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philip.simmons
philip.simmons, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33103
Experience:  Attorney
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I work billion dollar company headquartered in the USA. I

Customer Question

I work for a billion dollar company headquartered in the USA. I have been with the company for 15 years and am currently a senior Director. I have always received yearly career review ratings of 'Exceeds Expectations' or Outstanding', so have a proven track record of strong performance. 6 months ago I got a new boss - he just told me that he wants to replace me with another person to do my job. He has never once expressed any concerns with my performance and the only reason he gave me for wanting to get rid of me was that he wants to take the department in a different direction. I live in San Diego, CA, and have 2 questions: a) Is it legal just to get rid of somebody without cause, because a boss favors another employee for your job? b) what rights do I have? Am I entitled to a severance and what would be considered fair compensation typically in California? Thanks in advance.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  philip.simmons replied 1 year ago.

Hello! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney with more than 18 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help

Also, if you would like to chat on the phone, let me know and I can make that happen.

I am sorry for this dilemma. And even more sorry to have to bear bad news. But I am going to assume you want a frank answer.
Let me address your questions in order

a) Is it legal just to get rid of somebody without cause, because a boss favors another employee for your job?

CA is an "at will" state for employment law matters.

"at will" state...In an "at will" employer/employee relationship, either side can end the relationship (the employer can fire the employee or the employee can quit) "at will". As an "at will" employee, absent contract (like through a union) your options are limited. Your employer can fire you for a good reason, or no reason at all. The only thing that they can not do is fire for a "bad" reason. A "bad" reason would be if they fired you based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion or gender some other protected class (like if you were a "whistleblower")
Here, if they fired you because they did not like you or liked someone more, you would not have grounds to sue.

b) what rights do I have? Am I entitled to a severance and what would be considered fair compensation typically in California?

As I described above, absent a union contract (if you were a union employee), unless you have evidence they fired you because of a protected status? You have no right to a severance.

Now...MANY employers will offer a severance to prevent an employee from suing. It may be you can broach this topic with the employer (agree to drop any potential suit in return for a severance) to see if they will offer a severance.

This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that you have grounds to sue, but I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you...I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

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