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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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My wife works for Louis Vuitton Manufacturing at their plant

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My wife works for Louis Vuitton Manufacturing at their plant in Irwindale CA, Known as SD-2. The main mfg plant is in San Dimas and is referred to as SD-1. Anyway approximately a week ago my wife came home and told me that next week she would be attending a 3 day training session out of town. When I asked her where she told me it was a surprise and they would not tell them until they got to the destination. I Told my wife that this was unacceptable and that if she did not provide me with a complete itinerary should would not have my blessing to go. Wed morning came for her to leave and the only thing that she could tell me was they were flying to san francisco and then going to Napa.
Who the heck takes all of their supervisors out of 2 plants and sends them hundreds of miles away for training. Someone who wants to go to a Napa resort is who. I am sure this training could have been done locally not interrupting 13 families lives. And why would you take 13 coed supervisors to the wine country isnt that supposed to be romantic. They eat 7 course meals and are provided Alciohol. It does not make any sense to me.
Anyway the reason that I am affected by this so much is that I am permanently disabled due to a failed spinal fusion, I am an intractacle pain patient on a high opiod maintainence schedule. The back problems have lead to severe depression and severe anxiety attacks. I take 4mg of Zanaz daily to keep me from shaking. Since my wife left I have had to double the dose and it is not as evvective as tha half dose, I can drive and have some good days and a good day still means pain with every step, a bad day is not being able to make it up the steps to the second level and being stranded on the first level. Along with the back problems comes impotence from time to time, so a man in my conditionmight worry more about his wife being unfaithful due to his inability to satisfy her needs at times. I am sorry to be rambling on with the background. Here is a question:

Is it acceptable for a company to tell a lower level supervisor, these are not managers, that they are going to be going on a three day trip and then refuse to tell them where they are going until at which time they show up to leave. I know that many other people were angry. In my opinion it is unacceptable even if not by law but by common decency. Peoople are jeouleous by nature and people are going to fight about this. I will not speak to my wife and am considering separating over this incident. But if that does not happen I want to make sure that this does not happen again. The only way that is gonna happen unless they get slapped on the hand. A lawsuit or just a strongly worded letter you guys are the experts. Who knows maybe it is perfectly acceptable by law for them to do this. Now you know why the purses are so expensive cause they spend (waste) money faster than I could burn it.
Thank you in advance for any help you can provide, it is a wonderful thing to feel all of the symptoms of a heart attack (uncomfortable) but I know it is just Anxiety
Dale G. Rice
Hello Dale,

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

Unfortunately, it is perfectly legal and acceptable for an employer to inform his or her employees that they are going on a trip, but not to disclose the specifics of where they are going.

At-will employers have a huge amount of discretion when it comes to scheduling activities for their employees, and as long as the employees are compensated, the employer can schedule these kinds of activities without disclosing all details.

This stems from the employment at-will doctrine, which is codified in California Labor Code Section 2922, and states:

"An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a specified term means an employment for a period greater than one month."Also, what you are dscribing sounds like more of a 'retreat' than a training exercise, which is typically done to build connections and community between employees by taking them to a vacation-like spot.

I understand your frustation, but this is not an unusual practice, especially among large companies (fashion especially) like Louis Vuitton.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate a direct and honest answer to your question.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I an curious where you classifying her as an at will employee. I just want to make sure I am understanding. She has worked there 10 years and is a valued supervisor. I do knowwhat you mean by at will employment can be terminated wthout cause etc.

I am digging here but nothing in the ADA Act that makes exceptions for employee who has spouse that requires help is not totally self sufficient. For example if I have to prepare my own meals I do not eat, cannot stand long enough to cook anything without generating pain eliminating the appetite. As a result I go days without eating, I have to eat a decent diet I cannot go out and get fast food and crap like that. Anyway I thought there might be an exception in the ADA act

All employees are at-will employees unless they are members of a union or have an employment contract with their employer.

Even though your wife has worked there as a valued supervisor for 10 years, unless she is unionized or has an employment contract with her employer, she is an at-will employee.

No, unfortunately both the ADA and Fair Employment and Housing Act only cover employees with disabilities, they do not provide accomodations for employees whose spouses have disabilities. There is no exception to that. However, your wife can always apply for, and receive, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act in order to assist you in your daily functioning, including eating.
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