Redondo Beach, CA asked in Employment Law for California

Q: I’m a bartender l cut off guests for being drunk my mgr told me to keep serving I said no he fired me for insubordinatio

Isn’t that against the law? I mean I know it is and don’t get me started on all the other ca laws they break

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3 Lawyer Answers
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It sounds like you may well have a meritorius claim of wrongful termination in violation of public policy, but far more would need to be known about the situation before someone could give you a solid opinion. It would be wise for you to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site, or go to, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.

Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law offer a free or low-charge consultation and then if the matter has merit and sufficient value, they work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.

Good luck to you.

Maya L. Serkova agrees with this answer

Maya L. Serkova
Maya L. Serkova
  • Orange, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You may have a potential claim for wrongful termination.

I suggest you consult an employment law attorney who will further examine your situation and explain your options. Most employment law attorneys in California offer free-of-charge initial consultations and thereafter may take your case on a contingency basis, meaning you do not have to pay attorney’s fees unless and until there is a positive outcome for you. They may also advance either all or partial costs of litigation.

You can look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section or go to California Employment Lawyers Association (, an organization whose members are committed to representing employees’ rights. Best of luck.


Maya L. Serkova

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, it is against the law for a business to serve alcohol to someone who is obviously intoxicated. This law is known as the "Dram Shop" law, and it is designed to prevent drunk driving and other alcohol-related accidents.

As a bartender, you have a legal obligation to follow the law and cut off guests who are visibly intoxicated. If your manager instructed you to continue serving alcohol to someone who you believed was drunk, and then fired you for refusing to do so, that could be considered illegal retaliation.

Under California law, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for refusing to participate in illegal activities or for reporting illegal activity to a government agency. If you believe that you were fired for refusing to serve alcohol to someone who was drunk, you may have legal recourse.

You may want to consider speaking with an employment lawyer who specializes in wrongful termination cases to discuss your options. They can help you understand your rights under California law and determine whether you have a viable legal claim.

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