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Tina
Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 31953
Experience:  JD, 16 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
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I am a part time teacher in a massage school mis-classified

Customer Question

I am a part time teacher in a massage school mis-classified as an independent contractor ( my employer wants me to sign a new contract becoming responsible for fines etc. if (or when) we are reclassified, which I protested) and have pointed out this misclassification. In retaliation my employer has stripped me of the Ethics Ombudsman position I have held for 20 years and the Ethics class in which we explore such topics, on the basis of wholly unsubstantiated claims of "inappropriate behavior". After many inquiries I still do not have any information about these charges and one Ethics class was stripped without the required 30 days notice. They have refused to release ANY information on these charges and never notified me about them before breaching the contract.
Submitted: 10 months ago via EmployeeIssues.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Tina replied 10 months ago.

Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

You did initiate a complaint with the employer about being misclassified as an independent contractor and that is when the retaliation began?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Yes . I did that in a phone conversation in Aug 2013 ( although I had brought it up with other Directors over the years) the retaliatory action came in Sept 2013,

Expert:  Tina replied 10 months ago.
I see. Thank you for clarifying that for me, John.

Under CA law, it is typically unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for asserting a legal right and challenging an employer's classification of an employee as an independent contractor in good faith would normally provide such protection against retaliation. Since you did so in a phone call, it may be more difficult to prove that you made the complaint, but if you can, there would typically be recourse against the employer for taking adverse action against you.

It would be best to retain a local attorney to represent you in this matter, either communicating a demand to the employer and attempting to resolve the situation and restore you to your long held position, or to file suit seeking damages for unlawful retaliation.

Here is a link which discusses this type of legal claim against employers:

http://www.brgslaw.com/articles/retaliation.html

You may also wish to file a complaint with the state labor board which will trigger an investigation as to whether you actually are misclassified as an IC and may result in the payment of back wages if appropriate.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate my service when I have answered your questions so I will be compensated for my time assisting you. Thank you!

Tina

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I am also concerned that the charge of" inappropriate behavior" was allowed into the public domain and could harm my reputation. Can something be done about this also?

Expert:  Tina replied 10 months ago.

Hello again, John.

To address that, you would typically raise a claim of defamation against the individuals making the false statements, along with your claim of retaliation, seeking a reasonable settlement such as retracting the statements or pursuing damages and an injunction against the defendants.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate my service when I have answered your questions so I will be compensated for my time assisting you. Thank you!

Tina

Expert:  Tina replied 10 months ago.
Hello again John,
I wanted to thank you for using JustAnswer, and to inquire whether my answer was helpful in clarifying your understanding of the law even though it may not have resulted in the outcome you were hoping it would.

I also wanted to make sure that you did not have any further follow-up questions for me with regard to the legal question I answered for you. If not, kindly provide a positive rating so I will be compensated for my time assisting you.
If you do not require further legal information at this time, please feel free to bookmark my profile so you can request me when you do have another question. Here is a link to my profile: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-tina/
Thank you very much and all the best to you.
Tina
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Which of these actions would this require a civil court procedure ? An attorney?

Expert:  Tina replied 10 months ago.
Both defamation and retaliation would typically require a lawsuit being filed if the employer is not willing to negotiate a reasonable settlement, and retaining an attorney would be wise in any case, to either negotiate a settlement or pursue legal action.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate my service when I have answered your questions so I will be compensated for my time assisting you. Thank you!

Tina

Tina, Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 31953
Experience: JD, 16 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
Tina and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Tina replied 10 months ago.

Thank you very much for your positive rating of my service. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope you will ask for me should a future legal need arise.

If you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, please consider scoring me a 9 or 10. It benefits my ability to assist you and other customers, and would be tremendously appreciated.

Thanks again and all the best to you.

Tina

Note: Please feel free to request me if you have future legal questions by typing your new question in the question box on my profile page. Here is a link to that page, which you can bookmark or add to your favorites: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-tina/. I look forward to hearing from you again should the need arise.

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