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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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My company is beginning reorganization. They are starting

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My company is beginning reorganization. They are starting from the top; the top person is in place and had picked their structure. The next structure was just announced and we are in the process of reviewing the next phase. From this selection different areas have been defined, customer service, technology, strategy (8) areas. For the next phase Leadership in place has picked managers from our many reasons to help with the next phase of the process.
Here is my question while we are hearing from our top leaders that we are beginning our One organization at the local level we have some changes that are occurring. This affects me.
I was told by our acting CIO that I would be reporting to someone new, the reason was while the changes are being made our region was making some changes. The manager I was reporting to is not liked by the interim CIO so I and one other manager have been moved from him and under the interim CIO and me one below the I-CIO. This occurred on 4/25/2012.
My area is access & identity management we manage access and sys access for several thousand users approx 22k. our current situation we are 1.5 persons short causing a backlog of tickets – which causes users to complain their access is not fulfilled. Other factors are we implemented an identity/access management system, we have an application change new system causing additional request for access, and slow creep in access growing. All these combined have attributed to our backlog. Our new manger we will refer to as Sue has been placed in a position to oversee my dept and the help desk. I realize this is not facts but she is best friends with the help desk manager whom we are sponsoring an H1B.
The request made to my team was to share our team mailbox with the helpdesk manager, supervisor and new manager Sue. We have complied. They do separate work from us do not know our work flows but have been telling us how to manager our queue/and set up access.
Today new manager Sue told me she is making some operational changes and will be telling the staff tomorrow to be effective on Mon 5/7. My staff will not be reporting to me but will be reporting to the helpdesk supervisor. The helpdesk supervisor (Mary) does not know our processes but Sue says this will be a project and over the next 6 weeks they will report to her to catch up our backlog. We get as many tickets resolved as new ones come in. I find it hart to say our backlog will get caught up. to assist with this I have hired a contractor who has been learning and we are catching up slowly.
My concerns are:
1. The way this was handled was inappropriate; Sue never discussed the details of her plan prior to making the decision.
2. She did not have the conversation with me face to face, she called
3. Task that my team does is not just closing tickets we handle confidential complex task and are asked to not share with the helpdesk .
4. We close over 100 tickets a week and get as many new ones in
5. I this undermines my managerial superiority by moving my staff to a supervisor in another department who does not know our process flows.
6. This supervisor has character flaws and personnel issues and know there will be issues with the staff
7. I have complied with request to share our team mailbox with Sue, helpdesk manager & supervisor
8. I am feeling harassed with this process
My question is do I have a valid complaint to go to HR. Removing my staff leaves me without direct reports and my position could be eliminated. With our new org I get the feeling they are positioning people where they want them, but that undermines what our new leaders are telling us. Other areas are backlogged with tickets yet they are not under the microscope.
The interim CiO, my new manager (Sue) and the helpdesk manager are all really good friends. The interim CIO brought the helpdesk person in. he needed to be sponsored H1B which our company did. I thought immigration rules stated for someone to be sponsored they had to have BA/BS and the job had to be one someone in the US couldn’t really fill? While I can never prove some of this, I feel I am being set up and today’s actions were inappropriate.
What can I do? Should I talk to HR? to an Attorney? I am feeling I am being shoved out? Do I have rights?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.

California law provides three distinct areas in which an employee can complain about employer conduct:

1. Unlawful discrimination based on race, color, nationality, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age or disability.

2. Discipline or termination of an employee in violation of a strong public policy (e.g., jury duty, witness subpoena, health and safety complaint, report to law enforcement of employer's criminal activity).

3. Actions by an employer against an employee in direct contradiction to a written employment policy.

Based on your allegations, I see no claim based upon areas #1 or #2 described above. For #3, you would have to determine whether your treatment violates an express written employment policy. If it does, then you could bring a legal action against the employer for breach of contract and obtain damages to the extent that the policy violation has injured you economically. However, the employer can terminate your employment if you sue, so this is somewhat of a "nuclear" option. There's no going back.

As you can see, your situation is one of those gray areas of law that doesn't leave much room for you to complain. Now, if something were to ripen into an environment where all of the employees are being replaced by H-1B workers, then you might be able to file a reverse discrimination complaint based on nationality, which would give you a great deal of leverage. But, at the moment, based on what you've disclosed here, I regret that I do not see a viable cause of action against the employer.

Please understand that I "justanswer" questions "about" the law. I have no interest in providing you with anything less than a completely satisfying answer. However, if the law does not favor your unique circumstances, then the best that I can do is to explain what the law "is" and what it "is not."

Hope this helps.

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