Can I take any legal action against my employer if they fired me for time clock theft?

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Can I take any legal action against my employer if they fired me for time clock theft?

Essentially I submitted a punch correction that said I went into work at 8:15 pm although cameras show me coming into work at 8:30 pm. The reason this was done was to include my 15 minute break that I did not take that day and which was confirmed by the cameras at work. I did the same thing twice. Is my old employer right in firing me even though they offer a 15 minute paid break? Once again I did not take my break both of those times which is why included those minutes into my punch correction.

Asked on April 22, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First, your employer is correct in the sense that you falsified your time card, which would be grounds for termination for cause. More importantly, though, if you do not have an employment contract (or union/collective bargaining agreement), you are an "employee at will" and may be fired at any time, for any reason. Therefore, from what you write, it appears your employer could legally fire you under these circumstances and you would not have a cause of action.


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