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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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What kind of recourse can my daughter get?

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My daughter worked for 7 years in a private prison in CA, with excellent reviews (she has copies). She decided to take a position in San Luis Obispo with the sheriff's department, thinking it would be a smart career move that would give her more chances to advance, as well as good pay and benefits. Within a month, she resigned in lieu of getting fired. She says one of her supervisors told her when she first got hired that he didn't think young, attractive women (which she is) belonged in the sheriff's department. She reported this conversation informally to her other supervisor, not wanting to be a difficult "newbie" and file anything formal. The first supervisor got called on the carpet; from that point on, he proceeded to make things as difficult for my daughter as possible, writing her up for every little thing, including the fact that one cuff of her uniform shirt was 1/4" longer than the other. He also insisted she go to work w/no makeup and wet hair so she wouldn't look so "feminine'. My daughter says what he did to her is known in the business as head-hunting.


Finally, with all those write-ups during her probationary period,  as well as the stress of working in such an unfriendly atmosphere with a boss who clearly wanted her gone, she was given the chance to resign or be fired and she chose resignation. That was months ago - she is now getting unemployment and trying to get hired on at other facilities -- she is getting no response. She does great on the written interviews and makes it to the orals, but once it gets to the point where they call SLO for background info, my daughter never hears from them again. Is there any way she can find out what exactly that supervisor said about her in his final paperwork, and what the San Luis Obispo HR department is telling people when they call asking questions about my daughter? Would it help her to get a lawyer? She realizes now that she should have gotten all that paperwork before she resigned, but she was so distraught she didn't think of it. Nothing like this has happened to her before. She really wants to make a new start somewhere else in the field of Corrections/Law Enforcement but feels certain that she is being "black-balled'.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!

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

My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

I need some additional information from you before I can provide a complete and thorough answer to your question.

Did your daughter make a complaint about sexual harassment and/or sex and gender discrimination, and then was retaliated as a result?

Can you tell me when this occurred?

Also, does your daughter believe that defamatory things are being said about her that are causing her not to be hired?
Hello Amy,

First, your daughter should file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing as it seems that there's evidence that she was discriminated against on the basis of sex and gender by her employer. Furthermore, she would have a claim for retaliation, since she was treated worse after she complained about this illegal treatment.

She can file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing using the information (including filing online) here:

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing will investigate her complaint on her behalf and either file suit on her behalf or issue her a right to sue letter so she can pursue her cause of action against her former employer through a private attorney.

Your daughter is entitled to view her employee file, and may do so upon request to the Sheriff's Department. She can request a copy of the file as well, but she may be required to pay for copying costs to receive it.

Unfortunately, short of having someone call the Sheriff's Department pretending to be a prospective employer, it would be difficult to find out what they are saying. If they are saying false statements of fact that would constitute defamation and she would have a cause of action against them for making false statements that are preventing her from getting a job with prospective employers.

Unless there's evidence to support a defamation case, and until she files a complaint with the DFEH, there's no need for an attorney and she should not waste her money on one. She should wait to get a right to sue letter and then try to find an attorney (best to get one who works on contingency probably) who could file suit for her based on gender/sex discrimination, retaliation, and defamation.

Since she seems like she'd be a sympathetic plaintiff, I imagine she'd have attorneys chomping at the bit to represent her (as long as the attorney isn't afraid of controversy and publicity in going up against the Sheriff's department).

I hope the above information is helpful.

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service.

Thanks and best of luck!
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hello Amy,

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions.

If not please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work.

Thanks and best of luck!
Hello Amy,

Thank you for your positive rating of my service and the generous bonus! It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope than you will ask for me on JustAnswer should you have future legal questions.

Please request me directly by placing “to Joseph” at the beginning of your question and/or requesting me directly in California Employment Law.

When you receive your Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, please do rate me highly (9-10) there as well. It benefits my ability to assist you and other customers, and would be tremendously appreciated.

Thanks again and best of luck,


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I passed all of your info along to my daughter and she is going to take action today. We both thank you for such a detailed, thoughtful response. In the future, whether with this situation or others, I will definitely request you. Thanks Joseph!

Thank you Amy! Happy to help and best of luck to your daughter!

Have a great Labor Day weekend!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You too sir! You brightened her spirits and gave her some hope, and she needed that. Thinking about getting the monthly plan -- can I request you as my regular "Expert"??

Yes, I would be happy to be your regular expert!

You just need to address questions to me by requesting me directly and/or placing 'to Joseph' at the beginning of your question in California Employment Law.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Groovy, talk to you soon!

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