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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38879
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Please excuse the lengthiness of this communication. Employment

Customer Question

Please excuse the lengthiness of this communication. Employment law. Hospice Case Manager. Terminated. No prior disciplinary action at all, 3 wks prior I recieved yearly eval with ratings of meets or exceeds in all categories and recieved a 0.93 cents/hr raise.The reasons stated on the termination letter are false and misleading and state "gross negligence" and "wanton disregard for company policy". There was no injury at all to anyone and this was never an issue. Since there is no "wrongful term" and Ca. is "at will", I submitted a grievance into the "Grievance Resolution Process" on June 23, 2011. I received confirmation email on 29th. Then no further response until 7-19-2011, after I inquired on 18th. Now HR wants to meet with me. Below is copy of HR's response.
"The time and date is fine. This is just an opportunity for you to discuss your side of the events that occurred. Any documentation that you wish to bring would be fine, but it is not a formal hearing per say.. It will just be the two of us. We can discuss next steps when we meet. See you soon." I am wondering if HR is most likely "fishing" for info to build their case against me, and so should I be cautious -- what is the wisest way in which I should respond at this "one on one", and is this typical? Since the process lists a 3-step process followed by final and binding arbitration if necessary. THANKING YOU IN ADVANCE. (The meeting is set for today 7-26-2011 at 1pm.)
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.

I'm sorry that no one has responded earlier. If this reaches you too late, then oh well, I tried.

HR departments are created to protect the employer's interest. The only reason why the HR department is providing you with a meeting, is to ensure that the employer has no liability for your termination, especially liability for termination based upon race, color, nationality, religion, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age or disability.

Other invalid reasons for the employer's concern is that an employee who is terminated in a manner contrary to the employer's disciplinary policy may create a viable wrongful termination action. This could give you a complaint for lost wages -- though generally not for reinstatement.

The point is that HR will attempt to obtain facts that protect the employer from liability. There is generally no interest in trying to assist you in being reinstated.

So, if your supervisor made an intimate advance, and you complain about it to HR, you will almost certainly be reinstated with back pay. Otherwise, the meeting may make you feel good, but it probably won't change the outcome of your employment termination.

Note: if HR offers you your old job back at a wage more than 80% of your old wage, but not 100%, then be careful, because if you reject the offer, you could make yourself ineligible for unemployment benefits.

Also if HR tries to satisfy itself that your conduct was gross insubordination (refusal to follow rules), then that, too could invalidate you from UI benefits. So, be careful, because people like to vent, thinking that they will get justice. Reality is the opposite. Better to say nothing at all.

Hope this helps.

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