Can I legally be fired before filling out new hire paperwork?

I was hired but on my first day they didnt have
me fill out new hire paperwork. I wasnt feeling
well that day but despite how much I insisted
on staying, I was sent home. The next day they
fired me over the phone then sent me a check
FOUR days later that said working interview

Asked on October 8, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California


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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Actually, this is perfectly legal. Unless you had an enforceable employment contract, you were an "at will" worker which means that you could have been terminated at any time for any reason or even no reason at all. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can absolutely fire you before you fill out the new hire paperwork. Unless you had a written employment contract for a definite period of time (e.g. a one-year contract) which was then in effect, you were an "employee at will." An employee at will has no right to a job: they can be let go at any time, even before completing their paperwork or even before starting (i.e. they could offer you a job, then contact you and tell you to not come in). 

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