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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12801
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Hello, my position was eliminated and my manager replaced me

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Hello, my position was eliminated and my manager replaced me with someone who is his personal friend. My manager told my team I was terminated because I work at home. I managed a global team. The replacement is in an office but not with my team. I have been with my company for 11 years, good performance, and promotions. I suspect my manager's friend needed work so choosing between me and his friend, I lost. Do I have any recourse?
Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. I am so sorry to hear that you were let go, especially after such a long time with your company.

Unfortunately, the laws in this area strongly favor the employer. 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, unless the underlying motivation is discriminatory (based on race, religion, gender, etc.) or otherwise in violation of California law.

It is not "discirminatory" -- at least within the legal meaning of that term -- to favor a friend, not is it otherwise in violation of any California or federal law. Thus, unless you had an agreement which specifically guaranteed a term of employment and your termination runs afoul of that express contractual understanding, this is a circumstance in which you do not have any legal recourse, despite your termination being extremely unfair.

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 question if you have any. I am not done assisting you until you are absolutely satisfied with my service.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your empathetic response. It is what I expected. Discrimination is just too narrow for most behaviors that go on in corporations.At least I know with certainty it is permissible and while entirely distasteful, it allows me to move forward without reservation.


Thank you very much for your reply. I am glad that I was able to provide you with certainty moving forward, though I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further. If I have addressed your concerns for the time being, I'd be most grateful for a positive rating of my service.

Have a very pleasant evening, and best wishes to you as you proceed forward with your career.
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