Is it legal to not really fire me but just avoid me?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it legal to not really fire me but just avoid me?

I am or was a GM and only manager of a fine dining restaurant for a little over a year. It caught fire in September, which I was there in the smoke and fire. We closed for remodel and the owners have had several employees involved in the reopening coming up. They have avoided me and excluded me from award

ceremonies and decision making. Now they are unresponsive to my direct texts questioning if I even still have a job. I haven’t done anything wrong, illegal and am competent at my job. I have zero write-ups and make great judgements. My only thought is perhaps I am married and avoid the advancements the male

clientele and friends of the owners pass at me. I have noticed that they value flirtatious staff over one who upholds ethics and morals. Is this okay? I am a mother and need the high income.

Asked on January 31, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Two different issues here.
1) Can an employer "just avoid" an employee rather than formally firing her? Yes. There is no law requiring some formal notice of termination. If they won't schedule you or communicate with you or let you know if you have a job, you can effectively consider yourself fired and apply for unemployment insurance.
2) Can an employer fire (or take any negative action) against a female employee for not flirting with male clientele? No--that would be considered a form of sexual harassment or discrimination, and if you believe this is the case, you may wish to contact the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency.

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.

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