California Employment Law
Have California Employment Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer.
Hello and thank you for your question today. Are you online with me?
Welcome to the chat
First, let me say that I am terribly sorry to hear that you are in this situation.
Thank you. I didnt know what else to do
In regards XXXXX XXXXX law, there are two separate issues here. The two issues are your rights as an employee, and your rights as an individual
You definitely came to the right place to get started
First, let me talk to you about your rights as an individual (not an employee)
Though it appears you are typing so I will let you finish before I continue
I know this is unnaceptable and when I called the nice owner he just told me to go home and he would come in and handle it. I heard from other employees that they are both still sitting at a table together and this happened hours ago
sorry go ahead
I just feel like I have put my heart and soul into that place and no one has my back :(
No, please do not be sorry, your input is important and additional facts may give me more information to work with as it applies to your case
am I being charged by the minute? do you know
You are not being charged by the minute.
You pay a one time fee to the website
If you feel that I have provided you excellent service at the end of our conversation, you have a choice of providing me a rating
also some of the altercation is on video and there were several whitnesess
If you do so, then I will be compensated for my time with you. However, lets worry about that once we have talked more
ok yes I will say you are the best, please tell me what to do
ok I appreciate it
Okay, before I start I would like to know. Did you at any point believe that your life was in danger during the events that took place?
Also, do you feel that your life would be in danger if you went back?
I was just so scared.... I thought there was a possiblilty that he was going to hit me. he was piunching walls and tables. He kicked a chair
oh and he said because I talked back to him that I was fired
look a bit of back story. Owner B had a GM and they were thought to be stealing money together. So they both were removed from the store and I was appointed GM! which was 4 months ago. Ever since they have been mulishes and spitfull towards me and slandering my name just stupid drama
Do you have an employment contract stating that you can be fired for cause, or are you part of a union?
Ever since I have been workin with owner A everyday. Owner B and the the old GM would not help me do anything or even communicate with me. They have been sabatoging our establiosment since they left
Iam not sure if I have a contract like that. I can find out
Okay, regarding your personal rights, you have a claim for assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) against owner B.
If you wanted to, you could bring a claim against him in a court of competent jurisdiction by yourself, or with the help of an attorney. 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.
ok. Should I call the police? I really dont want to look like an idiot if I happen to lose my job and then it comes out that I should have called the police today.
You could make a formal police report, but because it is no longer happening, a police report will not help very much.
does that claim bring criminal punishment or does it involve sueing for money>
ok I just want to be sure on the police part. I have heard it on "cops" (tv show) a thousand times.
"ma'am... Did you did you file a police report"
There are criminal charges and civil charges.
The criminal charges would help you get a restraining order against this individual
If you would like to do this, then the police report would be an essential first step. However, you would realistically only be allowed to get a TRO after a second occurence. More importantly, because he is the owner it would be difficult to get a TRO for his place of business
If the police could show up now and observe certain things showing what he had done, it could be useful in a civil case
However, from what you have described, it sounds like the only thing they would be able to do is take statements from the employees there
Criminal charges place him in jail. Civil charges compensate you monetarily for what has happened.
are you still here?
oh sorry I just saw this
ok so I just start by finding a lawyer and file a claim for assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) against owner B?
If you would like to, yes. You can go to Martindale.com and find an attorney willing to take a case like this on cotingency.
This means that you will pay nothing out of pocket
If the attorney wants to charge you a consultation fee, then you would hang up and call the next attorney on the list.
ok. Now what about if I some how get fired or released.... Can I file a wrongful termination suit? or something along those lines?
ok if they ask for a retainer... hung up.. lol thank you
Okay, now I will talk to you about the employment side of what has happened
thank you so much
I already feel so much better speaking to you
Wrongful termination, or a hostile work environment are things people constantly see on television or hear about from friends
I am glad that I have been able to help so far. It is always nice to know that I have left someone feeling better than when we first speak
Unfortunately, wrongful termination (and hostile work environment) are terms reserved for protected classes under your civil rights
so if I get terminated or "fired" for no reason... Meaning I do an awesome job and they just let me go for there own personal reasons.... oh well for me?
This would be something like your age (40 or older), gender, race, religion, genetic information, pregnancy, national origin, creed, or disability. First, it sounds like owner A has told you that you are not fired, so that may make you feel a little better about this. Second, California is an at will employment state. This means that they can fire you for any reason that they want unless it violates one of your civil rights (mentioned above)
ughhhhhh good ol' california lol
This is why I asked you if you had an employment contract.
If you do, and you were fired, then you would have a cause of action for breach of contract
so I just want to do the right thing.... meaning stick it to this "big tough guy" as best I can. Since you an I both know I cannot continue to work there under conditions like this
no contract. If anything I signed a paper upon hiring that states they can fire me for any reason
So, there are a few things to consider here. If you honestly feel that you cannot work there anymore, then you have good grounds to file for unemployment now because he said you were fired.
More importantly, you were fired without cause.
However, if you quit, then you will not receive benefits
Does that make sense?
yes it does
That being said, if you want to continue working there, and file a claim against owner B, then your job would be protected as they cannot retaliate against you for filing a claim against owner B
However, if you like your job otherwise, then you may want to consider what you want to do as Owner A seems to be on your side.
so the claim goes against owner B or the restaurant?
and what happens of owner B is broke and has nothing?
The claim would be against owner B, however, because owner B has an interest in the restaurant you could go after the interest in the restaurant
Owner B has an interest in the restaurant
oh ok I understand
However, if he declares bankruptcy and actually has nothing, then there is an old saying in the legal profession. "You can't get blood from a turnip" This means that if he is insolvent, and has no way of paying you, and if he declares bankruptcy, then unfortunately you would not be able to collect
But again, from what you have said he has an ownership interest
ok I get it
well they say he is an Owner...
but I havent seen the paperwork
He is likely the owner
That is not something people tend to lie about
should I say anything to owner A or should I just start the paper work
cause I want to be protected if I file
So, while I cannot tell you what to do in this situation, you definitely have the right to bring a claim against him if you were in fact afraid that he was going to hit you, and a reasonable person in your situation would have thought the same. That is entirely up to you. I would definitely call a few attorneys tomorrow before talking to Owner A. Also, this will allow you to sleep on it so that you can decide if you want to keep this job or not
youre amazing. So if I put that you were excellent... do I only get charged one time?
Yes, that is correct
ok thank you
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).