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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Employer Lied and Changed Reason for Termination to EDD

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: California

    I worked for an employer that is direct deposit payroll only. We were required to obtain a checking account to support the payroll function. The President forgot to submit payroll to the accounting firm responsible for our payment / deposit. When I woke up in the morning my checking account was empty...actually it was in the red, and I had no gas in my car. I had no real means to buy gas as I had not been paid on time. I was a salary employee and classified as exempt. (If you don't know what this means please look it up prior to responding). My work day starts at 8 AM. I called into the employer's office at 6:30 AM in the standard fashion that I had used to call in for the last 5 years and obviously giving the employer ample notice. I reported to the employer voice mail that I had no money, no gas, no idea why I had not been paid and that I needed someone to call me today to let me know what was going on. I said I would not be in on that day but that I was going to try and scrounge up some cash for gas and that I would be in the following day. This message was carbon copied to the required voice mail accounts and all the appropriate staff were notified. I did not consider this any type of HR complaint, though I was extremely upset regarding the issue. At 10 AM I had not received any notice to either my work cell, my work pager, or my personal cell directly from the employer. I contacted a fellow employee and she reported that no one had been paid yet but that she was informed that I no longer worked for the company. I contacted the President directly and, unknown to him, placed the call on speaker. My finance, who also worked for the same company, was listening into the conversation. I asked the employer if I was fired, he said "yes", I asked him "why because EDD would ask", he said it was "because I did not come into work" to which I replied, "even though I called in" to which he replied "yes". I immediately disconnected the call and filed a retaliation termination suit with a lawyer and the Labor Board. I have never been counseled for excessive time off verbally or otherwise. I have never been written up for any misconduct issues. All of my evaluations were satisfactory or better. I was paid everything I was owed, technically on time, with a printed check. I was also given pay for 1 weeks vacation on my final check so I know that I had time off on record to take.

    I gave my reason to the EDD as per the conversation with my former employer. My employer filed an appeal to benefits with the EDD stating that I was fired for malicious destruction of company data; I am / was an IT Consultant. I have already had my interview with the EDD which is how I learned of the deception. I explained to the EDD interviewer that I had no idea what the claim was about and categorically denied all accusations.

    I have added defamation to my law suit. I am anticipating an appeal to a denial of benefits just in case I have to meet with a judge and I wanted to get some opinions as to my chances or if there is another angle I should be considering. My witness is obviously willing to testify under oath.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Somewhere near Canada

    Default Re: Employer Lied to / Changed Reason for Termination to EDD

    Please understand that defamation will NOT be heard in the same suit.

    That is a separate action and frankly, in your case would be a waste of time since you have no damages. You were paid. Defamation suits also take tens of thousands of dollars to litigate (and not on contingency), and several years. Forget that angle.

    You can, incidentally, be fired for not coming into work even if you call in and even if you have vacation time accrued. While the company made a hiccup in not getting the direct deposit done on time, it's not their fault that you didn't budget for emergencies.

    What I'd be more concerned with would be their allegation that you destroyed company data - where are they getting that?

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