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Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19674
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I am a program supervisor at a farmworker daycare owned by

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I am a program supervisor at a farmworker daycare owned by the grower. I was given an evaluation with low marks (performance 2 out of a scale of 10). This is my first evaluation after a year of employment. The comments are fabricated and the meetings that we discussed other business items are now listed as times we discussed my poor performance, more lies.

No one ever talked to me about a lack of production or performance ever. My direct supervisor doesn't like me because I think I appear to be a threat. I have a masters degree she has a high school diploma. The upper management believes everything she says. THERE HAVE BEEN 3 PROGRAM SUPERVISORS UNDER HER WHO HAVE RESIGNED OR GOT FIRED IN JUST A FEW YEARS.

Even though I have a professional position everyone is required to sign an "at will" contract. I was given this evaluation at the end of the day Friday and they want me to sign on Monday to complete unreasonable expectations in one week or I get fired.

My question, is this unjust under the law after signing the "At Will" contract? And do I have a case with merit if I seek damages, etc.?

Thank you for the information and your question. Unfortunately, since Washington is an employment "at will" state, and your employer apparently has not provided you with more rights for retention, than the law requires, your employer could terminate you for any, or no, reason and with not notice or warning unless doing so would violate an employment contract, company policy or employment discrimination law. So, unless your situation falls within one of the exceptions I mentioned, you could be terminated even if the reason was otherwise arbitrary or unfair.

However if, for example, your employer requires that employees receive a certain number of warnings or stepped discipline before they are terminated, then they must follow their own policies. Otherwise, they don't have to have such policies in an "at will" state.

All that said, assuming that your situation doesn't qualify under the exceptions I mentioned and you are terminated, then you might have a very good chance to succeed in an unemployment benefits claim even though your employer would likely dispute your eligibility saying you were terminated for cause. I say that because if you are denied benefits and you appeal (which you always should), then it is the employer that carries the burden of proof to show that you intentionally, or through gross negligence, failed to perform your duties properly. From what you have told me, they would not be able to do so and also would not be able to show that they gave you a reasonable amount of time after your review to improve. So, if that is the case, you would likely win your UI appeal. That though does not change the fact that the termination would have been legal. The legal standards and rules for termination versus unemployment benefits are completely different.

Please let me know if you have any related follow up questions. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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Hello again Blanca,

I wanted to touch base with you and thank you for your business, 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 in the future, if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.

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