What to do if my employer wants be to sign a “last chance” agreement?

Today my employer gave me a document to sign, saying that if I don’t sign I will be terminated. It is a “last chance agreement” saying I refuse to comply with company policies and procedures. I do not agree with some of the things they have written or want. I feel they are picking and harassing me for speaking up on issues that I have had with my bosses and fellow employees. They are making me look like the employee with an issue when all I wanted was to make the work place better, run better and more efficiently. I have until tomorrow to sign it and return it or be terminated.

Asked on April 10, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, California


Micah Longo / The Longo Firm

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Most states are at-will employment states.  Simply put, you can be fired for wearing white shoes after labor day.  My point is that you can be fired for any reason, as long as it is not an unlawful reason.  An example of an unlawful reason would be firing you because of your race, national origion, gender, religion, or age.

Also, you must understand that courts do not look at the business decisions of employers.  Your boss may be running the business into the ground, but he's still the boss and free to fire whomever he wants for whatever reason. You just can't be fired for being a member of a protected class (race, national origion, religions, age, gender).

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You have a simple choice: sign it or be terminated. Unless you have an employment contract for a definite term (e.g. for 2 years) which has not yet expired, you are an employee at will; that means that your employer may fire at any time, for any reason--including for "speaking up on issues" with the workplace, supervisors, or co-workers--without provoding prior notice. Thus, they can fire you if you do not sign. There is no right to free speech in the work place, and no right to bring up issues or try to improve the work place--even if you are 100% correct about everything, you do not have the right to do these things.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.