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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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I am Asian and work on in sales in an office environment.

Resolved Question:

I am Asian and work on in sales in an office environment. I was seated next to two others salesman in the cubicles adjacent to me. The two in question were accustomed to making fun of asian people by employing an "asian" accident on a daily basis. This was a regular occurrence before I was seated next to them. Upon being moved into the cubicle next to them I found this behavior to be intolerable. When one of them again started to use this mocking accident I turned my chair around and told both of them "this ends now". I also told them this was the nice version of me asking. Another associate was even present at my cubicle when I had this brief conversation. The following day while I was on the phone I thought I had heard one of the two in question again use the mocking accent. I was somewhat distracted by the phone conversation and was not 100% certain so I left things alone. A mere moment later I then clearly heard one of them again use this mocking accent at which time I placed my phone on hold, stood up to look over the wall of my cubicle and told the offender, "I asked you nicely yesterday now I f**king telling you today..I'm tired of the asian slurs". His immediate response was that I had no right to speak to him like that. My manager came over to see what the situation was. I then returned to my phone call as the offender went on a rant about how "I speak like this (employing the asian accent) to "B" (who is an asian female employee) all the time, what's this guy's problem"? As a result of this situation all three (myself and the two sitting next to me) were brought into the sales floor manager's office. I was told that I was to receive a company write up because I failed to go through the proper channels to complain. The problem with that as was that the other two involved were not getting a write up at all, merely a verbal warning that would lead to a write up next time if it were to happen again. I did not care if the company's opinion was that I handled the matter inappropriately, I felt I was defending myself. But when my boss sat me down to go over the "write up" I was asked to sign off on what was described in the "write up" as "employee over reacted to something another employee said to someone else and confronted the other employee directly", I was unwilling to sign anything. Please give me your insight on this matter.

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

Unfortunately, as an at-will employee, you can be written up at any time for any reason (even a bad one) with or without prior notice.

This stems from the employment at-will doctrine, which is codified in California Labor Code Section 2922, which states:

"An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a specified term means an employment for a period greater than one month."

However, if your employer is discriminating against you due to your race, or if your work environment is hostile due to your race (which
definitely seems to be the case) you can file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing for discrimination
and hostile work environment in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

You can file a complaint using the instructions available online here:
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your insight. Does be the only person getting written up have any baring?
Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.
Yes, that tends to demonstrate discrimination, since the employees were not written up for using racist accents and slurs, but you were written up for your reaction to their racist actions.
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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