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Ask Legal Counsel Your Own Question
Legal Counsel
Legal Counsel, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 103
Experience:  California Licensed Attorney- 29 years- Wages, Hours, Overtime, Discrimination, Wrongful Termination.
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I made sick call and leave message to my manager that I am

Customer Question

I made sick call and leave message to my manager that I am not feeling good. He call me back and threatend me that if I don't come he will fire me.I complain to HR about that, but my manager refused that he said that to me, instead he said he made miss call by mistake
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Legal Counsel replied 4 years ago.

Legal Counsel : Hello. I hope I can assist you with your problem of being threatened by your supervisor that he will fire you. How long have you been employed with the employer? We're you entitled to sick leave on the day you called in sick? Has your manager treated you like this in the past, but doesn't treat other employees the way he treats you? Are other employees allowed to call in sick and yet are not threatened? Please answer these questions, as they will help me to better assist you.
JACUSTOMER-hhte65n4- :

Thanks for the response. I started working for PowerON in 11 jan 2011. We are entitled to take sick leave before the job start. This was the first time he call me back and threaten me. He didn't do that to anyone else in past.

Legal Counsel : Were there any consequences from you calling in sick? Even though he threatened you, did you still stay home sick, and we're not fired when you returned to work.
Legal Counsel : If you weren't fired when you returned to work, then his threats were empty threats. You should talk with the owner or your managers's supervisor and tell them your concerns and that you don't understand why you were treated that way and want to make sure that you are not treated that way in the future. If you weren't fired and were just threatened, you haven't actually suffered any damages. BUT it is important that you not be treated that way in the future. The best way to ensure that you are not treated that way in the future is to talk with your managers's supervisor and inform him or her that you were actually sick when you called in and are concerned about being threatened. If you are an otherwise dedicated employee and do not call in sick more than is allowed then you have a reason to be concerned. But before you talk with your employer about having your job threatened, you want to make sure that they cannot say that you call in sick too often. I dont know how often you have been sick over the past 21 months, but it is not a good idea to call in sIck too often. It is best to have sick leave that you don't use very often. Then you are seen as an employee who is dedicated and doesn't call in sick too often. I think you stated that your supervisor said that " he made call by mistake." I'm not sure what that means. Does it mean that he said he didn't mean to threaten to fire you? Since you notified HR, I suspect he won't do that again and that going to HR to report what he did has essentially taken care of the problem. I recommend that you don't do anything further as long as you have informed HR about what happened. Do you think there is a reason why your manager said what he said because of your race, color, gender, religion, national origin, or medical condition that would cause him to treat you differently? If not, then, I would recommend that you not do anything more about it unless it happens again. It seems that your talking with HR has likely put him on notice that he cannot make those threats and it will likely not happen again. If it does happen again, AND you do not call in sick on a regular basis, then you need to do something to file a grievance against your supervisor or request that you work under another supervisor. As stated above, if you were not fired and you have informed HR about what happened, if I were advising you, I would advise you to let it pass for now, continue to be a dedicated employee, so that if it happens again, your supervisor is the one in the wrong. Life at work is stressful enough and I would advise you to be pleased with yourself that you brought it to the attention of HR and can assume it won't happen again. If it does happen again, then you may want to more seriously question his motives. I have handled many employment cases and many times personality clashes can cause problems. But if this was a one time occurrence, there is not much more you should do. Unless you think you want to do something further, I think it is best for your peace of mind, and for a good working environment to know that you notified HR, and see what happens. Just make sure HR knows that you dispute what your supervisor said and that he did in fact threaten you. I would leave it at that for now. Otherwise, it will just put more stress on you and complicate your working environment. If you disagree with me, please let me know. But having looked at many employment situations, I think this would be your best course of action.
JACUSTOMER-hhte65n4- :

I already talk to HR. She call and asked my manager why he said that. He replied."I didn't threatened him. Actually I wanted to call someone else, by mistake he dialed his number. But when he replied I said sorry wrong number". His statement is completely wrong. He purposely call me and threatened me. Is there any thing I can do?

JACUSTOMER-hhte65n4- :

Is there any why I can prove that he actually threatened me?

