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Brandon, Esq.
Brandon, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
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I have a dispute with my employer involving the discrimination

Resolved Question:

I have a dispute with my employer involving the discrimination of a union representative (me). There was a layoff this past July of 8 employees all from the night shift. The company moved the three least senior people from a specific bid, not overall seniority, onto nights. As a day shift union steward, I felt they unjustly displaced me when the contract clearly states the company will displace other employees before stewards. That issue is in the grievance process with the union and company are dragging their feet to get it resolved. A few days after our meeting with the Operations Manager about the issue the company informed me that I was to be suspended for three days pending termination for attendance issues. I feel this was retaliation for filing my grievance, because I was well within the guidelines of the contract for reporting off work when they said I violated it. With the initial harassment and discrimination from the company displacing me and the later retaliation for standing up for my rights, I was wondering if there was anything I could do to get some monetary compensation for their inappropriate actions towards me.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Brandon, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Employment-LawExpert :

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Employment-LawExpert :

Welcome to the chat.

Customer:

Hello

Employment-LawExpert :

California is an at will employment state. This means that your employer is allowed to terminate your employment or give you bad reviews for any reason that does not violate your civil rights or is in breach of contract. Thus, because they displaced you as a steward prior to other people in breach of your contract, you may have good grounds to point to discrimination.

Employment-LawExpert :

Have you actually been terminated, or are they just threatening it at this point?

Customer:

We pointed out to them their lack of grounds for the suspension and they retracted it

Employment-LawExpert :

The legal standard is that you have to exhaust your administrative remedies first unless they engage in any adverse employment action related to a protected category, such as your age (40 or older), gender, race, religion, national origin, creed, or disability then the termination would be deemed wrongful and you would have a cause of action.

Employment-LawExpert :

or the harassment

Employment-LawExpert :

Unless you can point to one of these categories, then because they retracted it, there may not be much you can do.

Employment-LawExpert :

However, if you can associate their behavior with one of these categories, then you may have a cause of action.

Employment-LawExpert :

Does this make sense?

Customer:

Yes

Customer:

So the issue of them violating my rights in the contract itself isn't grounds for legal action?

Employment-LawExpert :

It would be under a breach of contract issue if you had exhausted your administrative remedies and there was a negative end result. My understanding from what you have told me is that they rescinded their suspension. If you ended up being financially harmed as a result, then you would have a cause of action against them

Customer:

The suspension yes, but they have yet to place me back on my rightful shift, which is possibly neglecting me from overtime

Employment-LawExpert :

There could be grounds to sue on a public policy argument. While California usually only allows this argument to exist for litigation that is filed, other states have argued that such discrimination based on retaliation could be actionable. If you can point to a financial loss, you should consider speaking to an employment attorney in your area. if you decide to hire an attorney, a great resource is www.Martindale.com. This is a nationwide directory that is useful in finding highly qualified legal specialists in various fields of law. The lawyers in Martindale are not selected because they paid to be included, but rather because they have been rated by other attorneys as qualified experts in their field. Consider consulting with two or three different attorneys prior to selecting the one you feel most comfortable with.

Employment-LawExpert :

However, make sure that the attorney will give you a free consultation, as this argument will be relatively hard to make, (though not impossible)

Customer:

Alright, thank you for the information

Employment-LawExpert :

Not a problem. I hope I have provided you excellent service. Before you go, please do not forget to take the time to rate my answer as one of the top three faces/stars as this is how I receive credit for my time with you.

Customer:

Will do, have a good day

Brandon, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 1753
Experience: Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
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