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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I was removed from my position over a statement that was

Customer Question

I was removed from my position over a statement that was told by a coworker to my employer that I was on site covering an open post when actually it was my day off and was called in to work to cover that position. Initial time of shift start was 7am and I had agreed to come in and cover but until 9am. Upon arrival to the work site,my employer came up to me and started yelling at me why was I outside talking on my phone for over an hour. I tried explaining that I didn't know what was going on and she started belittling me in front of other coworkers and staff that were passing by. My coworker had miss informed my employer about my time of arrival since he was fearing he might get into trouble for letting another coworker leave without being properly relieved. I was removed from my position even after my coworker confessed and admitted that he had lied to my employer. There was no write up or suspension or any action taken on my coworker till this day and apparently my employer has been gossiping this incident to other coworkers.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** it will be my pleasure to assist you. Please just give me a moment to review your question....

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Can you please tell me if you are in a union? Also, when you say you were removed from your position, does that mean you were fired?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Well I'm not sure if it's union, but I was fired from my position since they have already filled my position the very next day.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you.

If you don't know whether you are in a union then you are definitely not in a union. Unfortunately, barring union membership or a contract that expressly limits your employer's ability to terminate your employment (few employees have this), employment in the state of California is "at will." 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. Thus, while highly unfair, it would not be illegal to terminate your employment based on the facts you have described.

All of the above noted, it costs employers time and money to hire and train replacement employees, and so employers generally have a strong self interest in terminating employees only for good reason. Most employers tend to be rational, and so it may be possible to explain what happened to HR and ask for a second chance. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but this is really your only option as an at will employee, since the law does not protect you from unfair or baseless terminations.

If I can clarify anything at all for you, please do not hesitate to ask. It is my pleasure to assist you further if necessary....