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Martin
Martin, Engineer
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Experience:  i'm 41 and i never stopped studying and experimenting
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When the economy tanked and I was laid off my job, I have had

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When the economy tanked and I was laid off my job, I have had some really bad luck choosing employers. I have been hired several time since my lay off back in 2009 and each time I began the new job I discovered that each of these employers were either violating the law or conducted their business using very unethical methods or practices. When I tried to shine the light on their illegal or unethical practices, I soon found myself on the chopping block and my employment was terminated.

I am worried because the only jobs that I see on the local job boards that fit with my skills and experience are positions that I have seen posted on these job board over and over again. In other words, I have seen several jobs that have been repeatedly vacated and then reposted to the job boards. Example: In the past three years, I have watched two employers that will each post identical job openings about every 4 to 6 months. This tells me that for some reason, each of these two employers are never satisfied with the people they are hiring for these two positions or that the positions are so awful that the newly hired employees rarely last more than 4 - 6 months in these positions. Because I am on unemployment, I am forced to accept any job offer that I receive. During the interview process with my last employer, I began to see a lot of serious red flags and when they offered me the position, I really struggled with my decision as to whether or not I should accept the job. But in the end, I knew that I would have to accept the offer because of California's Unemployment laws. As it turns out, I should never have accepted the position. While I was employed for 5 months, the working environment there was extremely hostile and within my first week of employment with this company I discovered that they were falsifying legal documents. I was part of the management team and yet I had to suffer through many management meetings where the focus of the meetings quickly turned into lengthy (2 hours or more) where I my performance was constantly unfairly and unjustly berated in front of my peers and I knew the real reason for this was because I refused to conform to the oppressive and hostile management style of the branch manager. When I began to express my concern regarding the illegal documents that were being created under direct orders from the branch manager, well . . . . let's just say they began the process of getting rid of me. Now, they are fighting my unemployment and they have fabricated a wild story that I locked an employee inside my office thereby creating a threatening and hostile work environment, (which by the way was physically impossible to do, the locks on manager's offices did not have the capability of locking anyone inside the office). I am so gun shy now because of all of the problems that I have encountered when accepting employment from these kinds of employers. I am seeking some advice on how to deal with these types of situations because I just don't know if I can survive being pursued by another unethical employer.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Fran-mod replied 10 months ago.
I'm Fran, and I’m a moderator for this topic.

We have been working with the professionals to try to help you with your question. Sometimes it may take a bit of time to find the right fit. I was checking to see if you had already found your answer or if you still needing assistance from one of the professionals.

Please let me know if you wish to continue waiting or if you would like for us to close your question.Also remember that JustAnswer has a multitude of categories to help you with all your needs from Health, Pets, Computers, Cars, Finance, Law, to Home Improvement, and more.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I haven't rec'd any advise from anyone yet. You stated that you had several discussions with some of the professions about my question, may I ask what their opinions were? Maybe they can help me by giving me some suggestions as to how I can improve my due diligence process on these employers. The problem with the job hunting process these days is that job seekers, very often, don't even know the name of the company they are applying to because many employers keep this information secret, i.e. they choose not to make this information available in the job ad itself. They make it very difficult if not impossible for job seekers to investigate them. I am just looking for someone who can give some advise. I have been through some very rough experiences as a result of employers who think that they are above the law. Any help would be appreciated.

Expert:  Fran-mod replied 10 months ago.


Thank you. We will continue to look for a professional to assist you. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance while you wait.

Expert:  wendy-Mod replied 10 months ago.
Hello again,

We are still working with our Legal professionals to find you the best possible match. I wanted to touch base to see if you still needed a professional’s assistance.

Please let me know if you would like to continue to wait or if you would like to cancel your question at this time. We sincerely XXXXX XXXXX the extended wait time.

Thank you,
Wendy
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE TO WAIT.
Expert:  wendy-Mod replied 10 months ago.
Thank you again for your patience, we will continue to look for a professional to assist you. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance while you wait.

Best,
Wendy
Expert:  Iggy1001 replied 10 months ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

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

Thank you for fully explaining the situation.

Can you tell me what question you have regarding your situation?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I think my question was supposed to go to a professional career counselor. I don't believe that an attorney can really help me to resolve this particular situation.
Expert:  Iggy1001 replied 10 months ago.
You need to repost your question in jobs then. This is employment law.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
That is where I posted my question originally. The moderator must have moved my question.
Expert:  Angela--Mod replied 10 months ago.
We appreciate your patience, your business is very important to us, we are waiting on the professional with the right expertise to come online. Please let us know if you would like us to continue searching for a professional or if you would like us to close your question. Thank you for your understanding!

Best,

Angela


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Also, can you please remove the "underpriced" remark on this question. I did not enter the price of this question, your website entered this amount and I do not want to be accused of underpricing this question.
Expert:  Martin replied 10 months ago.
Hello. I can probably help you with your problem. You mention management job, any particular type or field you always end up in? Are you open to try new type of job?

