Specifically, I was not given any suspension time or dates without pay, only in writing did the suspension occur. The "Corrective Action" letter reads as follows :"Suspension is given to the aforementioned employee for failing to complete Biannual Education within which Annual Education is provided will be suspended". No date is given or indicated in the Corrective Action letter of suspension. Questions: If I sign this letter, do I have any recourse other than a rebuttal and if I refuse to sign the letter, will the hospital have any justification in terminating me? This hospital is non-union represented, do I have any other recourse or options?

My name isXXXXX am a licensed attorney, and my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Unfortunately, as an at-will employee, you can be terminated at any time for any reason (or no reason at all) with or without any prior notice. Your employer doesn't actually need any justification to terminate you.

This is based on the employment at-will doctrine, which is codified in California Labor Code Section 2922, and 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

Your employer could theoretically terminate you for insubordination if you fail to sign the suspension letter, which could also result in you being denied unemployment benefits if you are terminated.

You are free to rebut the reason for the termination, but even though you completed your education requirements within 4 days of the deadline, it doesn't seem like you have good grounds to rebut the reason for receiving the suspension letter and signing it.

All that said, it would be best for you to sign the letter to ensure that you will continue to be employed and not terminated for insubordination for failing to sign the suspension document.

I hope the above information is helpful, although I realize it is not what you wanted to hear. 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. Please contact me first if you are contemplating leaving me a negative rating, as I’ll be happy to continue to address your concerns until you are completely satisfied with my service.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work. (It doesn’t cost you anything extra and is necessary even though you’ve made a deposit). Please also rate me highly (9-10) when you receive your customer satisfaction survey.

Thanks and best of luck!


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your response. Question: So by signing, am I falsifying the corrective action (letter) because I was not physically suspended?

Hello Pat,

No, that wouldn't be considered falsification. You would just be acknowledging that you received the suspension notice. The fact that you weren't actually physically suspended, doesn't mean that you're falsifying the corrective action by signing the suspension notice.
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