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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I have had M.S. for the past 18 years & work part time. In

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I have had M.S. for the past 18 years & work part time. In May 2005 I got a call from my supervisor that she needed me to come in early because she was coming in w/my manager's last check because the manager was being let go. This manger had too many customer complaints on her & really was a nasty person. She made my life HELL & tried to get me to quite so she could get a raise. I see my doctor every 3 months & was having migraines from the tension I felt @ work. We had 5 people in our dept,2 quit within days of each other, (pay back to manager?) 1 was in the reserves & would be gone for a month. Long story short, I was not feeling well (trouble walking) & overwhelmed with the thought of being the only one left in the dept to run it and train new people. After I told the supervisor I could not work on a day due to a dr app I've had for 3 months, She started yelling @ me lead me to believe I had to quite if I could not do my job. I saw my doctor the same day (my app) and I thought if I didn't have the stress, my body would stop doing what it was doing. M.S. does not work that way. I was in a mental hospital 1o days later. About a year later, this supervisor calls me to see how I was & to see if I was ready to come back to work. Seems business went down after I left and people were asking for me. I have been with this company for over 24 years but w/a break in service due to illness. I would have taken leave, but w/no one left in the dept who would cover? I have hospital records, app calenders to show I was not thinking right & believed what the supervisor said. I went back but can't work full time so a dept manager was hired to work the closing shift ( that I don't do) I took a pay cut when I went back because we no longer got commission and the supervisor said she would she what she could do. And then avoided me. I trained the new manager & for the past 6 years this manager has been asking for pay increase for our dept. This company really sucks & for some reason is not paying me for work I have done because I have not been approved for this program. 2 people get paid for the same thing I'm doing and I have not been paid. This "program" was a way to make more money (THEY DO NOT GIVES RAISES) Now they are cutting my hours (I make too much?) and giving the hours to a person we just trained. There are only 3 people in this dept now & it's hard to cover when some one gets sick. I see what they are trying to do to me. Make me unhappy so I will leave. I will get 4 hours a WEEK & they put me on a day that I have not been available for 23 years as it is my doctor app day and my support group day. I also had to get a doctors letter stating why I do not close. It was not good enough and they wants more info. My doctor said they are looking to write me up for non-compliance &I should check w/legal @ m.s society. I have been an outstanding employee for over 24 years, am only acknowledged for 6 of the years. I really want to work as long as I can, but 4 hours a week is not worth my gas or energy I would like to show some one the records & documents I have or am I too late & sol? Please help. This is sooooo unfair.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. I have carefully read through your post, and I think our exchange would be much more beneficial to you if you were able to consolidate everything into one or two questions. There is a lot going on here, and I want to make sure I address your concerns effectively.

Thank you so much for your patience and I look forward to assisting you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
If i can show that work pushed me over the edge & was misguided by a supervisor about leaving a job because I could not do my duties if I could get my time back w/the company. should I have been offered a leave even if the dept only had one person in it Also why am I not being paid for work I do in the dept the co-workers are being paid for? Can they make me work a day that I have been unavailable for 24 years excpt in an emergency.?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Thank you so much for consolidating your questions.

I think the most important thing to understand are the protections afforded to individuals with disabilitating MS. Specifically, the Americans with Disabilities Act provides certain rights and protections to individuals with "qualifying disabilities." A qualifying disability is a disability that "impairs a major life function," as MS can certainly be. For more information on what constitutes a disability under the ADA, visit this link: For more information on the ADA in general, visit this link:

If a person is “disabled” pursuant to the ADA's definition set forth above and is having difficulty performing his/her job and the employer knows that the reason for the difficulty is the employee’s disability, then the employer may have a duty to reasonably accommodate the employee, as long as it will not pose an undue burden on the employer to do so. In determining whether a reasonable accommodation is available, and would actually work in helping the employee do his/her job, both the employer and employee had required to talk to each other and consider each other’s ideas. An employer's failure to engage in this type of "interactive process" may constitute a violation of the law. Furthermore, your employer would be prohibited from treating you differently purely as a result of you having a disability.

Thus, I think the answer to your question: "should I have been offered a leave even if the dept only had one person in it" depends upon whether that accommodation would have been reasonable under the circumstances. Your questions (1) "why am I not being paid for work I do in the dept the co-workers are being paid for"; and (2) ""Can they make me work a day that I have been unavailable for 24 years" would turn upon whether your disability was a motivating factor for the employer's treatment of you. If it was, it would qualify as actionable discrimination.

If you believe that you have been the subject of unlawful discrimination and wish to file a lawsuit, you must first file a formal complaint of discrimination with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Either the EEOC or the DFEH will issue you an authorization to sue after they investigate your claim. You don't need to file with both agencies. Finally, if you decide to sue, don't miss your deadline. Under federal law in California, you have 300 days from an act of discrimination to file a complaint.

For information on how to bring a claim through California's DFEH, visit this link: For information on how to brig a claim through the EEOC, visit this link:

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the very best of luck. Bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Please abide by the honor code of this website by kindly clicking on the GREEN ACCEPT button if my answer has been helpful to you. Thank you very much.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
should I talk to H.R. about this or is the past the past & it doesn't matter that I was called back & rehired after I was well?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your followup. This site's rules prohibit me from advising you on a particular course of action because that might be construed as "legal advice." I "just answer" questions about the law.

That said, if you believe that a violation of law has occurred, it may be a wise idea to bring this to the attention of your employer so that it can be properly addressed. Also bear in mind that the above-cited statute of limitations may bar certain claims arising from events that took place over 300 days ago.

I hope that this clarification makes my answer worthy of your "accept." Please remember that I will not be paid until you "accept" my answer. Thank you kindly and have a very happy new year.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm sorry I have not responded sooner, but I have been preoccupied w/my employment issue. Not being a union job (same one for 23 years) my employer can do any thing they want. My hours have been cut drastically and the person I brought in to help & trained has gotten my hours due to my limited availability (due to m.s.) I have to decide for myself if 4 hours a week, no sick time or vacation earned is worth my gas,time & loyalty to this company.Half of what I earn goes into my 401k so I didn't much $, and now even less. I get paid by the
hour, I am an excellent employee & our dept has not gotten a raise in over 5 years.I liked my job very much, enjoyed helping my customers & being around people and I am very close to the bathroom. For me having M.S., that is an issue and one for the reasons I stay when I have not received. I'm there for my co-workers (3 of us) & the people I meet each day. I am thinking of spending my 4 hours a week @ the animal shelter and get more appreciation than I do now. I have a husband who supports me and the $ is not that important. My happiness is.
I am working the 4 hour for now as my manager is still talking to the H.R. office, so I will play it by ear for now.

Thank you for your time & help.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your update. I sincerely hope that you are able to manage your MS and I wish you the very best. Thank you again for using this service.

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