Am I legally able to fire employees in California for theft without evidence? 1 Answers as of November 15, 2010

I found four employees stealing from my California based scrap metal company however it is very difficult to prove to the authorities how they were stealing. They stole approximately 100 thousand dollars worth of inventory.

Our management subsequently terminated the theft. The employees argue that we do not have adequate evidence to terminate them for theft. My questions is, because California is an at will termination state, do they have a cause of action?

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Diefer Law Group, P.C.
Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Marcelo Dieguez
The short answer is that you can fire an at will employee for suspected theft. However, you must be careful not to tell people that such employee is a "thief" or words to that effect, since that can be considered defamation.

Finally, there is no way to safeguard from a vindictive employee who wants to make a false claim.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/15/2010
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