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 Tina Your Own Question
Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33166
Experience:  JD, 17 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
Type Your California Employment Law Question Here...
Tina is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am a manager, and my direct reports have asked me to violate

Customer Question

I am a manager, and my direct reports have asked me to violate our contract with the customer multiple times. What are my options
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Tina replied 3 years ago.
Hello and welcome,

In what way have you been asked to violate the customer's contract? Has the employer provided an ultimatum that you violate it or be disciplined or terminated? Would it involve engaging in illegal conduct?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We are grossly understaffed and the contract specifies a specific staffing levels for specific individuals. If we cannot maintain this, we must notify in writing. I was demanded by mananager two levels above me to change a contractual individual without notification. My direct report said we don't need to meet the contractual obligations because, "they don't keep track of that anyway". The reality of this situation is that my managers cannot staff this program, and don't want the customer to know this. I am extremely uncomfortable to be in this position because I am the program manager, and the one that is responsible.

Expert:  Tina replied 3 years ago.
I see. I certainly understand your hesitation in complying with such a demand as your reputation may be on the line.

State law typically does protect employees from retaliation who refuse to engage in unlawful conduct and a clear breach of contract would arguably involve unlawful conduct.

However, you would need proof that the demand is being made of you, so it is important to gather an preserve any such evidence, so that if the employer does retaliate, you can prove your case for lost wages and benefits.

If you wish to prevent retaliation altogether, it would be best to retain a local employment law attorney to communicate with the employer on your behalf, informing them of your legal rights and attempting to resolve the situation without having to resort to legal action, as that would not be anyone's best interests if it can be avoided.

Here is a link that summarizes state law on this issue:

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 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,


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

Expert:  Tina replied 3 years ago.
Hello again,

I wanted to thank you for using JustAnswer, and to inquire whether my answer was helpful in clarifying your understanding of the law.
Is there anything else that I can assist you with? If not, would you please take a moment to rate my service to you highly, so I will be compensated for my time? If you do not, the site may keep your entire deposit and I receive nothing for having provided this service to you.
Also, please feel free to bookmark my profile if you have legal questions in the future using the following link:
Thank you very much and take care.

Related California Employment Law Questions