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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 110427
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I am employed with AT&T as a splicing technician form17

Customer Question

Hi. I am employed with AT&T as a splicing technician form17 years. I recently got suspended for "falsifying time" during a training course I commuted to & fro from Vallejo to San Jose last week, pending investigation. The union is pressing me to take a chemical dependency program thinking it will help. I, on other hand have no drug issues. I do suffer from ADHD and saw my psychiatrist yesterday, and she believes and then I might have a slight case of depression/anxiety he what's his been going on for the past eight months. The only meds I'm taking harm my ADHD medication and recently Zoloft which was prescribed to me yesterday. I do not feel that I need to go through with a chemical dependency program because I am not on any illegal drugs. I admitted my mistake making stops on the way back from training which took longer than it should have because I lost track of time. My stops were in the route and I was totally unaware of the time being spent to pick up dinner both times. They're trying to ding me for falsifying time, which i admitted being negligent. I feel I am only doing this to show good faith but I'm actually lying because I have no chemical dependency issues. They want me to admit to something that I did not do to help me get my job back, of course still pending investigation which is been a total of five days now
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: It's in California and my main question is can I just take a stress leave of absence that can be validated by my psychiatrist, with disability pay or is it unpaid? The severity of the issue is extremeynminor but they are attacking me like I did something wrong. I can validate stress leave but am unsure if I will be getting compensated through disability for an estimated 30 days max as opposed to going to chemical dependency program
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: I have not
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: That I've been with the company for 17 years. Got my undergrad with a concentration in finance. Never been in any sort of trouble since the first year I started with the company at age 19 years old with a minor vehicle accident in San Francisco. Since then I've been an exceptional, hardworking employee.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Why would anyone want to go to a drug dependency program if the issue at work does not stem from drug dependency, because that would not make a difference to the employer as the alleged violation did not have anything to do with dependency. At this point if you have stress related to your job itself, it is compensable under workers compensation, but if the stress is related to discipline or the investigation it is not compensable under workers compensation. If you go to drug dependency, unless the employer agrees they will not terminate you if you do so, would not really resolve the issue over falsifying time records and that is something you need to fight head on arguing that the time for the meal was reasonable and you did not realize that it should not be included in the travel time. You need to return to your union and ask if they will negotiate a deal with the employer to dismiss this matter in exchange for going to the dependency program, but unless they do I would suggest fighting the allegations.

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