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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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Thanks for any light you can shed on this case, which is an

Customer Question

Thanks for any light you can shed on this case, which is an unusual one, thus the problem finding a lawyer with any experience in this area. What type of cases have you represented that have elements of this case? Since you are a good communicator and the only Just Answer lawyer I've talked to so far I'll take any knowledge - experience you have relative to various aspects of this case. One thing that has been a pattern in this case is that I have been told from the beginning, especially by my union rep and then my manager at work that it is just about hopeless to pursue any justice or financial damage recovery in this case so give up--yet I keep winning little victories every step of the way, leading up to the $4,500 back pay I was awarded by the Board of Adjustment ruling a few months ago. The HR director took two weeks longer to cut the check than allowed by our union rules, yet another violation of our union contract. His excuse was that the paperwork got lost on his cluttered desk somewhere. It seems to me a loss of a $4,500 check on one's desk for 2 weeks indicates either a very disorganized HR director or one reluctant to admit defeat and pay off, which would contribute to the unfair stereotype perpetuated by the comic strip Dilbert of the "evil HR Director." I'm afraid that every time the HR Director has had to explain himself in this case, actually during 5 meetings, including 2 Board of Adjustments, he has made no sense to me, yet no one at the meetings working in HR or my manager will dare criticize him because management at this company must stick together or face being fired at worst or being considered disloyal at least. At least I have a union to protect me up to a point, unlike management, although my two union reps took the side of the SAP since they are friends with her and pay her salary, which is somewhat of a conflict of interest. If the SAP looks bad then so do they, ironically, so I'm really on my own as far as advocacy in this case. The union rep directly assigned to me was party to a violation of confidentiality with the SAP in my case when the SAP gave him information the MRO gave her. When I questioned him on this obvious violation he excused it by saying "what's the difference? since I am talking about the case with some co-workers." I told him I could discuss my case with anyone but the SAP needed specific written permission to reveal confidential information to him per DOT regs. At the next meeting the SAP had me sign such waivers of confidentiality with the union rep. "A little late," I commented to them as I signed the forms. Later I asked the union rep if he would be willing to testify in court about the SAP violating confidentiality with him since it would help my malpractice case? He said he would not recall any such conversation violating confidentiality. I added that what if I illegally recorded all important conversations in this case since I'm dealing with such devious characters with selectively poor memories and I could refresh his memory before his testimony? He said it would be illegal to surreptitiously record conversations and he would not remember his memory being refreshed. I replied that I did well at the police academy in evidence class and knew California was a 2 party state with regard to awareness of recorded conversations thus indeed it was an illegally recorded conversations just for my personal notes and destined to be eventually erased but that if it helped him remember important conversations with the SAP I would not erase it right away for his benefit. He has been more careful what he says to me when reluctantly defending me ever since even when I told him I might have just been kidding about recording all important conversations in this very important case. Then there was when the union rep said he would talk to the union boss who pays the salary of the SAP to be our "independent contractor" about telling the SAP to moderate her absurd non-DOT non-SAP recommendation of 6 months inpatient in view of the MRO reversal from positive to negative. I warned the union rep to tell the union boss to be careful how he worded his advocacy in my favor with the SAP as it could be interpreted by a judge to be conflict of interest or improper influence from a non-medical source to a medical decision, so be careful treading here. He said they would find the right words. Sure enough the SAP changed her recommendation from 6 months inpatient to 6 months outpatient, which I still disagreed with but thought it going the right direction toward rational behavior since it had been over a year and a half since my last opioid pain medication and I was probably detoxed no matter how slow my metabolism. I'll take a break now, but I would like to know what kind of labor law you have experience representing. Anything similar to elements of my case? I still have the unresolved issue of unlawful termination hanging there.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Fran-mod replied 2 years ago.

I'm Fran, and I’m a moderator for this topic.

We have been working with the professionals to try to help you with your question. Sometimes it may take a bit of time to find the right fit. I was checking to see if you had already found your answer or if you still needing assistance from one of the professionals.

Please let me know if you wish to continue waiting or if you would like for us to close your question.Also remember that JustAnswer has a multitude of categories to help you with all your needs from Health, Pets, Computers, Cars, Finance, Law, to Home Improvement, and more.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The notification says my expert replied and needs more info. Where can I find his reply?

Expert:  Joseph replied 2 years ago.
As far as malpractice attorneys go, you would really be best served by speaking to one who is local to you. (There's a personal injury category here though if you want to speak to another attorney on JustAnswer, but no JustAnswer attorney can represent you or give you legal advice).

I can also not make specific recommendations, but here are a few starting points to begin your search:

(While the extensive detail you've given me is interesting, I don't think I can be of any further assistance to you at this point, unless you have particular legal questions for me to address). At this point, it's best to go forth and try to find an attorney to represent you.

As far as the issue you raised earlier regarding your certified mail request to the SAP, your SAP and employer are only obligated to give you copies of the reports the SAP made to your employer. The SAP is not 'your' doctor (psychologist), so she is not obligated to give you her entire file to you (as your doctor would under California law), including the notes. (And frankly, I can see why she wouldn't be enthusiastic about disclosing information to you, knowing that you have a personal vendetta against her, and are trying to use this information to file complaints and suit against her). This is because she is evaluating you on behalf of the DOT, she is not your private medical doctor, where patient-doctor confidentiality, etc. would apply.

In fact, it's quite the opposite, since she is meant to disclose her findings to other parties, the DOT and your employer, and only need disclose the reports (not her notes, not the contents of your entire file) to you if you make a specific request.

If you haven't already done so, if you believe she's violated the DOT regulations, you should contact the Office of Drug and Alcohol Compliance, which you can find here (they're the appropriate regulatory body to contact with your complaints):

I’d also suggest you stop recording conversations illegally, if you are doing so. While it’s unlikely, if you’re admitting doing this, you could theoretically be charged with a misdemeanor.
I don’t think I can help you any further, and you really need to direct these detailed conversations toward your attorney (which I'm not), since I can only answer specific legal questions you pose, and can’t discuss your case in that level of detail.
Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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