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I was accused of smoking marijuana in the parking lot of my…

Customer Question
I was accused of...

I was accused of smoking marijuana in the parking lot of my work. I wasn’t in uniform and I wasn’t on the clock. They said someone said I was but I absolutely denied it. Now they say they have to check cameras. Can they fire me?

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you discussed the accusation with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?

Just thebaccusing manager

Lawyer's Assistant: Are you an "at will" employee? Do you belong to a union?

I am at will

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/24/2018
Employment Lawyer: LegalKnowledge, Attorney replied 1 month ago
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge, Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 30,996
Experience: 10+ years handling Legal, Real Estate, Criminal Law, Family Law, Traffic matters.
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Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help with your question and concern

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hello
Employment Lawyer: LegalKnowledge, Attorney replied 1 month ago

Good morning. What State is this in? If you were in uniform or on the clock, why were you even there? Was this before or after work?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Before work and I live in CA
Employment Lawyer: LegalKnowledge, Attorney replied 1 month ago

Thank you and please allow me a moment to respond.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok
Employment Lawyer: LegalKnowledge, Attorney replied 1 month ago

Yes, it is possible that they could decide to fire you. I say this because California's Labor Code contains a presumption that employees are employed at will. This means that either the employer or the employee may terminate employment at any time, with or without cause or prior notice. This is important for employers because "cause" is defined under California law as "a fair and honest cause or reason, regulated by good faith on the part of the employer." Employers would be significantly burdened if they had to prove to a court or jury that they acted "fairly" and "in good faith" in every employee termination.

Exceptions to Employment at Will

Exceptions to employment at will include:

  • 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.

  • Employees represented by unions and covered by a collective bargaining agreement that contains a "just cause" standard for termination.

  • Employees (usually executives) who have written employment contracts requiring "good cause" for termination.

  • Employees whose employers have said or done things that overcome the presumption of employment at will.

Courts in some cases have found that employer policies or statements of managers have overcome the presumption of employment at will, such that an implied contract to be terminated only for good cause arose. One such policy is a rigid "progressive dis­cipline" policy under which employees cannot be fired until a series of prior warnings and lesser sanctions have been imposed. Managers' assurances of secure or long-term employment might also be found to overcome the presumption of employment at will in some circumstances.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I’ve been with the company almost 7years
Employment Lawyer: LegalKnowledge, Attorney replied 1 month ago

Yes, and that is something they should consider. This is merely an allegation and it is odd someone would make it against you and tell on you, so you can speak with them and try and resolve this, based upon your years of service.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok. Yea I denied it and stated what I did with my personal time is just that and I came to work prepared to do my job. They are checking cameras and will inform me come monday
Employment Lawyer: LegalKnowledge, Attorney replied 1 month ago

Even though it was on your personal time, I think the main issue is that you were on company property. Had this been off grounds and someplace else and someone made the claim, it would be different but seeing on they claim it was on the property and they have film, they need to look into it. However, if you were smoking something, it could be a cigarette.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Yea everyone smokes in that parking lot weed and cigs alike so really there’s no concrete proof
Employment Lawyer: LegalKnowledge, Attorney replied 1 month ago

If that is the case, they may not take any action. If they can not come up with definitive evidence, they may just dismiss this.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hopefully. Thank you for your time I can’t think of anything else to ask.
Employment Lawyer: LegalKnowledge, Attorney replied 1 month ago
My pleasure and you are welcome. If you have not already I kindly just ask that you rate my help at the top at this time.
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Employment Lawyer: LegalKnowledge, Attorney replied 1 month ago

Please let me know if you have any follow up questions or need any clarification on something which I stated above. Also, remember to rate my service at the top of this page, before exiting the site, so I can receive credit for my help. I hope you found it to be 5 STARS! Only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. If you feel the need to click either of the two lower ratings to the left, please stop and reply to me. I want to make sure your experience with the site was as pleasurable as possible and that you are satisfied with the help I provided.

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