California Employment Law
California Employment Law Questions Answered by Legal Experts
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the suspension was utilized upon investigation. i have nothing that shows an investigation was done. the manager stated his claims as the basis for termination. no investigation was performed.
Do you have any reason to believe you may have been discriminated against on the basis of your race, age (40 or older), gender, disability, or other protected status?
My termination letter states: the reason for my termination is Misconduct and/or Violation of Company Policy, and Falsification of Company Records.
Specifically, per the termination letter, I was placed on suspension pending an investigation reagarding the fact that you left the depot with your spouce to check into a hotel and dinner. You returned to work to finish out your day a few hours later in what I observed to be an impaired state. When I asked you about your demeanor when you returned, you admitted to me that you had consumed alcohol. During our conversation and upon my observations of you at that time, it was apparent to me that you were under the influence of alcohol.
My suspension notice states: I am on unpaid suspension - pending the outcome of an internal investigation. Details / Policy Procedure violated: Alcohol use while on duty Violation of Company Policy in Handbook #14A. Dennis admitted to me that he had a beer when he went out with his wife for dinner tonight. He parked the truck (company truck) on the lot (company lot) and took his personal vehicle to the establishment and drank 1 beer while there. He returned to work at 1040pm to finish his paperwork and deposti when I smelt (the actual spelling) alcohol on his breath. He admitted to having a beer and wanted to finish his work.
I disputed in my suspension statement, and, to HR 3 days later when I had not heard back from my manager:
1. I volunteered to have a blood test performed by the Fremont CA Police Department, but was denied by my manager. I admitted to having a beer during the dinner with my wife, but in no way was impaired or beligerant as he alledged.
2. A search of the company truck revealed no alcohol.
3. I was asked by the manager to search my truck on the company premises. I advised my manager that he was in violation of the illegal search, privacy, and that he needed cause, the police or a search warrant. He denied this and I opened my vehicle and showed all contents - again no alcohol.
4. After signing the suspension, I was informed by the manager that the police would be called IF I left the company premises in my personal vehicle .. I called the Fremont Police Department to ask my rights - they recorded the conversation, and advised that they had no jurisdiction over a civil or employee/employee issue. If I left the company premises and happened to be pulled over, I might be subject to the alcohol test. I have witnesses in the depot office to my conversation as well.
5. I decided not to drive and fight that battle later, and informed my manager that I would leave the company premises by walking. He informed me that I would be fired for leaving the company by walking allowing me the only option of getting a ride from him, or, by taxi (which I paid 1 hour later). As I waited off company premises for the taxi, my manager came out two times to verify I was still waiting.
I feel that I was:
1. Accused unjustly of being under the influence because 1) I wasnt under the influence and have witnesses as I was being interrogated by my manager in his office), there was no evidence of beer on my person or in the company truck or my personal vehicle. I demanded a blood alcohol test, offered to pay for it myself - but was denied this possible proof.
2. My reputation was damaged in the Monday morning meeting as he told the entire sales group that drinking on the job was prohibited. He did not specifically mention me, but all those in attendance on Monday was in the office Friday night when I was being interrogated. I confirmed with two of my counterparts that this meeting occurred and that they all knew it was about me.
3. My personal vehicle was inspected by my manager without warrant or cause or witnessed by the police. I advised my manager that this was not legal.
4. I was held against my will by my manager to leave the company premises. I was distressed.
5. I had to walk/run 6 miles from the motel back to the office the next morning to get my truck so I could watch my #1 pitcher in the baseball league son play his final championship game 2 hours away. I missed most of the game causing more distress. As I came to the office that morning, my manager was outside smoking - he and I saw each other but did not acknowledge each other. I was told the night before that he would have a response back from HR or his direct manager about the results of the suspension that Saturday or Monday. Nothing until Wednesday - days later.
6. In my email to HR on the Wednesday following, I asked the results of the suspension, and re-sent the suspension letter and my statement to the corporate HR who "supposedly" had not seen any of it, and claimed to not have known anything. If this is the case, how was a proper investigation performed to have justified the termination as of that same Wednesday? I was lied to by HR as well.
7. I am 57 years old and have had two prior conversations with my manager about his contempt for me and his confirmation that he was not "trying to get rid of me". However, on more than 2 ride-alongs (he had to ride with me to qualify me to drive the company truck and to represent myself correctly to the outside customers), he openly and blatantly discussed his other employees in foul language and openly admitted he was trying to fire other employees. I claimed to HR that he has no "respect for the individual" - a core competency of many large companies. I have witnesses to his discriminatory comments in the office about other employees and customers. In fact, one of my older customers in Salinas has cancer and is undergoing chemo. She has had problems with the company in her orders and rewards in the past. During my first servicing of her, I called to my manager and he told me (without witnesses) to tell her to f' herself and get the hxxx out of there - screw her. This is not customer service advice and put me in a very uncomfortable position. I did eventually solve the customer' problems and turned her into a friend and very good customer in spite of my manager.
I want my Termination Letter to not show Misconduct as the reason for termination, and, I want my Manager' actions to not go unpunished.
2. A search of the company truck revealed no alcohol.
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thanks for explaining this ... i need the advice and would appreciate the continued research.
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