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 Joseph Your Own Question

Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4830
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
Type Your California Employment Law Question Here...
Joseph is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

In California is it lawful for a supervisor to discipline a

Resolved Question:

In California is it lawful for a supervisor to discipline a worker even when they know they were breaking a Standard Operating Procedure by following their order and forwarned their boss to take a more safe procedure? My boss told me to fill a tanker trailer with Sulfuric Acid to 400 gallons over procedure thus causing the tanker to almost overflow. (nothing in procedure against this) I stopped the load prior to overfilling and only lost 1 to 2 gallons out of the loading spout (normal for this to drain and procedure doesn't exactly specify the quantitity to report to Ops. Super.)which was easily diluted with water. I explained to them I didn't report it because the procedure doesn't specify the amount so being when we change weak acid filters (5% acid content) we drain that much and believed that much as common practice. I also informed them that other employees have overflowed similar vessels with over 25 gallons of 99% Sulfuric Acid and got no suspension or even a written warning. I found this to be nothing more than malice and shift blaming. I was put on suspension till further notice but a few weeks ago put back to work. I believe they were trying to block my grievence for not getting promoted.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Fran-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I’m a moderator for this topic and I wonder whether you’re still waiting for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will do my best to find a professional to assist you right away. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you. Thank you!
Expert:  Joseph replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

In the normal employment at-will context, it would be legal for an employer to discipline an employee for this reason, since an employer can discipline an employee at any time for any reason with or without prior notice.

However, as a union represented employee, you have additional rights, which you are rightfully pursuing through the grievance process.

In addition to the grievance, I would also suggest that you file an OSHA claim about the violation of the operating procedure.

You can file an OSHA claim using the insturctions available online here:

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/Complaint.htm

If you were terminated due to your complaint regarding the violation of Standard Operating PRocedure, you would also have a cause of action for wrongful termination in violation of public policy.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Joseph,


 


Isn't there a law against causing a worker to do wrong? In this case I forewarned my boss and he could have created a serious hazard. When a near miss is written, the root cause is investigated and corrected in hopes of avoiding the problem in the future. Are you saying in an another example that if my employer told me to endanger my co-worker by doing an unsafe act I could still get written up for it and lose my job? I say that because what he told me to do was "at risk" behavior. I don't understand there to be any validity of what you conveyed to me. Seeing OSHA yes but the other no.


 


Thanks,


 


Alvin

Expert:  Joseph replied 2 years ago.
Yes, it is a violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act to cause an employer to do something that violates safety standards in the industry.

If you were to be disciplined or terminated for this, you would have a cause of action for 'whistleblowing' or wrongful termination in violation of public policy.

I'm not sure what you mean by there being no validity to what I conveyed to you. I'm conveying the law to you, not what I'd want the law to be.

I understand your frustration, but my job here is to inform you about the status of the law.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Joseph,


 


Your last reply became more clear about OSHA. Would reporting to them be more of a deterrant for future retaliation and would it possibly effect the present outcome? Legally speaking?


Please accept my apology with the "validity" uncetainty I wasn't sure if you understood the circumstance. You did expound more about OSHA after I said that which penetrated my thinking better. The law isn't perfect in everyone's way of thinking so it takes a pry bar to break away layers of bent up pride or frustration to arrive at truth.


 


Thanks,


 


Alvin

Expert:  Joseph replied 2 years ago.
Reporting them would primarily be a deterrant against future retaliation, but it would also strengthen your current case for 'whistleblower' retaliation, since there would be concrete proof that you did report the safety violation to OSHA.

Reporting the violation to an outside entity in addition to your employer would help demonstrate your concern about the safety issues and that you were unfailry disciplined for making your concern known.

No worries about the 'validity' comment.
Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4830
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and 2 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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.