If I notified my employer that I may have to go to jail, can they fire me?

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If I notified my employer that I may have to go to jail, can they fire me?

I will be jailed for 28 days and will miss a total of 19 days of work. I work for the county and was told to contact HR. I was also told to fill out an absence request; if my supervisor approves it then I am OK. Originally my supervisor said that she would approve it. Now I am told that if I go to jail I will be fired. I looked up policy and in it is stated that a personal leave of absence can be taken for “any” reason. If less than 30 days then the request is submitted to the “appointing authority”. Over 30 days, then the “appointing authority and Personnel Services Administrator.” I asked who is the appointing authority and was I told personnel.

Asked on March 25, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Listen, I do not think that things are looking so good for you.  The fact that you work for the county may be a bit of an issue for them but the fact that you are going to jail is, I bet, a violation of some potion of your employment.  I would check in to the matter more fully by speaking with possibly an employment attorney.  But if you are considered to be an "at will" employee - someone who is not working under an employment contract - then you can be fired for any legitimate reason.  If you are under a contract the jail time may be a violation.  Gt some advice there in California.  Good luck.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Listen, I do not think that things are looking so good for you.  The fact that you work for the county may be a bit of an issue for them but the fact that you are going to jail is, I bet, a violation of some potion of your employment.  I would check in to the matter more fully by speaking with possibly an employment attorney.  But if you are considered to be an "at will" employee - someone who is not working under an employment contract - then you can be fired for any legitimate reason.  If you are under a contract the jail time may be a violation.  Gt some advice there in California.  Good luck.


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