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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 am the office manager for pest control company in my area.

Resolved Question:

I am the office manager for pest control company in my area. Besides running the office, I am also responsible for managing the customer service team. Besides answering our busy phone lines they are also responsible for posting our refenue documents, posting customer payments, and all other AR duties such as billing, ie. sending out invoices to our customers.

I have CSR who has perfomance problems not to mention that she has a propensisty to hide things at her desk the she would otherwise get in trouble for possessing these items. Last week, I discovered 5 "live" payments from customers that were hidden in her desk drawers. The checks had dates on them going back to October of last year. I also discovered that she had three months worth of invoices that had not been mailed out.

I knew immediately that I needed to conduct a corrective action on this employee the following workday which was this past Monday. The difficulty with this situations is that this CSR has chamred the pants off our branch manager and he believes that she can do no wrong. Still, I knew that I full authority to conduct the corrective action for her repeated failures to comply with company policy.

On Monday moring, I notified the branch manager that I was about to conduct the correction action session with this employees and asked him for her employee ID number as I need it to complete the corrective action form. I brought the employee into my office and proceeed with the session. The CSR's behavior was down right disrespectful and she was no willing her anything I had to say. She was ripping things out of hands and I was a little taken a back by her aggressive demeanor. We were not in my office for any longer than 5 minutes when the branch manager started knocking at the door. I spoke out loudedly saying, "We are busy right now" and he insisted that I let him. We opened the door and he told the CSR to return to desk and then he turned around to me and said, "We'll talk about this later". I was absolutely mortified.

About an hour later, he came to my office and said that he need to talk to me. He escorted me to the conference room, where I was handed a suspension notice "pending further investigation". I have not been called back to work nor I have heard the results of their so-called "investigation". I do know that the CSR was not suspended and has continued to work.

I received a call from HR today stating that they want to meet with me at the office next Monday monrning at 10:00 AM. My intuition is that they are going to let me go. Besides ruining my whole holiday weekend, they have caused me a great of stress and anguish over this whole situation and I wanted to know if I am protected by any laws concerning this matter? What rights, if any, do I have for being suspended for nothing more than performing the duties of my job?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.

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

My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Before I can provide you with a thorough answer, I have one further question for you.

Can you tell me if you have an employment contract with your employer, are you a union member, or are you an at-will employee?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
This is a private but publicly traded company. Therefore, my employment is "at will".
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
Hello Julie,

Unfortunately, as an at-will employee, you can be terminated at any time for any reason 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

Even though it is unfair, illogical, and incomprehensible that your employer would be suspending you and possibly letting you go for fulfilling the duties of your job (while allowing the CSR to continue working, when she was the one who actually committed many instances of misconduct) unfortunately, it doesn't violate any law for your employer to do so.

That said, you definitely will qualify for unemployment benefits if you are terminated, since there is definitely not a sufficient good reason for your termination (misconduct associated with work) so you would be considered to have been terminated through no fault of your own.

I realize this is not the news you wanted to hear, and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you but I hope you appreciate a direct and honest answer to your question.

Since my goal is to provide you with the best service today, please don’t hesitate to ask me any follow up questions you may have.

If you don’t have any, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work.

I hope you have the best 4th weekend possible given the circumstances you're in.
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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