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Tina
Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33166
Experience:  JD, 17 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
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A person I know contacted their employer and took leave to

This answer was rated:

A person I know contacted their employer and took leave to enter a detox facility. Subsequently, that supervisor contacted one of his customers (he is in Sales) and told the customer that he (the employee) was a drunk, called her drunk and was a terrible salesperson. Is that legal?

Hello and welcome,

No, this would typically be a violation of the ADA, disclosing the employee's personal medical information. When an employee takes leave to rehabilitate from an addiction disorder, the ADA typically protects the employee from retaliation by the employer, so this could be viewed not only as an improper disclosure of the employee's medical information, but also retaliation because of the employee's disability. The FMLA would typically protect the employee from retaliation as well if the employee is on FMLA leave.

Your friend should contact a local employment law attorney to guide them further. A complaint should normally be filed with the employer's HR department with regard to the employer's conduct and if the matter is not promptly resolved, a charge of discrimination should be filed with the state Fair Employment and Housing Commission.

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Thank you very much and all the best to you,

Tina

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so very much. Any idea what kind of resolution he could expect? The fear is he will be ruined in the industry. He is also likely going to get fired shortly after returning to work....

Hello again, Michelle.

A fair resolution would depend on all of the circumstances. The employer could contact the customer, retract their statement and apologize, indicating that the employee is not a "drunk" and has been a loyal worker.

That may be enough to put this matter to rest, as it would not typically be worth pursuing compensation for the employee if the employer is willing to promptly rectify the situation, as pursuing a claim against the employer can be expensive and stressful for the employee, which they probably don't need at this point.


It has been my pleasure to assist you. Please remember to press the smiley faces/stars on the right of your screen when we are finished with our communication so I will be credited for my time.

Kindly remember to ONLY rate my answer when you are fully satisfied. If you feel the need to rate anything less than OK, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY TO EXPERT or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will be happy to continue further and assist you until I am able to explain your concern to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to you or not, so please don’t shoot the messenger.

Thank you very much and all the best to you,

Tina

Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have:

http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-tina/

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