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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Dear Attorney, I have an ice cream shop in a high end mall

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Dear Attorney,

I have an ice cream shop in a high end mall in California.

Our store’s main goal is to provide fun loving environment and cheerful service. To provide great customer experience, we train and require our employees to be cheerful / smile while ringing customers at the front cash register.

Unfortunately, one of our employees doesn't smile/cheer and remains very serious looks while ringing customers. We have tried different options but he is not able to change as his personality is like that.

1) If I have terminate his employment based on this criteria (not meeting our expectations), could it create any legal issues for me?
2) If restrict his job to be only in kitchen (product prep, cleaning, etc.) instead to be at front cashier, do you expect any issues with such restriction?



Thank you so much for your new question. It's good to hear from you again. Believe it or not I recognize your questions and you by name any time I see "ice cream shop" in your question title. I am happy to be of further service to you and I thank you so much for continuing to use Just Answer.

There are no issues whatsoever with termination, discipline, or a change of job duties due to an employee being "too serious" at the register. Employers enjoy VAST discretion with regard to how they choose to run their business. There are VERY few restrictions on what an employer can do and most relate to areas of public policy, such as discrimination based on a protected trait (race, gender, age, etc.) or retaliation for engaging in certain legally protected conduct, like filing a wage claim, reporting sexual harassment, or taking FMLA leave.

There is simply nothing unlawful or remotely close to being unlawful about taking adverse employment action based on an employee's attitude. You can proceed with confnidence moving forward.

As always, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. Best wishes to you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks attorney. Great to have your response again.


One last question,


For future, If I designate in the weekly schedule that these employees are "cashiers" (front end, who provide cheerful/ friendly service) and "operations" (back end/kitchen, who are more serious in nature but good workers for back end). I understand that there should be no issue with that. Is my understanding correct?


You are understanding is 100% correct. There is absolutely nothing wrong with an employer requiring employees to project a certain attitude when serving customers, and that is all you are seeking to do.

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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