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California: Employee called off work for the week to go to another job.

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  • California: Employee called off work for the week to go to another job.

    We are a small business in California with less than 10 employees. Each employee has a specific job function and any time off requested, unless it is an emergency or the person is sick, must be done in writing at least two weeks prior to the requested time off. We do this in order to make sure that the person's job will be covered during the time they are requesting since we have such a small company. Schedules are sent out on Friday for the following work week which is Monday through Sunday.

    We have an employee who called us on Monday afternoon around 4:45 pm in order to tell us that they cannot work the entire week. They were scheduled to work Tuesday through Friday. When asked for the reason, they replied that they had been accepted at another job and they would need to work there for the following two weeks in order to be hired. But that they wanted to stay on our payroll because they don't believe they will be working there for very long.

    What I would like to know is if we can legally terminate the employee. We are an at-will company and the absence for the week would be considered no-shows. We've had problems in the past with the same employee when it comes to attendance and tardiness. They would only no-show/no-call for one day and would return to work the next time they are scheduled. They have been verbally warned 3 times for the offense and have been written up twice within the past 4 months. They are now on a 6-month probation for their attendance issues. This final offense would be considered their third warning with the possibility of termination which they had been warned about previously.

    Would going this route be the best course of action or is there another way to handle this matter.

    Any help/advice that you can give on the subject would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Yes, you can, unless the employee has a legally binding and enforceable contract with you that expressly and in so many words says you cannot.
    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
      Agree, certainly you can terminate the employee unless there is a binding employment contract to the contrary.
      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.


      • #4
        You have been far too generous and given way too many chances. This person is just taking advantage of you. Do yourself and the other employee's a favor and just terminate. Better, tell them they either need to report for work as scheduled or you will accept their resignation.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


        The forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.