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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11273
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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When l was out sick my employer hired someone who would be

Customer Question

When l was out sick my employer hired someone who would be taking my job. She said she would have to cut my hours (25% less). She told me it was because she was trying to sell her practice (she's an attorney) and this person would make it a more attractive package. She said she didn't want me to leave but if l couldn't make it on those hours there were plenty of other jobs out there. The new person came, l lost my computer and am now in a corner working on a computer that does not have the software l need to complete my work. She asked me if l was looking for work and that she couldn't tell me to quit. However l can't get much work done anymore and their promise of fixing it have gone unfulfilled. When this new person learns what she needs my job will be probably be eliminated due to this person doing my work. I am at a loss as to what l should do. The new person said she definitely could see how my boss treats me differently than her. I'm hanging in there but feel l am being set up to fail. Would l have a case to be eligible for unemployment?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.
This is a difficult situation with no ideal legal solution. This is because in California, employment is "at will" absent an express agreement to the contrary. At will employment can be terminated or modified 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/modification of employment is fair or reasonable.
So, unless you can somehow prove that your employer's motivation for treating you differently is illegal (as defined above), your only real options are to stick it out and start looking for another job, or to quit now and start looking for another job. Quitting will most likely result in the denial of unemployment benefits, since you would need to prove that no reasonable person genuinely desirous of remaining employed would have done so under the circumstances, and that is a VERY difficult burden to meet.
Therefore, the better course of action would almost certainly be to starting looking for another job now and quit only once you've secured another offer. That way, you are not putting yourself in the potential (and likely) situation of becoming voluntarily unemployed with no way to support yourself. Statistically it has also been shown to be easier to find a new job when you are employed. It has to do with the psychology of employers wanting to hire people they perceive as "in demand."
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.

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