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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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I work at Starbucks and have a new manager who, I believe and

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I work at Starbucks and have a new manager who, I believe and several of my co-workers believe are discriminating against me due to my age and also setting me up so that he can write me up for money handling, which he has already written me up for one time. He has clocked me out after I left work because he did not give me a break, which I know is against SB policy and against, what I understand of CA labor laws. I also feel that there are issues of harassment going on as he forced me out on medical leave for unnecessary reasons that he chose to make into something. I have been out of work for 2 weeks due to him deciding I needed to be out on 'medical leave' and being very sly in his tactics to get it to happen. As well as going out on medical leave, I was going to have to go on workman's comp., that would open up a whole new can of worms. I absolutely do not want to go on workman's comp. and then come to find out I don't qualify for family medical leave through SB currently due to a change in their policy as of Oct. 2012. All of this because of a new manager that is arrogant and thinks he can push people around and kick anyone he wants out, regardless of their age, if they are gay, yes, he is doing similar things to a couple of young men in the store that are gay. This is just what is going on in a nut shell, and I am sorry it is so long.
I do hope someone can help me and give me some guidance.
Thank you.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

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

I have a few questions that I need you to answer for me before I can provide you with a good thorough ansewr to your question.

Do you have any specific examples or instances where age discrimination has occured. (For instance, derogatory comments made about the elderly in general or you in particular?)

What type of medical leave is he forcing you into? Is it due to a medical condition and/or a disability that occured due to work?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The injury that occurred initially was a fall that happened at work at a previous SB I worked at in Menifee, CA. I tripped over a plastic RTD box, which the sandwiches are delivered in at night, that someone had put in the middle of the back room where it should not have been. I was rushing to get something in the back room and turned around and fell over it. I landed hard on both knees. There was an accident report filed that stated the above, but it stated that I fell hard on my right knee. When my assistant manager asked me I said my specifically my right knee because in Nov. 2011 I had had a knee replacement on my right knee and i was worried about that being damaged. There was another co-worker that witnessed me falling and he is mentioned in the accident report. That being said.... I transferred to my new store in Mission Viejo, had a very nice manager all along at my Menifee and Mission Viejo store when I had to kneel down on the ground, which was seldom, I would ask someone if they could get whatever it was for me, or wipe up whatever for me, no big deal. This was never and issue and did not happen very often. Then, as I had said previously we got a new manager 4 weeks ago and things changed dramatically. Within the first week this new manager started bringing in partners, workers, from his old store in Ladera Ranch, to help out in our store, no one in our store knew why he was doing this. There was one guy in particular that seemed to be watching people for the manager to keep a close watch and tell the manager if anything was happening, for whatever that meant? I was wiping out a cabinet and when I was going to wipe out a bottom shelf there were a lot of items that needed to be taken out of the shelf in order to wipe it out. I asked another partner that was from another store, not Ladera, if he would mind wiping it for me because it was hard for me to kneel because i had torn meniscus. Right after I said that Jason, the borrowed partner from Ladera went back to Mark, the manager and told him that I had a torn meniscus and couldn't kneel. Then Mark called me back asked me about it, told me I had a restriction and I told him it was not a restriction and that if I had to kneel I would ask someone and they were more than happy to get whatever needed to be gotten and it was never a problem. He once again said it was a restriction and I said no, he was making it a restriction. He asked if I had a doctors not and I said I could get one, he said he needed it by Monday, this was Friday he was asking me. I told him I would get one. I called my doctors office got an appt. for the following Wed. and got the doc. note.

Let me know if you need more details on the medical issue. Sorry this is so long, but I didn't know how to condense it to give you the whole picture.


As far as age discrimination, I guess I don't have any particular "words" used, just the fact that he seems to be setting me up to be caught, along with one or two other ladies over 43, to write up and get us out of there. He will actually stand and lean up against the wall and just watch. And he has written me up for money handling issues two times which he has gone, I feel, out of his way to make them write ups.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I don't have rate your answer until we finish communicating, right? And you will reply to my reply to your response to your questions?

Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.

Hello Kathy,

Sorry, for the delayed response, but I had already retired for the night when your response came in.

If you believe that the write ups are being made due to discrimination based on your age, then you should file a complaint for age discrimination in violation of the Age Act Discrimination in Employment Act ("or ADEA") of Fair Employment and Housing , which you can do using the information online here:

You can also file a complaint for a hostile environment due to sexual orientation discrimination (even if you are straight) due to the hostility being directed against gay staff members in the workplace.

The DFEH will investigate your complaint and either file suit on your behalf or issue you a right to sue letter so you can pursue your claim against your employer through a private attorney.

Your employer is right that you should get a doctor's note regarding your injury. An employer is allowed to require you to get a doctor's note for any injury that causes restricted movement (including not being able to kneel). Otherwise, if you aggravate the injury the company could be liable. (Another reason to get workers' compensation coverage would be due to the potential of aggravation, which would be covered if the initial injury is).

I am not sure why you wouldn't want to get workers' compensation coverage. It would definitely not prevent you from working, since kneeling is not a fundamental part of the job, and you would receive medical coverage payments as well as potentially money for lost earnings and pain and suffering if you were to proceed.

You cannot be terminated in retaliation for a complaint, so you really would have nothing to worry about filing one.

(On a separate note, I was a Starbucks employee myself at one time. Unfortunately, I can see that the enjoyability of working there can be completely dependent on the manager of the store. I hope things work out, or, if not, that you or the manager are transferred so you can find a more peaceful workplace).


I hope the above information is helpful.


Please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work or ask me any follow up questions.


Also, please remember to rate me (very) highly when you receive your customer satisfaction survey, as high ratings ensure that I can continue to help customers like you on JustAnswer.


Thanks and best of luck!

Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
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