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I was called by my staff that one of my employees appears to

Customer Question
be drunk. I arrived at...
I was called by my staff that one of my employees appears to be drunk. I arrived at the business and found this to be true. the employee stated she had a drink around noon today, but i could smell alcohol and her speak was slightly slurred and rambled on and on. I informed her to leave and not to return to work until next monday.
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: California, I don't have any policy addressing drugs or alcohol. but this employee supervises children
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: part time not contract
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: there has been other times other employees had concerns of her behavior but didn't say anything until the next day so nothing was addressed at the time
Submitted: 12 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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11/22/2016
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 12 months ago
Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,074
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified

Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. It sounds like you are asking whether it is legal to terminate this employee. If that is your question, the answer would typically be "yes."

This is so because employment in the state of CA is "at will" absent an express agreement to the contrary. 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.

You simply need to notify the employee that they are terminated. Notification should be in writing, and you must pay all of the employee's final earned wages at the time they are let go. Of course, you are also free to implement lesser forms of discipline such as a suspension or paycut, with equal freedom.

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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Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 12 months 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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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq.
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Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,074
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Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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