After working in a deteriorating office situation for well over a year, I contacted my employer to advise him that I would continue performing my primary job functions from my home. Other executives holding the same position I hold (but in other divisions) are permitted to work remotely, so I didn't foresee a problem with this development. I have been in contact with my employer daily and have continued to perform my primary job functions. My secondary job functions involved overseeing two other departments for which I received no compensation (requested and declined) and no support from executive management. I advised my employer that I was no longer willing to supervise the other two departments during the same conversation I advised him that I would be working from my home (which I have now done for two weeks). I have taken calls, responded to emails, written orders, and generated revenue...in short, I have continued to do my job. This morning I received an email from my employer stating that if I did not return to the office within 48 hours I would be considered to have abandoned my job and they would go forward with an employment separation and terminate my position (text of email is below). I have continued to do my job ethically and thoroughly and have the documentation to prove it. Given these circumstances, can I be considered to have abandoned my job in the state of California? If my out-of-state peers are permitted to work remotely, can my employer claim that I have abandoned my job simply because I wish to pursue a similar work environment structure? Do I have an actionable case for wrongful termination if they either fire me or incorrectly maintain that I have abandoned my job? Any advice/insight/guidance would be appreciated. Thank you.
TEXT OF EMAIL MESSAGE
Joe, It has been brought to the attention of The HR Department that you have been out of the office for more than 72 hours. In order to continue your employment at XXXXXXXXXXX, it is required that you report to work at our offices from Monday - Friday from 7am — 4pm. If this schedule is not adhered to, it is considered job abandonment and after 48 hours from today your position and employment will be terminated. Please advise us promptly of your intentions to return to work at XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Office. Human Resources Department XXXXXXXXXXXXX | XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX PH (***) ***-**** Ext. 223 |Fax (***) ***-**** *****@******.*** | XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
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