When you mention job boards? Any particular ones or just the California state main one?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
To answer you questions:

1. Fortunately, I have experience in a variety of different fields and industries. Example: I was hired as the Claims Department Manager for a large DME (durable medical equipment) company. My staff consisted of about 35 - 40 team members. Not long after I started this job I discovered that they were committing Medicare fraud. I Immediately informed my boss and she tried to tell me that they way they were doing this particular act was okay, but I knew that it wasn't. I have 10 years of medical claims experience and it wasn't okay at all, it was clearly fraud. I decided to go above my boss and I informed her boss. He was truly concerned about this issue. Long story short, he was suddenly let go and from that point forward my boss proceeded to get rid of me, too. Another employer that I worked for was violating California Wage and Hour laws. I was the assistant manager of the payroll department and I discovered that this employer was making new hires sign overtime waivers which, as you know, is illegal. I discovered that this employer had not been paying overtime to hundreds of its employees for numerous years. I contacted the Califorinia Department of Labor and for four months I basically worked undercover for them, sending them hardcopy evidence of these violations. When I informed my employer that they needed to find me another job because I couldn't continue processing payroll because they refused to change their policies regarding overtime pay, they agreed, however within two months I was let go stating that they were cutting back on expenses. Ironically, investigators from the State Department of Labor, showed up in full force on the following Monday
and proceed to audit this company's payroll record. Due to the DOL being short staffed, they allow this employer (because they were a non-profit business) to police themselves with regards XXXXX XXXXX much back pay they owed their employees. They paid the DOL approximately $288,000.00. When I discovered that they left out a huge number of employees from their settlement with DOL, I contacted a class action law firm that had just opened a case this employer for violating the same Wage and Hour laws and they asked if could come in and talk to them. They saw all of my evidence and asked me to become the lead plaintiff in their case. Fast forward to September of last year, the this employer agreed to settle the class action lawsuit for an amount that was well over 3 times the amount the paid to the DOL. So as you can see, I have quite a versatile background.

2. Job Boards - The California State job board is terrible. Many times the jobs advertisements were old and out dated, i.e. the job I was interested in was no longer available and rare did they have any jobs close to where I lived. Generally I use Craigslist.com or Indeed.com.

3. I have over 20 years of experience in A/R, A/P, Billing, and Office Admin. I have owned my own business (1996 - 2003). I have worked successfully in the following fields/industries: Medical/Healthcare, Engineering, Professional Services, and Manufacturing.

I live in East Contra Costa County in the SF Bay Area and the commute costs are very high for those of us that have to travel Highway 4, (rated as the nation's #1 worst commute). I would actually lose money if I was paid an annual salary that was less than $39,750.00.

My concern is that the EDD states that when you are receiving unemployment benefits and you are offered a job, you must accept the offer, as long as the wages are equal to what you were making prior to being on unemployment. It doesn't matter whether or not you have some bad feelings or concerns about that particular employer.

I would say that this is one of the main reasons that I ended up working for these terribly unethical employers. Keep in mind, that many times you don't know who you are sending your resume to, until they call you to schedule an interview. I try to perform due diligence on every potential employer, even so much as conducting a search PACER.gov to find out what kind of lawsuits have been filed against them.

I am a smart intelligent woman that has volumes of experience to offer an employer but there just doesn't seem like there is very much to choose from lately. Any suggestions, comments, or advice would be appreciated. I just want to know to avoid getting trapped into becoming an employee with companies/businesses that seriously lack strong ethical practices and policies.

Expert:  Martin replied 10 months ago.
The first thing you have to do is to take the first job, even if it does not look "OK". From that single point, you have to trow all hobbies out and work all the free hours to find a proper job.

A LOT of companies are there to make money. It may seem obvious but the real way to make good business is to be there to offer a service or a product first and THEN make money from it. You need to identify those kind of companies fast. Many will just post job to look like they are growing (then they layoff by the back door). Many have subsidiary for hiring, so they do their profit from that and let the business crumble for what they care they can start it all over with a different name in the same building and a promise to hire two time more.

Like you mentioned, job board usually hire in a hurry often because the ethic or the simple ambiance was bad and they did not see the need for a replacement fast enough. To hide that they hire agencies or headhunters to find workers and that is why you don't see much details.

Very few jobs are listed on board compared to all available ones. Identify a list of the companies you would like to work for and apply there (even if they have nothing listed on their website).

In Canada the reworking of the unemployment criteria will now not only have you accept a crap job, they will also force you to accept it as long as it is in a 100 km radius from you, and i expect that they will increase that radius in the future.

