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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Dear Attorney, The manager of my ice cream store recently

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Dear Attorney,
The manager of my ice cream store recently found a job opportunity at a retail store. She has given her 2 weeks notice. After she left, 3 other employees have given the notice. I feel, she has discussed and presented the job at her new employer with them and other employees are motivated to join that as it is national chain.

I feel, she might encourage other employees to join the new employer and they will leave my small business which will hurt my business.

Is there anything I can communicate to my manager (while she is working at store for 2 weeks, or I let her go right away) so she stops working against my business interests (by sharing the new opportunities with other employees)?


Thank you very much for your new question and please excuse my delay in responding back to you, but I was out for the eveing.

I am very sorry to hear this employee is leaving and apparently encouraging others to go with her. As far as actually stopping employees from leaving your company to join this retail chain, there is unfortunately no way you can directly accomplish that.

What you can do, however, is immediately terminate the departing employee who is obviously "poisoning the well." That will give her less exposure to your remaining employees and make it less likely she'll be able to convince them to leave. Plus, as a departing employee, this individual will have little incentive to work hard in her final days, and so it doesn't make much sense to keep her around anyway unless it is otherwise convenient for you.

There is nothing at all illegal about terminating an employee who has given two weeks notice. As we have discussed in the past, employment in CA is "at will" absent an agreement to the contrary and, thus, giving notice of intent to quit doesn't guarantee an employee's position until that date--they can still be fired at any time.

That would be the logical reaction to what is happening in your circumstance. This employee is serving a counter-productive purpose continuing to work at your store, and you need not accept that. Remember, however, that her final wages will be due immediately upon termination.

As always, please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.
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