First thing you need to keep in mind is that we are Researchers, not
Employment or HR lawyers. Please read the disclaimer at the bottom of
the page for further information on this... now with that said.
California is an "At Will" state, meaning that an employer can fire
you at any time for any reason and with no notice. The only real
dispute in termination is whether or not Unemployment will be paid
after termination. If you are Laid off or for any other reason "let
go" from the position and not "fired" then Unemployment is compulsory.
However if you are fired, or quit then Unemployment is in question.
You said : "I live in California and I was recently terminated for
coming to work late to often. I was fired despite the fact they only
had one copy of
proof I was ever warned and still only have that one copy."
With California being an "At Will" state, the fact that they have a
copy of a reprimand regarding a previous warning about the same reason
they are letting you go, is more than they need. Granted, the rest of
this sounds like you wouldn't want to work for them anyway, and that
they are very shady and rather unscrupulous, but all of that has
nothing to do with the situation you are in.
If you are terminated from a position in California the employer has
24 hours to pay you all of the monies owned, including but not limited
to your salary, vacation time, and any reimbursements you are owed.
You may have some recourse with the Unemployment board regarding the
other matters you listed, but it sounds like they responded to you on
each account when you brought it to their attention. While it is not
good that you were required to point out these "mistakes" in
accounting, you say that they were fixed, as far as they pertained to
Written reprimands and notice are only required in California by
Utilities, and Government facilities. Some Union jobs still have in
their contracts that notice and termination procedures need to be
followed, but for the rest of the state, such procedures are strictly
One thing that might be in your favor, but you have not mentioned
anything about, is if the company Employee handbook states that a
number of warnings must be presented to you before resulting in your
termination, then that is a good thing. Again, such limitations and
restrictions are completely voluntary in California, but once they are
volunteered by the Employer, the Labor Board and Unemployment reviews
tend to hold the company to them (as well as Civil Courts).
That you have witnesses that this termination was probably driven by
other designs may help you, and having witnesses to testify may hold
some sway with the Unemployment review. My suggestion would be to
write everything down, with dates, people that were involved and
witnesses. Write a statement regarding the "real reason" you were
terminated and present that to the review person before the review so
that they have it in their hands. Most of the time these reviews are
done over the phone.
I would also begin working on your appeal. [
http://www.edd.ca.gov/uirep/uifa.htm ] From experience with many
acquaintances, appeals tend to work out for the employee far more
often than for the employer.
Find California Code
Thanks and Good Luck,