California Employment Law

Have California Employment Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

California Employment Law

I need advice from an attorney who specializes in Liable and

Customer Question
Slander. I was just...
I need advice from an attorney who specializes in Liable and Slander. I was just informed that my very recent former employer will be entering an official document into my employee file that contains slanderous information. What can I do about this? I can prove that what they are saying is false. In fact, the act they say I committed could never have been committed in the first place. It would have been physically impossible for me to have committed this act. What rights do I have to prohibit them from entering any kind of document in my file that contains accusations that I created a hostile and threatening work environment when there is absolutely no way that anyone could come to this conclusion given the facts of the matter. Most importantly this will affect my ability to collect unemployment. Please help?
Submitted: 4 years ago.Category: California Employment Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own California Employment Law Question
Answered in 7 minutes by:
7/9/2013
California Employment Lawyer: Brandon, Esq., Lawyer replied 4 years ago
Brandon, Esq.
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,953
Experience: Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
Verified

Employment-LawExpert :

Hello and thank you for your question today.

Employment-LawExpert :

Are you online with me?

Employment-LawExpert :

Defamation, (libel if written, and slander if spoken) is any communication to a third party which harms your reputation. To be actionable, the statement must be a false "statement of fact." So, if they wrote that you are a terrible employee, while false, this would be a statement of opinion, and not fact, and thus would not be actionable. However, if they wrote that you stole, or were absent 5 times when you were not or did not then this would be considered defamation. California law requires that employers allow employees and former employees access to their personnel files and records that relate to the employee’s performance or to any grievance concerning the employee. Labor Code Section 1198.5 So, if the employer is placing something in your file that is a false statement of fact, then you would be able to bring an action against the employer, and the individual who told them of this. You will first want to get a written copy of your employment record. Your employer is required by law to give it to you. Then, you would want to bring a defamation suit against the individual and the company for the false statement of fact.

Employment-LawExpert :

You may want to consider getting an attorney involved in this matter. If you decide to hire an attorney a great resource is www.Martindale.com. This is a nationwide directory that is useful in finding highly qualified legal specialists in various fields of law. The lawyers in Martindale are not selected because they paid to be included, but rather because they have been rated by other attorneys as qualified experts in their field. Consider consulting with two or three different attorneys willing to take your case prior to selecting the one you feel most comfortable with.

Employment-LawExpert :

Even the threat of a lawsuit in this situation will likely be enough to have them clear any statements of fact out of your employment records.

Employment-LawExpert :

Unemployment, however, is a separate matter. When you claim unemployment, they will likely claim that you were fired for "misconduct" You will argue why this is false. You are allowed to bring witnesses, witness statements, and any other proof as to why no one could come to this conclusion given the facts of this matter.

Employment-LawExpert :

The way unemployment works, is that by default you are granted unemployment if you make an argument that you lost your job through no fault of your own. Then, you will be denied unemployment if your employer decides to fight it. At this point an appeal will occur. It is at this stage that you must prove that you could not have been fired for misconduct.

Employment-LawExpert :

If you have any questions on how to do this, please do not hesitate to ask.

Employment-LawExpert :

Otherwise, please do not forget to provide a positive rating and have a wonderful rest of your day.

Ask Your Own California Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago
Yes, I am. Sorry I got up from my computer for a few minutes.
California Employment Lawyer: Brandon, Esq., Lawyer replied 4 years ago
Not a problem. Unfortunately the website has switched us to a Q & A setting. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Ask Your Own California Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago
I have a copy of this document. It is my notice of termination letter. They say that I locked an employee in my office thereby creating a threatening and hostile work environment. It was physically impossible for me to lock this employee, much less anyone, inside my office because the little door-knob locking mechanism was located on the inside. I was performing a corrective action session with this employee because I discovered that she had violated several company policies. I discovered that she had possession of several customer payments (live checks) dating all of the way back to October of last year. She had them hidden in one of her drawers. These customers were never credited for these payments not to mention the fact that these checks were never deposited to to our bank account.

