Can employer site performance and threaten to fire me after I got approved to interview for a role in a different department?

I’ve worked at the company for 3 years in sales. In 2017, I was the 1 seller and tripled my current 2018 sales quota during that year in 2017. During 2018 I’ve had a slower year and have never been written up for performance issues in the year…until now. I recently got approved from my direct boss, VP and HR to interview for a role in a different department. With 10 recommendation letters from colleagues and managers, a proven past at the company, the hiring mananger agreed I would be a great fit and says she would like to hire me. Although she said that I still had to go through the interview process. Then, 2 days after approval to interview for the new role and while I was in midst of the interview process, my direct manager sited me for performance in my current role and put me on probation from a performance perspective for the first time in my career at the company. Yes my sales performance is lean this year but there are no other characteristics as to why I am not a performer due to my recent past here as 1 in the business. This action from my direct manager seems very retaliatory to me due to my interest in a different role within the company and that I started the interview process to leave his team and join a new one in the other department.

Asked on October 20, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, unless your treatment violated the terms of an employment contract/union agreement or constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination (none of which you indicated), then you have no claim here. Basically, a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes the actions that you describe. Bottom line, while your boss's actions are unprofessional, they are not illegal.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, unless your treatment violated the terms of an employment contract/union agreement or constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination (none of which you indicated), then you have no claim here. Basically, a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes the actions that you describe. Bottom line, while your boss's actions are unprofessional, they are not illegal.


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