Can I be terminated for a co-worker telling management that my car smelled like weed?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I be terminated for a co-worker telling management that my car smelled like weed?

Prior to starting my shift, a co-worker parked next to my car. While I got out off my car, she got out of her car as well. I wasn’t smoking, nor was I under the influence at the time. I share a car with my fiance and her brother, of which I’m the legal owner and driver. We commute 83 miles daily to get to work. I don’t smoke and drive; I do it in my personal time at home. She told management and they let me go for the day saying it was just a warning. They made me sign a written warning and asked me to return to work the next day, to only revive a call 3 hours later resulting in my termination. Also, the district manger prior to releasing me for the day said that he was the one that walked past my car and smelled weed which is impossible because my fiance drive the car down the street to her job, so the car wasn’t even in the parking lot at the time. Prior to this day, I have never been approached with any concern or warning regarding this matter.

Asked on March 7, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can be fired for the reason that you were given or for any reason or or fno reason at all. That is unless this action violated company policy or the terms of a union agreement or employment contract. Also, your treatment must not have constituted some form of actionable discriination (which it does not appear to have). The fact is that most employment relationships are at will, which means that a company can set thetconditions of employment much as it sees fit or deems necessary. This includes who to fire, for what and when.

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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