What are my rights if I was terminated for fraternization?

I arrived at a restaurant to meet up with a fellow manager. I wanted about an hour and he didn’t show. I then left. He called me up as I was approaching home and asked where I was. I told him that he took to long to arrive so I left. He asked me to come back and I did. When I arrived, he bought myself and him a beer and an appetizer. We talked for a for about 45 minutes and I asked if he wanted a shot. He said no. A few minutes after, 3 of our team members arrived. They sat behind us one table over. We both acknowledged them coming in and went back to our conversations. The bartender then asked me to hand back shot to the table because she knew one of the guys that was there. I had been friend’s with the bartender the better of 10 years and we both knew the guy she was giving the shots to. My fellow co-worker then took pictures of me handing the drinks to the table and saying my hellos ad good-byes. He left shortly after, and I stayed behind a few minutes longer to say good by to my bartender and then a final good bye to the team members. When I arrive at work after my 2 days off, I noticed the co-worker I went with talking to my GM. My GM then brought me in the office asked me about the situation and I explained it as seen above. I was then sent home my fellow co-worker was not and asked to write a statement. The 2 females that were a part of the group were also asked to leave a statement. The first female was told she had to leave a statement before she left by the GM and was not given the option to refuse. The second female was asked to leave a statement by the co-worker that was in attendance with me. The gentlemen also left a statement. Based on these statements, and the claim by the co-worker and the 2 females claim that I was the 1 who bought the shots and the photo that was taken, I was terminated. The gentleman’s statement as informed after the fact indicated that I did not by the shots but simply placed them on the table. Do I have any legal recourse in regards to this?

Asked on August 30, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless the circumstances of your termination violated the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, it was legal. The fact is that most employment relationships are "at will". This means that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit (absent some form of actionable discrimination). Therefore, a worker can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless the circumstances of your termination violated the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, it was legal. The fact is that most employment relationships are "at will". This means that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit (absent some form of actionable discrimination). Therefore, a worker can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.


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