If I left work for 3 hours to avoid a situation butthen came back, can my boss fire mefor job abandonment?

UPDATED: Jan 5, 2011

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If I left work for 3 hours to avoid a situation butthen came back, can my boss fire mefor job abandonment?

I left work for 3 hours and when I returned the office manager, who happens to be my mom, told me that I was terminated due to job abandonment (the bosses are on vacation for a month ). Also, I never was told by authorized persons that I was fired. I didn’t receive my final check nor termination paperwork. Am I supposed to wait until they come back? And am I eligible for unemployment? Are the liable to pay me until I am properly terminated?

Asked on January 5, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If the office manager has hiring and firing authority over your positiion, then even if she's not the owner or actual "boss," you've been fired. If she did not have that authority, then in theory you can still go into work until you hear otherwise from someone with authority. Note that if you do not go into work, than regardless of whether you would ultimately be fired or not, if you're a nonexempt (e.g. hourly) employee, you won't be paid for  the time you're not there. Also, since job abandonmenet is certainly valid grounds for firing, you could easily be terminated for not showing up. On the other hand, if the firing is valid, showing up at work could be trespassing. You need to get this resolved--you should try to contact someone with authority--again, if it's not the office manager; if she has hiring/firing authority over your position, the termination stands--whether or not they are on vacaction.

If you are fired for cause--for abandoning your job--that would be grounds to refuse you unemployment compensation.

If you are fired, you are owed your final paycheck.

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