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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 88680
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I was hired for a company at a specific location close to my

Customer Question

I was hired for a company at a specific location close to my home and childrens school since I am a single mother of a 3 year old and 7 year old. Before I accepted this position I let my employer know that I had no problen working 2 late nights 12-9pm which was required but the other days that were typically 9-6 I asked if I couod work 8:45am-5:45pm so I would have time to pick my children up from school and the late nights my parents kept my children overnight. They agreed otherwise I would have never accepted the position and I signed a written agreement for that campus. I was given a paper shortly after with how many hours of sick time and vacation time that I had. 4 weeks ago I had to undergo emergency surgery for my appendix to be removed. My college director was very accepting of me having to be out of work for a week. The surgeon stated that I should not return for 4 weeks but since I am a single mom he wrote me a letter to return the next week or as to what I could tolerate. I worked two days and it was too much especially with 10 staples still in. I came back to work the week after that and worked the whole week. The first vacation day that I had pre- approved was the following monday July 8th. That night I was giving my children a shower since I could not bend over due to my surgery. My son got out leaving water on the floor and I slipped and fell having to go back to the hospital and broke my right shoulder. I notified my director immediatly who completly understood and I had no issues with returning to work when ready. Two days later I was not even professional notified, I had to find out from students who texted my phone that the campus that I worked at in deerfield beach was suddenly shut down. I called and emailed my director since some co-workers were sent either to our West Palm Beach Campus or Fort Lauderdale campus off of 595 and University. Either way I was looking at a 35-45 minute commute if I had a job. My college director emailed back that she would call me in the morning. I called my self anyways at 9:15am and she was not in yet. 3:30pm came and I sent an email. Finally at 5:45pm she called and stated that I should report to the campus in Fort Lauderdale at 9:00am. I asked what about the schedule due to I had to pick my children up three days a week and now I would commuting further to work since my location shut down. She said that once I got there that they would work out the schedule with me. I reported to work that Monday July 15 and the director never came in. I had no paper or supplies to use. Nobody meet with me to explain their expectations or procedures. The next day I came in and the director of the Fort Lauderdale campus was there all day went by and he never acknowledge me or met with me so I walked to his office and I asked that when he had a moment I wanted to sit down with him to go over my schedule. He stated that he only had to work with me and my schedule up until the first week of August when it was time to make a new one and that their campus had a different schedule where I would have to work one day 10-7, then 11-8pm, and them 12-9pm, and then 9-6pm. I explained to him my situation and that when I was hired at the other campus I explained tht before I accepted the position plus now I was commuting over 35-40 minutes to get there and I still had medical issues due to my appendix, broken shoulder, and now campus closer where I worked. He stated that he could not work with me on my schedule and that was there scheduled and basically either I work that schedule or I dont have a job. I signed contract to work at the deerfield beach campus I did not sign a contract to work at the fort lauderdale campus. My vacation time that I have in writting that I was given at the campus I worked for stated that I had 74 hours I only had used 26 hour. After those two days of driving and physical and mental stress my doctor said that I needed time to heal and I was pushing myself too hard due to the fact I am single mom and only one who works to support my children but if I did not physically take time to heal then medically I would make matters worse. I asked to use my vacation hours and was then told that when I was sent to the Fort Lauderdale campus even though it is the same company that they do things differently just like their work schedule and that I only had 11 hours of vacation not 48 hours left and that I had to accrue that time when I already I had in writing from the other campus how much vacation time I had that could be used. Because I then had to take time for medical reasons and had documentation they terminated me stating that I did not have the proper time accrued to use and could take a leave of abscence that I was first told I could take for 5 days and have an email to prove it plus written documentation showing what vacations hours I had which was a total of 48 hours left which they tried to tell me that their campus does things differently and I only had 11 hours and had to accrue the rest. I did not sign a contract to work at that campus but for the campus that closed and it should be honored since it closed forcing me to work at another campus and it is the same company. How is this even legal? Please Advise.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Specifically what does your employment contract state? Does it state you are an at will employee anywhere? Does it specifically state that your employment is confined to that one campus?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


It states that the employment offer is at will employment but it does have the campus information that I agreed to work for on it


 

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.

I was very afraid that you would say that. Because this was an offer and not a firm employment contract and it did state it was an "at will" offer, this means that the employer has the right legally to change the terms and conditions of your employment and it is not considered breach of contract I am sorry to say. FL has some of the worst employment laws when it comes to protecting employees, the rights are all in favor of the employer and when it comes to at will employment the only chance any employee has is to prove that this conduct you are suffering is being done to you based ONLY on your age/race/sex/permanent disability and if you cannot prove that is the reason the employer is doing this to you, I am sorry to say that you are going to have to comply with the employer's new assignment rules even though you signed initially with the other location, since it said it was an at will offer, meaning the employer could change it for any reason or no reason as long as it was not based only on your age/race/sex/permanent disability.




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Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 88680
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
Law Educator, Esq. and 6 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I can understand that but today when I emailed to check in they sent termination notice which states due to my medical issues I was terminated is that allowed/


 

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.

As long as it is not a "qualified disability," which is defined in law as a disability that permanently impairs a major life function, I am sorry to state that if an employee cannot come to work for medical reasons they can still be dismissed. If you were covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act which protects your employment for 12 weeks only, then you have a claim to file with the Department of Labor, but to be covered you had to work there at least 12 consecutive months and 1250 hours in those 12 months. The only other possibility is that you can file a complaint with the EEOC alleging they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act in that they treated you as though you were permanently disabled when they terminated you for your medical reasons, which is a violation of the ADA and then the EEOC must investigate and issue you a right to sue letter.

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