Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. I am very sorry to hear about the difficult situation with these employees.
Fortunately, 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 or otherwise in violation of California law.
There is absolutely nothing illegal about firing an employee because they have a bad attitude and/or cannot get along with others at work. All an employer in your circumstance needs to do is notify the employee they are being terminated effective immediately and preferably do so in writing so there is record of it. You need not even state a reason, though in this case since your reason is perfectly lawful there is no reason not to tell the truth.
The main pitfall for employers when letting someone go is that the terminated employee's final wages
must be paid IMMEDIATELY--not on the next regularly scheduled payday. (Labor Code 201) Failure to immediately pay a departing employee's final wages will typically result in the assessment of a penalty in the amount of the employee's daily rate of pay for each day the wages go unpaid up to 30 days.
So for example, if an employee who makes $100 a day is terminated on on the first of the month but not paid his final wages until the 20th, he would be entitled to a $2,000 penalty from his employer in addition to the earned wages.
To summarize, as an employer you enjoy tremendous discretion under these circumstances. Since employment is "at will" absent an express agreement to the contrary, you can fire this or any employee for a poor attitude, failing to get along, or just in general causing "drama." You must, however, pay their final wages immediately, preferably by handing them their final paycheck
at the same time you hand them their written termination
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 to you and thank you so much for coming to Just Answer.