Fri. Oct 22nd, 2021

Procedural Posture

Procedural Posture

Plaintiff employee brought an action against defendant employer that alleged she was wrongfully discharged and that sought to recover the balance owed to her on her employment contract. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California) entered judgment for the employee and the employer appealed.

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Overview

The employee had a written contract for employment with another company. The employer offered the same terms to the employee and she accepted. This contract was oral. She was discharged prior to the end of the contract date. The employer offered her the job back but at a reduced salary, and the employee refused. The court affirmed the judgment and found that because the employee was employed for a definite term at an agreed wage and was wrongfully discharged, she could refuse to accept the employer’s offer of reemployment at a lower wage when the acceptance would have amounted to a contract modification and the employee would have lost her right to recover under the original contract. The employee was not required to perform the same work for less compensation in mitigation of damages. If the employer’s offer had contained a condition that the employee’s rights under the original contract were retained, she could have accepted the new offer and would not have been precluded from recovery. Because the offer was not conditioned, the employee had the right to refuse and the employer was not entitled to recovery from the unemployment fund.

Outcome

The court affirmed the judgment in favor of the employee.