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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12786
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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[email protected]!!!!! My boss will not respond to my emails.

Customer Question

[email protected]!!!!! My boss will not respond to my emails. I have had access to his MS Outlook calendar for over 5 years. Last week I was unable to access his calendar. I made over 4 request to him in an email requesting access and he refuses to answer my eamils. Also, he now is closing his door when on the phone - something he never did in the past. In a meeting several weeks ago, he got slapped on the had by Human Resources because he violated my civil rights.... Please tell what to do>
thank you. [email protected]
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I'm so sorry to hear about this unfrotunate circumstance. When you say that your boss violated your civil rights, what specifically occurred?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have a disability and covered under ADA. In a meeting withHuman Resources (HR), my manager got spanked on the hand for harassing me when I had to go to medical appointments . HR told him that he must allow me to go and use my accumulated sick time and that he should not give me a bad time about it. Now he has placed me on a time clock.... will not answer my emails...... closes his door when on the telephone-something he never did before. Obviously, someone is coaching him -- do you need more info?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I was out of the office for 3 weeks. Upon my return, everyone asked me where I was. My manager never told anyone that I was out of the office due to sickness. When any one is out due to illness, staff are inforrmed and a card or flowers are sent. I got nothing-not that I expected it, but, staff didn't even know I was out ill. - My manager did say a word.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Thank you very much for this additional information.

If an employer is harassing an employee on the basis of their disability, this can qualify as an actionable form of harassment. Typically, harassment must be sufficiently "severe or pervasive" to be actionable. Therefore, where there is a single harassing act, it must be shown to be particularly severe or egregious. Where there are numerous acts of relatively less serious harassment, the conduct may be viewed as "pervasive" in the aggregate, and thus legally actionable.

It would also be illegal for your employer to retaliate against you on the basis of you taking reasonable time off to attend to your ADA-recognized disability. As an employee protected under the ADA, your employer is required to engage in an ainteractive process with you to determine what reasonable accomodations can be made so that you can perform the essential functions of your position. Failure to engage in such process, or failure to provide reasonable accomodations is illegal. Taking negative employment action against an employee who requests or requires such accomodation is also illegal.

If you believe that your employer is taking adverse employment action against you on the basis of your disability or otherwise harassing you because of your disability, you can file a claim with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

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:

It is also generally a good idea to inform your employer in writing that his or her treatment of you is inappropriate and that the ADA protects you from retaliation for taking reasonable amounts of time off to attend to your illness.

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.


I would really appreciate advice on my specific questions regarding having access to my manager's calendar. The task is one of the essential functions of my job. He is not allowing me to perform. He will not respond to my emails... I am his personal assistant.......

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
I am very sorry for not being more direct. Please allow me to clarify.

If your manager is refusing you access to these things in retaliation for you exercising your rights under the ADA, that would be illegal. If he is taking any negative employment action againt you whatsoever because of your disability, that would also be illegal. The key is whether there is a link between your disability and your employer's conduct.

If there is no link, the manager is not breaking the law. This is because there is no general requirement that employers be nice to their employees or maintain certain duties for their employees. This conduct is only illegal if it is occurring in retaliation for you exercising your rights under the ADA, which based on what you are saying, appears to be the case.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this helps clarify.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


One last questions, I will make one last attempt to request access to his Calendar. My question to you is this: should I ask my manager if he is removing this task or responsibility from my list of duties ? - I've ask 4 times already and received no response. In you expert opnion, by his not responding to my email.... is taking away the duty and/or not responding to my request retaliation?


thank you

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
"In your expert opnion, by his not responding to my email.... is taking away the duty and/or not responding to my request retaliation?"

Of course, I do not and cannot know all the facts of your particular situation. That said, if a manager withholds a work responsibility and not responding to inquiries regarding reinstatement of that duty, that would certainly constitute an adverse employment action.

Whether or not that adverse employment action is RETALIATION would depend on whether or not the manager had other legitimate reasons for withholding this work responsibility.

Proving that an adverse employment action was retaliatory and not for another legitimate reason can be tough to do, and will often require the person claiming discrimination to rely on circumstantial evidence. For example, a short proximity in time between you requesting time of or returning from time off and your change in duties would be circumstantial evidence indicating a link between the adverse employment action and your disability.

In short, there is no hard rule as to whether certain conduct is "retaliatory." In order or it to be retaliatory, it must be "adverse" (as withholding duties clearly is), but it must also be in response to you engaging in conduct protected by the ADA. It often takes circumstantial evidence to prove that is the case.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


And........... how can I ask (in an email) my manager this question about my duty of maintaining his calendar. Do I assum that he dosen't want me to do the task or he is just being as ass?

thank you.

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
You can ask for the job responsibility back, but beyond that it is out of your control. Your manager is either going to restore the responisibility or not. If the job respnsibility is not restored, however, you can argue that this is retaliation.

Again, I sicnerely hope that this clarifies my response and makes it worthy of your "accept."

Very best regards and good luck.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Other.
i will write tomorrow. I must leave the office for the day. thank you.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hello. There is no need to relist to reply.

Also, please kindly remember to "accept" my answer. This will not terminate our discussion, but it is the only way I will be paid for the time I spend assisting you. Thanks so much.