I believe I was wrongfully terminated/laid off. I was under a 6 month contract with UCPD Berkeley based on satisfactory work and background check. I was released for not passing my background from something that they said "came up" during their check. After having a meeting I found out that they were basing it off of something from my past job pertaining to time sheets but the issue with this is that I had already disclosed this information before being brought on in November of 2012. I did so in my initial interview and also my interview with a background investigator in January 2013. They brought this up in April after I was getting ready to leave after my shift. I have a written statement of what happened with my past job so they had already known this the whole time I was working then all of sudden they tell me it was a red flag for them 5 months later. On a another note they put me on the new schedule for the whole year through 2014. They also had me working illegally according to their policy of having an 8 hour window between shifts which I have proof that they scheduled me against that policy. Would I have a case?
2 Answers from Attorneys
I see nothing in what you wrote to suggest you were wrongfully terminated. Your employer can terminate you for any reason, or for no reason at all. The only exception is that your employer cannot discriminate against you on the basis of your membership in a protected class, such as race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status (there are others). Employers also cannot retaliate against many sorts of whistle-blowing. I see nothing to suggest any sort of unlawful discrimination or retaliation.
How is it that you think that is 'wrongful'?
In general, unless an employee is civil service, in a union, or has a written employment contract, they are an 'at will' employee that can be disciplined or terminated any time for any reason, with or without ‘cause’, explanation or notice.
You described several issues that could justify the termination 'for cause'.