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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38129
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I have worked at a Catholic School for 17 years and had no

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I have worked at a Catholic School for 17 years and had no problems with my previous principals, however, the principal we have at our school is causing many of us many problems. Some of us have gotten huge cuts in our salary and are being asked to do the same job as we did earlier and are being "watched" to see if we will make mistakes. Today, my principal even looked at my gradebook online and told me I was not putting my grades in a timely fashion. On the other hand, one other teacher has not been given the same cuts as we have even though she is new, also she is able to come and go as she pleases. We are under so much pressure I can't really convey it. I read in our contract that she can cut our salary as she wishes whenever she wishes. My question is this, although the principal's supervisor has been contacted by another teacher with a greviance. The supervisor said that there was nothing she could do because the priest is the head of the school. (He and the principal are the same meaning they have no concern for teachers who have given their whole life to the school) Can we talk to whoever is above the parish priest? This situation is taking a heavy toll on all of us, except for the favored young teacher.
Can we talk to whoever is above the parish priest?

The general rule of employment in California (and everywhere else in the USA) is that an employer can terminate an employee at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. Cal. Labor Code 2922.

You can contact anyone in the chain of supervision in the school that is willing to meet with you. However, the employer has no obligation to meet, or to give you any special treatment, other than that which is promised to you in the employer's written policies.

So, while your contacting a high-level personal in the church may provide you with some remedy -- it may not -- and if not, then you may have no recourse at all, even if a lower-level supervisor becomes angered by your going over his/her head.

In other words, you could be risking termination by your actions. But, from what you describe, you may be on your way out the door already, and if so, then you have nothing to lose by approaching a higher-level person for assistance.

Hope this helps.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Is there any legal recourse for my situation at all. If I choose not to talk to whoever is above the priest.
Review your employer's handbook, any other written policies, and any employment contract that you have signed. Compare what the supervisors have done to you and to other employees and see if anything violates the employer's policies. If something pops up, and the result is that you suffer an adverse employment action as a result of the employer's failure to follow its own policies, then you would have a claim for breach of contract.

This would not protect you from losing your job -- but it could give you lost wages until you find new employment, if the adverse action is termination of employment.

Other than that, I do not see any obvious recourse. However, there is always one form of discrimination that is hiding silently when employees who have been employed for many years are subjected to adverse employer actions: age discrimination. Frequently employers wish to rid themselves of more highly compensated employees -- and inevitably those employees are older.

If you and other coworkers are 40 years or older, and you see yourselves being replaced by younger new employees, then you may have an age discrimination action. In which case you can complain to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing at this link.

Hope this helps.

NOTICE: My goal here is to educate others about the law. I am always available to answer your follow-up questions after you click Accept – however, if you do not click Accept, the website gets paid, and I receive nothing. This is true, even if you are on a subscription plan. So please click Accept, so that I will be able to continue to provide this service for others in the future.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“To Socrateaser”), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!


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