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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12608
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I worked at a hospital combined total of 23 years, (13,

Customer Question

I worked at a hospital for a combined total of 23 years, (13, gone for 2 returned for 13).
My position was "Supervisor" when I hired in the second time. Eventually, the supervisor title was changed to "Charge Nurse". This is a union hospital. The reason stated for my lay off, was they were eliminating my position. I will receive 12 wks. severence. The following Monday, the "Supervisor/Charge Nurse" of another dept. under the same director was sent to orient in my dept. She actually introduced herself as the "New Supervisor", and is taking on many of the responsibilities I had. Neither she, nor myself are under the union. She has been with the hospital approx. 5 yrs. In all my time there, I had ZERO write-ups, and all my performance evals were outstanding, including this year. Is this OK?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.
Unfortunately, if you are not covered under the union contract, the default presumption is that your employment would be "at will." (See Labor Code 2922) At will employment can be terminated for any reason not amounting to discrimination on the basis of a legally protected trait (race, religion, gender, etc.) or retaliation for engaging in certain forms of legally protected conduct (filing a wage claim, taking FMLA leave, etc.). It doesn't matter whether the basis for termination is fair, reasonable or even true.
So, it would not matter from a legal standpoint if your employer told you that your position was being eliminated when in fact you were simply being replacement. That said, there is nothing necessarily inconsistent with your position being "eliminated" and your job duties being absorbed by someone else. It sounds like your position is simply being combined with this other employee's as a cost-saving measure. That is arguably consistent with what you were told.
In short, what you describe is legal, despite being frustrating, unless you can prove that your employer's true motivation in letting you go was a legally protected trait, such as your race, or a legally protected activity, as defined above.
I hope that you find this information helpful and am genuinely sorry if it is not what you were hoping to hear. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello again,
I just wanted to followup with you to make sure that you did not have any further questions or concerns. For some unknown reason, the experts are not always getting replies or ratings (which is how we get credit for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I have not yet received either. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the site administrator.
In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed.
Very best wishes.

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