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Infolawyer, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 53569
Experience:  Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.
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I am a Director in a 20 person Architecture firm in Irvine,

Customer Question

I am a Director in a 20 person Architecture firm in Irvine, SMS Architects. I was recently diagnosed with brain cancer and underwent surgery in February, with 8 days in the hospital, and 3 days at home for recovery before returning to work. Upon returning to work, I found the 2 owners of the firm had docked my paycheck for my hospital stay. I challenged them on this, as I still had vacation and sick time available per my ADP statement. They cut a check for me the next day. Two weeks ago I was readmitted to the hospital, as my brain fluid was leaking out of my head, and I spent 4 days in the hospital, where I worked everyday, 14 hours a day on a big project for Tustin Legacy, a project developed by ***** ***** McMillan for a new Angels Stadium, and 6 million square feet of mixed use. While I was in the hospital, I communicated everyday with the 2 partners and team about my progress and let them know I would participate in the presentation in San Diego the following Wed & Thu rsday. When I returned to the office on Tuesday, I was told I could not go, and would not be presenting my scheme. I told the partners it was unfair, especially since they lacked reciprocal communication with me to let me know to stop working on the project. After significant discussion, they finally allowed me to go, but there was a bit of retaliation from the partner named Joseph Smart. As I am now instructed by the Kaiser Permanent Neurosurgeon, Dr. Stiner to conduct a lite duty at work, and I am on a regime of pain killer narcotics and other drugs, and attending frequent appointments. I was then emailed by a Junior staff member, Brandon Dedmon, that I needed to let everyone know my appointment schedule, etc. I explained by email to Brandon that I in fact had, and to please leave me alone. Today I had a full day of Dr. appointments in La Palma, and I noticed my office phone was shut off. A colleague called me to let me know they will fire me once I return to the office, as Brandon Dedmon hacked into my personal email *****@******.*** and printed out emails I sent to family and friends complaining about the bad treatment, and also a business plan I had drafted for a future firm. As I have not been officially notified that I am fired, I went to the office tonight and found all of my personal objects moved out of my office, and on the screen of my computer was a print log showing prints of my emails from my personal account. So it proves they got into my account thru the auto password ***** My Microsoft account was shut when I left the office. In addition, the office recruited me from my home in China last summer, and had me move to California. I have not even completed a year of service as Business Development Director, but I landed 3 large clients: LA Fitness, Terranea Resort and Alberta Development Group. In addition, I landed Cinemark Theaters, and have been writing project contracts as recent as Monday for this firm. I wou ld like to pay you a retainer to sue the firm for retaliation, and also for the recruitment. They didn't live up to any of their promises as owners. I have sympathetic clients and colleagues who would likely speak on my behalf. I am wondering if I should show up to SMS with an attorney, since I know I will be fired. I have more Dr. appointments tomorrow, and so will report to work on Thursday of this week. . Best Regards, ***** *****
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: 1. A colleague of mine has retaliated against me, used the computer in my private office, and the auto-password ***** on my Microsoft email account to gain access to and print out my private emails to friends and family. I believe this is an illegal act. Can I sue, or press charges against the colleague? 2. As a result of this action, my employer is going to fire me either this week or next week. I have been given the word by other colleagues at my office. When I went to the office tonight, there was a record on my computer of the print log of private emails printed out. Since my employer is using this as an excuse to fire me, can I bring suit against my employer, and as part of discovery, seize the computer/print logs to prove my case? 3. Lastly, as I was diagnosed with brain cancer, and underwent surgery on Feb. 9th, I was retaliated against in the office since that time. Can I bring a hostile work environment or retaliation suit against my employer? 4. I was recruited from out of state, and in California, I understand that if you are recruited and then terminated, the employer may have to pay up to 3 years of salary. My position is Director of Business Development, and I brought significant clients and work into the firm.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Employment Lawyers generally expect a deposit of about $18 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 6 months ago.
If you expect to be fired you may want to avoid a direct confrontation and seek to set up a meeting beforehand. You want to prepare a chronology of the discrimination, retaliation, and violation of company policy. A lawyer locally can attend or be on standby and you may use that chronology to either negotiate improved terms or separation with a generous severance. Kindly let me know if that is helpful, and if I can clarify anything please ask me.
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 6 months ago.
awaiting your reply, thanks.
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 6 months ago.
Kindly rate me positively.