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Write Ups (California) California

On Lawyer & Legal » Employment & Labor Law

2,470 words with 2 Comments; publish: Thu, 08 Mar 2007 18:17:00 GMT; (80045.90, « »)

My supervisor called me today at the end of the day and told me that she wanted to talk to me about supposidly repremanding 1 of 2 employees that I work with by email which other sales people had seen, but would not give me the actual example. She also went on to inform me that if I did "it" again I would be written up. Numerous times during the conversation stated that I had no idea what she was talking about and requested to know what instance she was talking about. She went on to say I was "a very smart girl" and that she wouldn't tell me the specifics because then I would know who it was. Is that legal? To threaten to write me up for something, without telling me what it is I'm doing wrong?

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    • Absent an employment agreement (or collective bargaining agreement - union / government) to the contrary, employment is at will. That is, either party may terminate the employment relationship at any time for any reason, or for no reason at all. (Of course, there are some limits in terms of discrimination against protected classes.)

      Extrapolating a bit from that, it is quite easy to see that it logically follows that an at-will employee can be fired, and therefore written up as a prelude to firing, for anything, or nothing at all.

      The mistake employees usually make in analyzing these situation is confusing "illegal" with "unfair". Just because it's unfair, illogical, or bad business doesn't mean it's illegal. The law does not generally prohibit employers from running their businesses in ways that are objectively, or are arguably under a subjective standard, unfair, illogical, or bad business.

      While this may seem to put the employee at the mercy of the employer, in fact the at-will employment relationship makes it clear that employee can find a new employer, or simply quit the current employer, at any time. In short, being treated unfairly by your current employer (and not being discriminated against because of sex, age, race, etc)? Find a new employer that will appreciate your work and act in a more 'fair' or rational manner, or accept the employer's odd ways as part of the job conditions and accept that this job is better than the one you would otherwise have at another employer (if true).

      #1; Sat, 17 Mar 2007 16:47:00 GMT
    • It is poor communication and perhaps not fair, but it isn't illegal. No law states that you must be informed exactly what you did wrong before you can be disciplined or fired for it.
      #2; Thu, 08 Mar 2007 19:38:00 GMT