So, I had every right to "write her up" for these very serious violations of company policy. We were not even in my office for 5 minutes when she her behavior became very aggressive and she would not listen to what I trying to tell her. I was speaking calmly however she was not. Then the branch manager interrupted our session and an hour later, I was informed that I was being suspended while they conducted further investigation into the matter.

Last Friday, I found out that I was being terminated because my final paycheck was deposited to my account. They refused to let me know the reason for my termination until I demanded that they send me an official Notice of Termination letter. This is when I found out that they were accusing me of locking this employee in my office.
California Employment Lawyer: Brandon, Esq., Lawyer replied 4 years ago

So, if you can get a picture of the door mechanism showing that it cannot be locked from the outside then you should be able to easily win your unemployment claim. If you are a for cause employee, or if you are part of a union, then you may also have a breach of contract claim. Finally, because this is part of your employment file, you "may" have a claim for defamation. The reason for this is that if you are an at will employee then they can fire you for any reason that is not in violation of your civil rights or in breach of contract. Thus, you will have to be denied a job based on this information in order to create damages. However, if all you want is for this to be taken off of your record, you can definitely threaten a lawsuit and see if they will remove it.

 

However, you mention "hostile work environment." Are you sure this employee is not complaining of gender discrimination? i.e. that you locked the door while you were both inside with the intention to do something untoward? Because if this is the case, you may be able to already have damages, and should absolutely speak to an attorney in your area immediately.

Ask Your Own California Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago
I don't know how gender discrimination could be claimed in this case because we are both female. I suspect that the branch manager is doing this on purpose solely for the purpose of preventing the EDD from making withdrawals from the company's unemployment fund "bank" as a result of my filing for UI benefits. I would think that acts such as this would be viewed as not only an attempt to defraud the government but it could also be viewed as an attempt to cause me pain and suffering. Am I correct in my thinking?
California Employment Lawyer: Brandon, Esq., Lawyer replied 4 years ago
You are correct in that this is an attempt to defraud the government and that the EDD sees this type of behavior all of the time. This is why you have a very good chance of receiving unemployment given the facts you have presented. Unfortunately, to be able to have a legal claim against them and thus be able to recover pain and suffering, you would need to 1) prove that the statement is false (which it sounds like you can do) and 2) show that you have suffered humiliation, embarrassment, and mental distress caused by the defamatory statement. This may be harder to prove given the nature of the statement, but it is not impossible. The pain and suffering in this instance would not be from firing you, but from having other people know what was said. If you break it down to just the words of the statement, and you were to tell a friend what would they think. What dollar amount would they place on this. If you think that it is enough to bring a lawsuit, then you absolutely should. The question here, is what would a "reasonable person" think (the legal standard used by the courts.

That being said, there is always an attorney willing to take a case such as this. If you want, you can definitely go on Martindale, or other lawyer referral service. You may have to call a few dozen attorneys, but you will find one willing to take your case.
Brandon, Esq.
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,953
Experience: Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
Verified
Brandon, Esq. and 87 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 4 years ago
Thank you very much for your advice and help regarding my situation. I have initiated contact with an Attorney in San Francisco and they have already responded asking me to call them tomorrow. Thank you again.
Ask Brandon, Esq. Your Own Question
Brandon, Esq.
Brandon, Esq.
Brandon, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,953
1,953 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.

Brandon, Esq. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney

1,285 satisfied customers

I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.

Tina

Tina

Attorney

923 satisfied customers

JD, 17 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.

Brandon, Esq.

Brandon, Esq.

Lawyer

1,953 satisfied customers

Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.

melissamesq

melissamesq

Attorney

47 satisfied customers

Represent clients to maximum recovery in employment cases.

legalg

legalg

Other

35 satisfied customers

General Practitioner. Research Attorney

Roy Hadavi

Roy Hadavi

11 satisfied customers

Attorney at Law Offices of Rosenstein & Associates

Attorney2020

Attorney2020

Lawyer.

69 satisfied customers

I have significant experience in employment law.

