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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11250
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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My job was posted while I still maintained the position. They

Customer Question

My job was posted while I still maintained the position. They hired a pre-determined candidate (external) for the job and placed me in a role reporting to this person. This was 3 months prior and this week they decided to eliminate this newly created position, thereby terminating my employment. Performance issues were never discussed, documented or considered a part of the original transition or this current decision. I'm a male over 40 years of age, having worked at this company for over 12 years. My question - Given such circumstances, is there a period of time that a company has to support a newly created position or can they just claim "downsizing, restructuring, elimination of position, etc." in lieu of not having a strong lack of performance argument to justify termination?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Good evening and welcome. I am very sorry to hear that you were let go.
Unfortunately, however, I must tell you that the law offers very little protection in these circumstances. This is because employment in the state of California is "at will" absent an express agreement to the contrary. At will employment can be terminated for any reason not amounting to discrimination on the basis of a legally protected trait (race, religion, gender, etc.) or retaliation for engaging in certain forms of legally protected conduct (filing a wage claim, taking FMLA leave, etc.). It doesn't matter whether the basis for termination is fair, reasonable or even true.
So, unless you have compelling evidence to suggest that you were terminated SPECIFICALLY because of a legally protected trait or activity (i.e., you had just filed a wage claim prior to hiring your replacement) then your employer was free to do what they did, even if it was very unfair. They are not obligated to employ you in a newly created period for any length of time. They can change your position at any time, and terminate your employment at any time. They don't need to cite performance issues at all, and they don't need to have a decent reason for what they've decided to do.
I truly wish that the law offered greater protection in these circumstances, but I hope that you will appreciate an honest answer to your question. Here it is likely that all you can do is apply for unemployment benefits (which you should have no trouble getting approved for) and start looking for another job.
I hope that you find this information helpful. 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 moving forward.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,
I just wanted to followup with you to make sure that you did not have any further questions or concerns. For some unknown reason, the experts are not always getting replies or ratings (which is how we get credit for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I have not yet received either. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the site administrator.
In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed.
Very best wishes.

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