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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12467
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Okay, so today I was off due to low case volume, my first

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Okay, so today I was laid off due to low case volume, my first day back after my leave. So if this isn't retaliation what is it ?
Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do everything I can to answer your question.

I am extremely sorry to hear that you were let go. What was the specific nature of your complaint regarding your boss?

I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Contract manipulation (fraud and stealing), retaliation after complaints to HR about his illegal and unethical practice, reduction in hours and pay ( we get bonuses for selling certain items ) and general harassment.


Thank you very much for your reply. When you say "general harassment," can you elaborate on that? Were you being harassed about your race, religion, gender, or something along those lines?

Also, did you ever make an external report regarding the fraud or stealing (e.g. contact your local police)?

Thanks again.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No I used our so called "Care Line" to report the stealing issue and the harassment was more along the lines of retaliation for reporting him to HR, his manager showed up in place of HR on the initial report and told me if I couldn't get along with him, I would need to seek employment elsewhere. I'm sure there is not a thing I can do about all of this, but it sucks that they treat people this way and the impunity of it all just sucks.


Thanks again for your reply. I am so sorry to hear about this and completely understand your frustration.

Unfortunately, you are correct in your suspicion that there is little which can be done. In private sector employment, employers have tremendous discretion to manage their business as they see fit. By default, employment is "at will" absent an express agreement to the contrary, meaning employees can be fired, demoted or disciplined for any non-discriminatory reason not otherwise in violation of the law.

The exceptions here are few and far between but relate primarily to areas of public policy. For example, it is illegal to retaliate against an employee for filing a claim for unpaid wages, or taking FMLA protected leave--there is a public policy interest in ensuring that employees are not punished for enforcing these basic rights. It is also illegal to file employees for "whistle blowing," but that term is defined by statute to include only those reports "care line," how ever well intentioned and well founded, does not trigger any special protection under the law.

As an at will employee, you can be fired out of seniority, because your boss doesn't like you or even (by way of extreme example) because you happen not to share the same taste in music or movies as your boss. There are few limits here, aside from discriminatory motives and the public policy exceptions I have described above.

If there is any silver lining it is that an individual in your circumstance should be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. For information on how to file a claim, visit this link:

I am truly sorry that I don't have more favorable information to provide you, but you are here for accurate information about the law and it would be a tremendous disservice if I were to mislead you for the sake of providing good news.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with followup questions if you have any. I am not done assisting you until you are absolutely satisfied with my service.

Have a very pleasant evening, notwithstanding present circumstances.

Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you