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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    5

    Angry Laid Off After 2 Months - Employer Said Company Was Doing Well when Interviewed

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

    I was out of work for 2 years. Had never been out of work since I was a teen, but got laid off from a company in Feb 2010 because they went under. Had to move back to Texas to move in with the inlaws.
    Anyway, I finally got a call from a company in the area of California where we used to live. We made a trip out of it and took the kids so I could make it to be interviewed. I was offered the job.
    The owner said the company had a great year last year and was doing well this year. He knew I lived in Texas. He offered me the job and two weeks later, I came back to start. I left my family behind to start work and rented a casita for the time being.
    Well, yesterday, one day away from working there two months, the guy laid me off. Said the work in the area was just too slow. I just put a deposit down on my home 2 weeks ago.

    Can I go after this guy for my expenses to move out here? He led me to believe the company was doing well in the interview, and being in this career for so long, I know the business owner he should have known what his immediate future was for the company when he interviewed me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    OH10
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    17,019

    Default Re: Laid Off After 2 Months- Employer Said Company Was Doing Well when Interviewed

    No, absent a written employment agreement to the contrary, outlining a layoff penalty.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    Default Re: Laid Off After 2 Months - Employer Said Company Was Doing Well when Interviewed

    In California, employment is presumed to be at-will. See Cal. Lab.Code, 2922. If you're employed at-will, absent unusual circumstances your employment can be terminated at any time, and you thus have no guarantee or promise of future employment. Also, an employer's economic condition is not fixed - its financial position can change, sometimes very quickly, and statements made in good faith may not be applicable even a couple of months later.
    Quote Quoting California Labor Code, Sec. 2922.
    An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a specified term means an employment for a period greater than one month.
    That doesn't mean that if you work for more than a month you're not at-will, or if the employer expresses that he hopes you will work there for a long time you're not at-will. It means that if your contractually promised term of employment is a month or more you cannot be terminated during that specified term absent good cause.

    There's authority that could support a potential promissory estoppel claim in the event that you quit a job in order to take the new employment and weren't offered the a good faith opportunity to perform his duties to the satisfaction of the new employer, even if the new work will be at-will. See, e.g., Sheppard v. Morgan Keegan & Co. (1990) 218 Cal.App.3d 61; Toscano v. Greene Music (2004) 124 Cal.App.4th 685. However, you did not quit a job so that theory cannot help you. You also worked two months at the new job, in contrast to those cases in which offers were withdrawn prior to the start date.

    You can consult an employment lawyer with the details of your situation, but so far I'm not seeing either a basis to claim a right to continued employment or, in light of your prior unemployment and at-will employment with the new job, recoverable damages.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Laid Off After 2 Months - Employer Said Company Was Doing Well when Interviewed

    Oh yeah, I'm taking him to small claims court for fees I had to endure based on his information.A company, especially a small company, knows what their work/financial situation is months in advance ( my father ran the same type of company for 40 years). He talked his company up to me in the interview. If he would of told me the truth, I wouldn't have accepted the job.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lake Chapala
    Posts
    3,019

    Default Re: Laid Off After 2 Months - Employer Said Company Was Doing Well when Interviewed

    As Mr. K advised you, your chances of prevailing in small claims court are slim.

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