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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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I live in California, and recently was the victim of a corporate

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I live in California, and recently was the victim of a corporate investigation in which they are looking into possible payroll fraud. They have claimed that they have evidence against me saying that there are certain days where I didn't pay myself enough, or I overpaid myself and falsified times worked. I have no idea how credible these statements are; and I honestly have never intentionally falsified these times. I was originally trained when i was brought into this company, to manually type the time I was in and out, instead of just pressing the automatic clock in button (Because of pocket checks prior to leaving the store at night). To put my whole situation into perspective, Every one of my superiors who had trained me, have since been fired from this company by one individual whom I filed a formal HR complaint against for targeting me, and looking for any excuse to get rid of me. I was assured by my HR representative that this individual would have no more involvement with me; yet this entire investigation was spurred from that individual. What options do I have here? Can I pursue possible retaliation against this individual? Do I claim data-entry error? Is there anything that I can say about HOW I was trained, and the fact that all of my prior superiors who trained me are now fired from the company?

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.


I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.


Do you believe that you were initially targeted, or are currently targeted due to discrimination based on a protected characteristic, such as age, race, gender, national origin, or ethnicity?


Are you a member of a union or are you an at-will employee?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I do not believe I was targeted due to a protected characteristic, just targeted because this individual did not like me; and had power over me. I am not a member of a union, so I believe I am an at-will employee

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I'm afraid that as an at-will employee your options are extremely limited.


As an at-will employee, you can be terminated at any time for any reason (even a false one) with or without any prior notice.


This stems from the employment at-will doctrine, which is codified in California Labor Code Section 2922, and states:


"An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at
the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a
specified term means an employment for a period greater than one


Since an employer can terminate an employee for any reason, an employer can also discipline an employee for the same reasons, so you would not have a claim of retaliation against the individual who spurred on the investigations.


All that said, you have mentioned two very good points that you can and should bring up in your defense. 1) That you were trained differently and the people who trained you are now gone from the company; and 2) that you accidentally entered your time differently than it was. This would be greatly assisted if there are about the same number of entries giving you less time than you worked as more.


These would be good points to bring up in defending against termination and to bring up if you were terminated and your employer were to try to contest your application for unemployment benefits on this basis, although hopefully the latter will be irrelevant.


I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you (as I think the law is very unfair as it is currently written) but I hope you appreciate a direct and honest answer to your question.


Please let me know if you have any follow up questions.


If not, please ensure that you rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work.


Thanks and best of luck!

Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

Again, please remember to rate my answer positively.


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Trust me when I tell you I need the money more than they do, so I'd sincerely XXXXX XXXXX positive rating!


Thanks again and best of luck!