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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12493
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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A former supervisor made false allegations of sexual harassment

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A former supervisor made false allegations of sexual harassment against me, alleging that I walked her to her car several times after office hours and that she told me she didn't like it. This was a most embarrassing lie. She made about four other false allegations and before you knew it my appointment was terminated. She had no single practical witness or evidence to substantiate her accusations yet I was terminated on her mare statement. In America, it seems to me that any one can jump unto the street and make frivolous allegations against someone he or she didn't like especially in work environment. Where is it the hope for the common man if the law of written or practical evidence is thrown over board? Why was it that the investigators fail to ask her for any practical witness other than what she falsified to get me fired?
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I am so sorry to hear that you were terminated under such extraordinarily unfair circumstances.

There is good and bad news with regard to your legal options here, but let me start with the bad.

Absent an employment contract guaranteeing employment for a specified period of time, employment in the state of California is presumed to be "at will." More specifically, California Labor Code Section 2922 provides that: "employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other." What this means is that an employer is free to terminate employees for any reason whatsoever, even a reason that is entirely unfair or unfounded, unless the underlying motivation is discriminatory or otherwise in violation of California law.

This means that an employer is free to terminate an employee on the basis of false allegations of misconduct, and there is nothing that an employee can do to prevent this from happening. This is the bad news.

The good news is that legal recourse does exist for employees in this circumstance, though I will acknowledge that it will be an uphill battle. Where an employee is terminated due to false statements of fact made by a co-worker, the terminated employee will have a legal cause of action for defamation against the co-worker in their personal capacity.

To prevail on such a claim, you will have to demonstrate that the false statements made about you are not true, and this may be difficult if there were no witnesses to the bhavior of which you were accused. However, you will have your testimony, circumstantial evidence, and anything else that tends to disprove the veracity of the co-worker's statements to substantiate your claim. While defamation suits can be very difficult to win, this is a valid option for employees in your circumstance and is likely the only legal recourse following termination on the grounds you have described.

I will also add that an employee terminated under the circumstances you have described will typically retain his or her eligibility for unemployment benefits, so you can file a claim with the EDD and receive money through your claim until you find a new job.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the best.

If you do not have any further concerns, I would be very grateful if you would give my answer a positive rating and click submit, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you. If you have any additional concerns that you would like me to address, please feel free to let me know by hitting the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button and I will be more than happy to continue assisting you.

Finally, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Thank you and very kindest regards.
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