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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11290
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I was called by my staff that one of my employees appears to

Customer Question

I was called by my staff that one of my employees appears to be drunk. I arrived at the business and found this to be true. the employee stated she had a drink around noon today, but i could smell alcohol and her speak was slightly slurred and rambled on and on. I informed her to leave and not to return to work until next monday.
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: California, I don't have any policy addressing drugs or alcohol. but this employee supervises children
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: part time not contract
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: there has been other times other employees had concerns of her behavior but didn't say anything until the next day so nothing was addressed at the time
Submitted: 19 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 19 days ago.

Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. It sounds like you are asking whether it is legal to terminate this employee. If that is your question, the answer would typically be "yes."

This is so because employment in the state of CA 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.

You simply need to notify the employee that they are terminated. Notification should be in writing, and you must pay all of the employee's final earned wages at the time they are let go. Of course, you are also free to implement lesser forms of discipline such as a suspension or paycut, with equal freedom.

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.

* Disclaimer *

Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 19 days 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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