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forced resignation for wifes email

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  • forced resignation for wifes email

    I am being given an option of resigning with a severance package or there will be legal action against my wife for a email that was sent to me. The email was supposedly sent to the owner of the company with an opinion from my wife. I was brought to the office and told in short I need to resign and there will be no legal action taken against my wife for the email. I have talked to local PD and they could not find anything threating in the email that would make the individaul feel that way, maybe just an ego deflater. I have been employed for over 6 years without any write ups, reprimands or disciplinary action towards me. I oversee approx 120 employees and have performed all my duties in a professional manner. Do I have any legal recourse if I do not resign and he decides to terminate me.

  • #2
    Not really. California is an at-will state; you can be fired for any reason not specifically prohibited by law. The fact that the PD did not find a threat in the e-mail does not make it illegal to fire you for it.
    Last edited by cbg; 11-16-2007, 11:56 PM.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      And not that it is necessarily germane to the discussion, but was the email sent to you using your company email address or was it sent to your personal email address, but you accessed it on the company computer?
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


      • #4
        And just because it wasn't criminal doesn't mean it isn't actionable as a civil matter.

        This has seemed to come up a lot lately.

        Your company email is not yours. Write and receive every single email as if your boss is reading it with you... because there is a very good chance he/she is.
        Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

        I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

        Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.


        • #5
          How did an email that was sent to you get to the owner of the company? What legal action will your employer take against your wife if you don't resign?

          Personally, I think they are bluffing. If your receipt of the email on the company's computer violated some workplace rule or practice, the easiest approach would have been to threaten to fire you for that infraction. Further, I don't know how they hold you responsible for an email from your wife stating her opinion about the owner or the company. You might want to run the email by an attorney who specializes in such civil matters for an opinion to see if the email contains anything that is actionable and what action you can take if your employer fires you because you don't resign.


          • #6
            The email was supposedly sent to the owner of the company with an opinion from my wife.
            I could be wrong but it seems his wife sent the email directly to the owner. I would guess (as cyjeff suggests) the ocntents of email and threatened legal action are Civil issues not criminal. All that being said 'at will" applies here and ther eis little OP can do but accept the severence and go. You might have a stern talk with your wife as well.


            • #7
              I've been thinking about this, and I suppose it's barely possible that there *might* be a public policy violation under CA's "good faith and fair dealing" doctrine, but only a California attorney with far more details than we have available to us can say for certain.
              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


              • #8
                If you quit can you file for unemployment?
                Bob Bollinger, Attorney
                Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law
                Charlotte, NC


                • #9
                  OP - you might want to talk to an attorney & have them review the e-mail with just a *possibility* of a public pol. violation. We can't determine much without full details & we don't know what the e-mail said.
                  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                  Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.


                  • #10
                    If your wife sent an email that was offensive to the sensibilities of the CEO, your employer is free to discharge you. If they're offering you severance, that's certainly more than they have to do.


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