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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11248
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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My husband is a working with the State of CA. Has been for

Customer Question

My husband is a working with the State of CA. Has been for 10 years. Recently he has been singled out for his work schedule. He has been allowed to telecommute for the last few years. Now they want him in the office Monday t thru Friday 8 A to 5 P. He is the only person being required to do this. Others work varying schedules, some just at night. HIs job is a consultant and he is frequently at meetings. He has access to email and phone whether at work or at home.
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: california
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: no, he is in a union
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: he is approaching 70 and up until the last few months he has received nothing but excellent responses to his work, he is respected in the community
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

What is the employer's reason for this change in policy? Does the union contract address telecommuting an the employer's ability to change policy? Lastly, does your husband have evidence to suggest some discriminatory motive for being singled out like this, such as his age, disability, or ethnicity? I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The State said they didn't see any benefit to the State for him to Telecommute. He thinks he is being singled out because he isn't liked. He went to a superior to get an answer for a committee and his boss wrote him up for it. This was in October. Others are not required to do the 8 - 5 shift. He is being singled out for this. At this point he is refusing to do this.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for the additional information. Does your husband believe there is a discriminatory motive for him being singled out like this?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
he does. When he met with his union rep, she felt they were going after him for some reason. He and another individual were singled out. His manager comes in late and brings a peer of my husband's in with him.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Okay, thank you again.

The difficult thing here is that employers are generally free to change their policies at any time. The only exceptions would be if there is a union agreement specifically so prohibiting, or if there is an unlawful discriminatory motive, such as race, religion or age. Otherwise, employers have no obligation to be fair, and there is nothing inherently illegal about targeting your husband when other employees are still telecommuting or are enjoying more relaxed schedules. It's bad management to be inconsistent like this, but it is not illegal to be bad at management.

So, typically in these circumstances, the extent of your husband's remedies will be to work with his union rep and have them advocate for the retention or partial retention of his telecommuting schedule. If there is a specific provision in his union contract which limits his employer's ability to revoke telecommuting, he can file a formal grievance as well.

I hope that you find this information helpful and am genuinely sorry if it is not exactly what you were hoping to hear. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.