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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19679
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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gross misconduct termination

Resolved Question:

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 6 years ago.

Despite some notable exceptions, California is still an employment at will state. That means your employer could terminate you for any, or no, reason as long as it did not violate an employment contract, company policy, or antidiscrimination law. In addition, in California the employer has an implied duty of good faith and fair dealing. So, unless one of the exceptions applies in your case, then yes, you could be terminated. On the other hand, if your employer had a policy requiring warnings or stepped discipline and didn't follow it, or they terminated you but not another supervisor for the same conduct, then you might have a wrongful termination case.Whether or not EDD will consider what you did as gross misconduct, should you have to apply for unemployment benefits, is an entirely separate issue, and they may determine that your oversight did not rise to the gross misconduct level and therefore that you are entitled to unemployment benefits.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
This was the reason I was given and the other person involved admitted to them doing the wrong thing and my employer had video of this, but it had nothing to do with me. They just said it had to do with ultimate responcibility from me.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 6 years ago.
Hello again,

Without knowing all the specific details from all perspectives, there is no way I can venture a guess about the ultimate decision. But, as I said in my initial response, unless one of the exceptions applies to your case, then the employer very likely acted within their rights to terminate you. A supervisor can be held accountable for something that a subordinate did. I'm sure it doesn't seem fair, but unless you have one of the exceptions working for you, it is legal. Again though, you may have success with the EDD in getting UI compensation, unless your employer can show that your mistake in supervision was either grossly negligent or intentional.
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