How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Patrick, Esq. Your Own Question

Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6742
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Type Your California Employment Law Question Here...
Patrick, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My manager accused me of violating company policy and having

Customer Question

My manager accused me of violating company policy and having poor work performance. when in fact I have documentation from other associates that support manager embellishing and denying the truth. In lieu of this, I was demoted from assistant Mgr. to just a part time clerk, and wages reduced from (28.79 salary) to $16 an hr. How do I fight this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. This is incredibly unfortunate to hear and I'm so sorry about your demotion.

Unfortunately, the laws in this area strongly favor the employer. It is, after all, the large corporations that have the money to lobby Washington and the state legislature.

Absent an employment contract guaranteeing you employment for a specified period of time in your previous position, you are what is known as an "at will" employee. More specifically, California Labor Code Section 2922 provides that: "employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other."

What this means is that your employer is free to terminate you or demote you for any reason whatsoever, even a reason that is entirely unfair, unless the underlying motivation is discriminatory or otherwise in violation of California law.

Accordingly, an employee in this circumstance would have no legal entitlement to their previous position and rate of pay, unless one of the above-mentioned exceptions was satisfied.

You mention depression, and under certain very limited circumstances this can qualify as a "disability" under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which would entitle you to certain limited job protections.

The determination of what constitutes a qualifying disability is a complex issue, but in general, in order to have a “disability” you must have a mental or physical condition that “significantly impairs a major life activity,” be generally regarded as having such condition, and have a medically documented record of having such a condition.

According to the most recent Supreme Court decision, this analysis requires the courts to review whether the person is able to perform the tasks of daily living (washing, brushing teeth, fixing meals, housecleaning, etc.), and decide if the person is significantly more impaired in those tasks than other persons in the population who are not “disabled.” It also requires the courts to consider the person’s abilities with corrective devices, such as prostheses and medication, but may consider side effects that result from medication. For more information on what constitutes a qualifying disability, visit this link: http://www.ada.gov/qandaeng.htm

If a person is “disabled” in accordance with the ADA's definition, is having difficulty performing his/her job, and the employer knows that the reason for the difficulty is the employee’s disability, then the employer may have a duty to reasonably accommodate the employee, as long as it will not pose an undue burden on the employer to do so. In determining whether a reasonable accommodation is available, and would actually work in helping the employee do his/her job, both the employer and employee had required to talk to each other and consider each other’s ideas. An employee is not entitled to the accommodation he/she wants – he/she is only entitled to an accommodation that works.

If your depression qualified as a disability under the Act, your employer had reason to know of your depression and failed to first try to reasonably accommodate your condition before demoting you, a valid discrimination claim may exist. Otherwise, an employer in this circumstance would be free to demote you, despite the demotion being extremely unfair.

If you have any questions or concerns whatsoever regarding my answer, please do not hesitate to ask for clarification. I'm so sorry that I could not provide you with better news.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the very best of luck. Bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Please abide by the honor code of this website by kindly clicking on the GREEN ACCEPT button if my answer has been helpful to you. Thank you very much.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6742
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much for clarifying that question for me. i was not aware of the details in which an "at will" associate meant. I do have another question? I've been employed with this company since 1995 originally it was Lucky supermarket.....then Albertsons.......now save mart.... since 95 up until the 1-28 I have worked anywhere from 8-10 to 12-18 hrs. or more a week of free time and was never compensated for any of it. I even worked a 23.5 hr. day once and was only paid for 8. this took place the week of 5-21-04. As a matter of fact if anyone reviewed the cameras at work you will see me arrive at 7:00am and leave for the night at 12:05 am on 1-13-12. I was only paid for 8 hrs. One of the reasons for me getting demoted was, the free timing is against policy, when in fact the same manager who accused me of these things openly told all the dept. heads in my store at our weekly sales meeting that only him and I were allowed to be there on our own time.He's off at 5pm and he stays at work until 10-11pm every night!! Yet I get the demotion. Because let's be real, the amount of work that is expected of us Mgr.'s is nowhere in the realm of possibly being completed in the time frame given. This has went on for years. That's not my concern. My concern is ......isn't there a law regarding labor per salaried associate's that even after so much time worked in a day or a week we are entitled to some overtime? I've been an employee for 17 years, out of those 17 I have been in mgt. 14 of them. I have been a salary associate for the last 8 years, I have never been compensated once for overtime or have I gotten a raise lover the last 4.5 years.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much for your followup, and I'm so happy that you found my initial answer helpful.

Salaried employees are entitled to overtime unless they fall into one of the few categories of "overtime exempt" employees. Exemptions are provided for certain managerial employees, administrative employees, and professional employees, for example. For more information regarding the exemptions to overtime, read this guide: http://www.las-elc.org/factsheets/exemptions.pdf

ALL salaried employees must receive a salary that amount to twice the minimum wage ($8/hr) for all hours worked.

So, unless an employee falls within one of the few exemptions from overtime and makes a salary twice the minimum wage for all hours worked, he or she would be entitled to overtime for all hours worked in excess of 8 per day or 40 per week. Provided an employer complies with these rules, they may require employees to work as many hours as they'd like.

I hope this helps clarify and I wish you the very best.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • LawTalk

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    912
    I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    912
    I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    827
    JD, 16 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PI/PIExpert/2012-7-1_152453_Attorney.64x64.jpg Brandon, Esq.'s Avatar

    Brandon, Esq.

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    320
    Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/phoenixrising119/2012-7-26_11214_043.64x64.jpg melissamesq's Avatar

    melissamesq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    47
    Represent clients to maximum recovery in employment cases.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IG/Iggy1001/2013-11-20_23344_JApic.64x64.jpg Joseph's Avatar

    Joseph

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    3098
    Extensive experience representing employees and management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JK/jkiani22/2013-11-18_15348_JacobKiani1copy2.64x64.jpg jkiani22's Avatar

    jkiani22

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    20
    Attorney
  • /img/opt/shirt.png Legal Counsel's Avatar

    Legal Counsel

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    32
    California Licensed Attorney- 29 years- Wages, Hours, Overtime, Discrimination, Wrongful Termination.
 
 
 

Related California Employment Law Questions