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Can an employer lay me off if they have someone else on the…

Customer Question
Can an employer lay...

Can an employer lay me off if they have someone else on the team in the same position and they are now in a probationary period? My husband has been at the company for 2+ years and they just hired someone. They are now eliminating and laid him off instead of the new person. He is not on an improvement plan and has received nothing but good reviews.

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

California

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

At will full time

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

I don't think os OK

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 10 minutes by:
11/22/2017
Employment Lawyer: lawyerJ, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
lawyerJ
lawyerJ, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 177
Experience: Attorney
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Hi there. My name is ***** ***** I'm a licensed attorney. I'm reviewing your question and will respond shortly. Please note, all information is provided for educational purposes only.

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Employment Lawyer: lawyerJ, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

I'm so sorry that happened to your husband, that seems unwarranted. Unfortunately, California is an at-will state. This means that either the employer or the employee may terminate employment at any time, with or without cause or prior notice, and it is considered legal.

There are exceptions to this. Public-sector employees, most of whom are protected by civil service laws and/or by a "memorandum of understanding" between their union and the agency that addresses discipline and termination cannot be terminated without just cause. Neither can employees represented by unions and covered by a collective bargaining agreement that contains a "just cause" standard for termination.

Additionally, your husband should check their employment contract. Some written employment contracts require "good cause" for termination. If that's the case, your husband could fight the termination. However, In California it's common for employers to have new employees sign an acknowledgement that employment is "at will," which would mean that he's acknowledged he can be terminated for any reason (or no reason at all).

Employment at will does not mean that you can't bring a case for other employment wrongs. It simply means that an employer cannot be sued for breach of an implied contract requiring a showing of good cause for termination. If your husband was terminated for reasons involving discrimination, retaliation, violations of specific statutes (including those protecting whistle-blowers or employees who take family or medical leave) or for terminations that violate public poli­cies set forth in statutes or regulations, he could still bring a case against his former employer.

I'm sorry I don't have better news for you about the termination, but if one of the exceptions above doesn't apply, unfortunately your husband would have a hard time contesting the termination. Even though it's not a fair termination, it's not an illegal one.

If I've fully answered your question, I'd appreciate a five-star rating. If not, please let me know how else I can assist you.

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Employment Lawyer: lawyerJ, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Is there anything else I can assist you with?

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