California Employment Law

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California Employment Law
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I manage a small business in California. I sent home an

I manage a small...

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 unless they have previously requested early dismissal. Is this practice legal? The employee went to the local labor commission and is claiming he was terminated and not given his pay. He was not terminated, just suspended for 1 week. Can I legally do that?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Please send my message to employment law not real estate law

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Yes. We have a hearing scheduled at the Labor Commissioner on Friday Jan 5

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No I don’t think so. Just need to know if my position is legal or whether I will lose my argument in front of the labor commissioner.

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Answered in 22 minutes by:
12/30/2017
Patrick, Esq.
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,573
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

Were you clear with the employee that this was a suspension and that they would be given more work after one week?

I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
He knew it was just a 1 week suspension. I told the Deputy Labor Commissioner that I could produce sworn and notorized statements from direct witnesses that this employee was just suspended for 1 week. I told the Commissioner that and that he is welcome to resume employment here as long as he is willing to follow the rules. I believe the employee doesn’t want to come back to work and his just trying to hurt us. He is asking for over $5000. in lost wages and waiting time penalties.

Thank you.

The waiting time penalties only apply if he was terminated. Whether he was terminated is a question of fact, which hinges on whether the employee had a reasonable expectation that their employment was permanently discontinued. Obviously, if the employee was told that they were only being suspended for one week, they would have no reasonable expectation that their employment was permanently discontinued. Since you have witnesses who will testify that this is what the employe was told, it seems you can easily prove there was no termination, and thus that there is no liability for waiting time penalties.

There is no claim for "lost wages" because employment in CA is "at will" absent an agreement to the contrary and as such can be terminated at any time for virtually any non-discriminatory reason.

I would be shocked if the Labor Commissioner made a finding against you. If they did I would certainly appeal it in Superior Court, which you have the right to do.

I hope that you find this information helpful. 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.

* Disclaimer *

Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I think you have answered my question. And I like the answer. I just need to provide the witness statements if it comes to the hearing next Friday. Thank you for your time. I would definitely recommend this service.

I'm very glad I could help. And yes, based on what you have described, you should have ample proof to defeat any claim for waiting time penalties.

Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service (using the stars at the top of the page) so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Very best wishes.

Patrick, Esq.
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,573
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified
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Satisfied Customers: 13,573
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