Can a temp be released for reporting hostile behavior?

UPDATED: Oct 14, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 14, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a temp be released for reporting hostile behavior?

I was placed with a company through a staffing agency where I was told I would be until the first of the year. I worked there for 10 weeks and the person I reported to was condescending and hostile from the first day. I said not a word the whole time. After my first and only call-in sick day, the person accused me of lying about being sick. I went to HR to ask if this was acceptable behavior and they told me it was not, and they would take care of it. The next day I was let go due to lack of work. Is this breach of contract? Was I in a hostile work environment?

Asked on October 14, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First, did you actually have a contract? Being told you would have work unitl the first of the year does not necessarily create an enforceable contract. It might, if you gave up something to take the position, and your decision to do so was based in part on alleged duration. On the other hand, if you had already taken the job, or were definitely taking the job anyway, when they told you this, it was probably a mere expectation or promise, not a contract, and would not be enforceable. However, the specifics of what exactly you were told, and when you were told this, are very important, so you may wish to consult with an employment attorney, who can evaluate the situation, and whether you had a contract, in detail.

Second, if you don't have a contract, then you would only be protected if you were fired for reporting hostile behavior based on your race, sex, religion, age over 40, disability, etc. Otherwise, your empoyer may be hostile to you, and may fire you for complaining about it. So without a contract, it is likely you could be fired as you describe.

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 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption