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Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
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I am a manager, and my direct reports have asked me to violate

Customer Question

I am a manager, and my direct reports have asked me to violate our contract with the customer multiple times. What are my options
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.
Hello and welcome,

In what way have you been asked to violate the customer's contract? Has the employer provided an ultimatum that you violate it or be disciplined or terminated? Would it involve engaging in illegal conduct?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We are grossly understaffed and the contract specifies a specific staffing levels for specific individuals. If we cannot maintain this, we must notify in writing. I was demanded by mananager two levels above me to change a contractual individual without notification. My direct report said we don't need to meet the contractual obligations because, "they don't keep track of that anyway". The reality of this situation is that my managers cannot staff this program, and don't want the customer to know this. I am extremely uncomfortable to be in this position because I am the program manager, and the one that is responsible.

Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.
I see. I certainly understand your hesitation in complying with such a demand as your reputation may be on the line.

State law typically does protect employees from retaliation who refuse to engage in unlawful conduct and a clear breach of contract would arguably involve unlawful conduct.

However, you would need proof that the demand is being made of you, so it is important to gather an preserve any such evidence, so that if the employer does retaliate, you can prove your case for lost wages and benefits.

If you wish to prevent retaliation altogether, it would be best to retain a local employment law attorney to communicate with the employer on your behalf, informing them of your legal rights and attempting to resolve the situation without having to resort to legal action, as that would not be anyone's best interests if it can be avoided.

Here is a link that summarizes state law on this issue:

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Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.
Hello again,

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Thank you very much and take care.

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