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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38882
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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HI there, I was recently terminated and have a few questions..

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HI there,

I was recently terminated and have a few questions.. I worked for an Assisted Living Community for 2 yrs and 5 months...

On my last pay stub, i was not paid for my 61 hours of sick time... I have left a msg for the business office manager, she has yet to return my call or mail the check... What is my next step???

There were many nights I stayed and worked off the clock, because there is just so much more work that needed to be done... I feel taken advantage of... How so i handle this???

By law we are to have a lunch and a break period.. Many nights we were too busy to take either, we were told we need to clock out regardless... Also day time hours are just as busy, lunch and break time are very hard to come by... I know to contact the labor on this... Anything else I can do???

I personally know of caregivers we are intimidating, and harassing residents... Neglect and emotional abuse, along with the well being of a few residents is something that should not be tolerated... Once i was made aware of these allegations, I reported my concerns to the Executive Director... I feel he just swept my complaints under the rug... I plan on contacting Ombudsman about this tomorrow...

Since my first day of working at this community, i have been sexually harassed... Not by a co-worker, at the hands of a resident... Sexually harassed by his propositions, language, stares, and putting his hands on my body... I did report these incidents to my supervisor and the Executive director... It is my belief no one acted on what i had reported... As this resident continued with his behavior towards me... Yes, other staff members were present at times of his harassment...

Other staff members were made aware of me being let go before I was.. By the posting of the next wks work schedule... I was not placed on the schedule, I had co-workers calling, texting, and e-mailing me questioning me on why i was no longer at the community...

Can you tell me who is privied to reading my employee file?? I am concerned as I plan on going to school to become a nurse, I do not need any type of slander against me.. This could affect me in my nursing career..

Thank you for your time and assistance as well...

Personal/vacation time that has been earned prior to termination of employment is recoverable as wages. Sick leave is not recoverable, unless you have a written employment contract stating that you are entitled to be paid for unused sick leave.

The reason for the difference in treatment is that sick leave is intended to be used only when a person is ill or disabled -- whereas personal/vacation time is available for any purpose. Thus, once an employee is terminated, he/she can recover personal/vacation time for its cash value, whereas he/she cannot recover for sick leave, as a terminated employee cannot take time off sick from a job that he/she no longer has.

Concerning your unpaid rest and meal breaks, you may want to contact any former coworker whom you trust and see if that person will testify to corroborate your claims of being denied this time -- because without proof, your claim could end up being your word against the employer as to whether or not you were provided with the required break periods. Other than that, you will have to contact DLSE and file a claim.

Concerning your personnel file, an employer is only required to maintain confidentiality of your medical/health care records. However, as a general practice, most former employers will not disclose employee records to any prospective employer, because of the danger of a defamation (libel/slander) or interference with future contract lawsuit by the former employee. The typical employer does no more than verifies start and end date for a former employee.

If you believe that your employer has actually damaged your reputation with false statements about you, then you could hire an employment rights lawyer and sue.For a referral, see this link.

Hope this helps.

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