As for your ethic, continue to fight for it. You can get in a lot deeper mess than loosing your job if you are judged accomplice. Don't forget that law exist for this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whistleblower_protection_in_United_States
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your comments and suggestions. Right now it is difficult for me to do anything because my former employer is fighting my unemployment. I was terribly disappointed when I found this out. It was bad enough the way in which I was terminated. You see, I discovered that they had terminated me because I received an email (on a Wednesday night)from my bank that my employer had deposited money to my account. I processed payroll for our branch and I knew that the money that was deposited wasn't connected to our normal bi-monthly payroll and so I decided to go to our company website to look at my paycheck stubs. I saw the stub for the money that had just been deposited to my bank account and the stub was for a person who had just been terminated. I actually had to ask them for a "Notice of Termination" letter. They finally sent one to me (on Tuesday of the the following week) and in this letter I discovered that they had fabricated this wild story that I was terminated for "misconduct", which would result in an automatic denial of my unemployment benefits.

I have been without any income whatsoever for 2 months now. I had to file an appeal to the EDD and I am still waiting to get a date for my appeal hearing. In the meantime, the EDD states that I am supposed to continue looking for work and I am supposed to continue to file my claim form every two weeks. How does the EDD expect me look for work when I don't even have enough money to put food on the table or gas in my car, let alone pay my bills.

It was my understanding, according to the law, that when an employer claims that they terminated somebody for misconduct, the burden of proof is on the employer. If that is the case, then I should receive benefits until such time as my employer can substantiate their claim, which will never happen because what they are claiming took place would be, in truth, physically impossble. In other words, there isn't any way that they could prove or support their claim. And yet, here I am two months later still fighting for my rights to receive UI benefits. Don't you think that there is something wrong with this picture?

It is impossble to get in touch with anyone at the EDD by telephone? I placed 200 calls within a two week time period and I was never able to get through to a "Live" person. I have had to prompt the EDD in every step of this process. I had to send them an email when I didn't receive my initial paperwork from them. Then, when I finally received the initial paperwork, it included a notice that I would be scheduled for a telephone interview to determine my eligibilty status within 10 days. Well 10 days came and went and I ended up having to send them another an email informing them that they failed to send me a letter notifying me of the date and time of my "EDD phone interview". Now, I am waiting to hear from them regarding my hearing date and time. I am guessing that I will have to send them another email asking them to please send me a notice as to the date and time of my Appeal Hearing. Aren't there any laws in the books that govern the EDD's response times? This is so crazy. Something is terribly wrong with the whole EDD system which I thought was designed to assist people who were out of work. Instead, the EDD's current policies and procedures seems to support employers who choose the tactic (or practice) of fighting any unemployment claims filed by former employees.

I promise that I will accept your response but I would just like to hear what your opinions are about the issues I have raised above. Its nice to talk to someone who actually understands my frustration with this whole process.
Expert:  Martin replied 10 months ago.
If you want my opinion on the whole matter, that employer tested the system before and know the delay and what line not to cross. As such they are very apt at trying to burn you financially so that you will have no way, (money, energy, health and time) to expose them in some way in the future. So, it may essentially be a character assassination:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Character_assassination

As for the EDD, i am of the opinion that we should not rely on that kind of cushion. We need to be more ready for out of work solution the same way as we can't expect insurance to be able to respond for immediate need in a hurricane or a flood.

Where does it leave us... you need to secure your financial situation the fastest possible. That may include having to sell things, reduce services (cable TV etc..). Find a sideline job (even if you need $39,750.00 anything above $0 will reduce the speed of your financial decay if it can't reverse it).

As for contacting the EDD, email is one thing (you end up on a BIG list) and it can be deleted, lost or ending in the spam directory. I advise you to communicate with them trough registered letter (it may seem longer but thing will move on a whole different level at the other side).
Martin, Engineer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 4022
Experience: i'm 41 and i never stopped studying and experimenting
Martin and 144 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks for your advise. I do have an attorney who agreed to take my case on a contingency basis. I did file a formal complaint to the California State Pest Control Board against my recent employer for falsifying legal documents (because the documents they are falsifying are required here in California when closing the sale of a new home) as I can direct their investigators straight to the illegal documents.
So, my former employer may think that they are fnancially destroying me right now, but just wait until the Pest Control Board shows up at their door. They will order my former employer to immediately cease providing termite pretreatment services to all of the new home builders that they are contracted with, which means that they will lose about 1/3 to 1/2 of their monthly revenue. I guess we will see how the branch manager explains that to his superiors. I warned them that this was going on and they didn't believe me. They chose to believe him. I believe that this was the real reason that I was terminated. But he is not allowed to terminate me because this kind of activity is protected by law (as you mentioned earlier), which is why he made up the story about me locking someone inside my office.

I guess we will see who the EDD believes. At least I have a witness who will corroborate everything I have told them.

Thanks for your help. I do appreciate it very much.

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