< Previous | Next >

Related California Employment Law Questions
My husband works for a company that has a Union Contract. At
My husband works for a company that has a Union Contract. At times he is made to work up to 3 weeks straight with no time off. Is this legal? … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,340 satisfied customers
This is new to me since I was never before been terminated
Hello, this is new to me since I was never before been terminated this way, only once as a multiple layoff situation. My employer of 27 months, a very successful start up who has grown from a 100 empl… read more
Bill Attorney
Bill Attorney
law
1,596 satisfied customers
I have a question concerning my open California State
I have a question concerning my open California State Disability. … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,340 satisfied customers
Marsi I worked for local 324 from 1987 to 1995 they say I am
Hi my name is ***** ***** I worked for local 324 from 1987 to 1995 they say I am short seven to 10 hours to become vested I believe I had a total of 9800 hours but all of my papers burned in Sonoma co… read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
Juris Doctor
18,356 satisfied customers
I have been called to an investigation meeting with my
I have been called to an investigation meeting with my employer based on a complaint that another employee said i have been rude and condescending for 2 years. The interrogation is on Tuesday. I would… read more
Asad Rahman
Asad Rahman
Attorney
J.D.
2,289 satisfied customers
I was out on pregnancy disability from april 1, 2017- August
I was out on pregnancy disability from april 1, 2017- August 1, 2017, then took 6 weeks of cfra from August 1 to September 12th. … read more
N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty
Doctoral Degree
59 satisfied customers
I suffered a workers comp injury back in 2013 and have
I suffered a workers comp injury back in 2013 and have lifetime medical for psych and my right shoulder here in CA. My case was recently reopened, and I would like to request a service dog again for m… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I am looking for an attorney with experience in workers
Hello, I am looking for an attorney with experience in workers compensation … read more
N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty
Doctoral Degree
59 satisfied customers
I am looking for help regarding my job, which is
I am looking for help regarding my job, which is headquartered in California, but I am located in MI … read more
LegalPro54
LegalPro54
Doctoral Degree
1,258 satisfied customers
A company offered a PR position to service their LA and NY
A company offered a PR position to service their LA and NY agencies. The employed mentioned that this position would also be helping their TBD/soon to be launched company. Upon confirming employment, … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I have a small California based consulting business. So far,
I have a small California based consulting business. So far, it has been me with no employees on payroll. My first full time employee comes on board next week. I want to make sure I am in compliance w… read more
Asad Rahman
Asad Rahman
Attorney
J.D.
2,289 satisfied customers
I have a Salary employee who did not give her two weeks
Hello-I have a Salary employee who did not give her two weeks notice. Question: Do we have to pay out her accrued PTO and Sick time?… read more
legalg
legalg
Other
Juris Doctorate
35 satisfied customers
My employer owes me 6.5 years back pay for "special
My employer owes me 6.5 years back pay for "special incentive compensation" because I hold state license registration that qualifies me for this union contract extra pay provision, however employer is… read more
legalg
legalg
Other
Juris Doctorate
35 satisfied customers
What does this statement mean? For the reasons provided
What does this statement mean? For the reasons provided below, we have determined that you cannot perform the essential functions of a Document Verification position.… read more
LegalPro54
LegalPro54
Doctoral Degree
1,258 satisfied customers
In California ... iWork 8 to 3. I usually get my 30 between
In California ... iWork 8 to 3. I usually get my 30 between 8 and 11 maybe 11:30 then a 10 around 1 to 2 am I entitled to more breaks. … read more
socrateaser
socrateaser
1,031 satisfied customers
I have a question about california state disability
Hello, I have a question about california state disability eligibility … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,340 satisfied customers
I manage a small business in California. I sent home an
I manage a small business in California. I sent home an employee for one week with no pay on a disiplinary suspension for repeated violation of our company policy that employees must work till 5pm unl… read more
LegalPro54
LegalPro54
Doctoral Degree
1,258 satisfied customers
I was falsely accused at work and they suspended me until
I was falsely accused at work and they suspended me until they investigate. My issue is she has made racial epithets towards me and sexual remarks but being a guy I didn't go to H.R. I thought was coo… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x