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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 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.


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