Legal Counsel : Hello again. I'm sorry for not replying sooner but was away from the computer. I believe preparing something in writing and describing what happened and submitting it to HR and giving as much information as you can to HR about what happened and what the manager said, is the best way to "prove" what the manager did. Your statement of what happened is the best proof of what happened. If you have any recorded messages from the manager, that would also help you to prove what he said. As we discussed above, I think you should inform HR of the threat and ask them to include it in your managers's personell file. You want to make sure you have documented in your statement that tou give to HR everything that the manager did in case things become worse. That way you are making sure that HR is aware of the manager's conduct. You want HR to know that the manager threatened to fire you- and in proving that, you want to prepare something in writing. If you just " say" what happened, it won't be documented. So be sure you put it in writing. Putting it in writing means it will be documented and will be put into the managers's personell file. You want to be as careful as possible about not seeming like you want to cause trouble or that you are complaining but instead, that you are a dedicated worker, and just want to be treated fairly. I do not know all the facts about the history of your work or whether you have had problems with this manager, but the best way to " prove" that he threatened your employment is to make sure to prepare a brief statement in writing about what happened, and submit your statement to HR . In doing that you will have documented it and if it happens again, then your manager will be the one who will be scrutinized. In addition to informing HR about what your manager said, it is important that your employer sees you as a dedicated employee. Because then your manager will be the one that they will be keepung an eye on to make another mistake. The best way to "prove" what you manager did is to inform HR about what happened and ask that they document it in the managers's personnel file. At the same time, you want to ensure that you are seen as a dedicated employee who works hard. Your employer will believe you and will keep an eye on the manager if you are seen as an employee who reports the mistreatment and then focuses on being the best employee possible. Because you did not actually lose your job, you would want to use the managers's threat as an opportunity to now show that you are an excellent employee who was mistreated. The way to do that best is to report the managers's threat, make sure it is documented, and then focus on your job performance. If you spend too much time trying to "prove" what the manager said, you risk your employer seeing you as focusing too much on proving what the manager said. If it were me, I would make sure I gave HR as much information as possible about the incident in writing, tell them what you have described here in our discussion, and ask that it be included in the manager's personnel file. I believe you giving HR the information as you know it is what will "prove" what happened. HR will believe you over the manager when they see that you are an excellent employee and if it happens again, your manager will be the one who gets disciplined. What is most important now is to start documenting what he does, then if it happens again you have documented what he did before and then focus on showing your employer that you are an excellent employee, so that if it happens again, you have already documented what the manager did before. Since you are the one with the most nformation, it is your statement in writing that will be the best " proof" of what happened. Submit your written statement and that way it will be in the manager's personell file in case it happens again. if you have any recordings of what he said that will also be proof of what happened. So, even though you have already talked to HR, you need to put it in writing an submit it to HR. Your written statement is the best proof of what happened.
Legal Counsel : Because there is no other proof of what happened other than your written statement. Try to be as accurate as possible in your written statement. If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to ask. I hope my suggestion that you put your concerns in writing has helped you in knowing how to proceed. Based on my experience in employment law, this is the how I believe is the best way for you to proceed and what is in your best interests. You want to make sure HR knows about what the manager did while at the same time making sure your employer sees you not as trying to cause trouble but instead that you are a dedicated employee who is only trying to keep them informed of what happened and that you are a dedicated employee who was not treated fairly. You will be setting the record straight, and your manager will think twice about doing something like that in the future. The fact that your employment was not terminated is a good sign that your manager had no basis to threaten to fire you. And your letting HR know has now put them on notice of his conduct. But you need to follow it up with something in writing. Once you have submitted your statement, and you know it is documented, you want to continue to do your work the best way you know how, and then if your manager does something like that in the future, he, and not you, will be the one who will be seen as the trouble maker. Please let me know if there is anything else I can assist you with. If you believe I have assisted you, please feel free to accept my answer. If you don't believe I have assisted you, please give me the opportunity to do so before you decide to accept or not accept my answer or to rate my service. My only purpose is to help you the best way I can. Thank you for the opportunity to assist you.
JACUSTOMER-hhte65n4- :

Unfortunately, like most of people I don't have call recorders. Its mean I can't practically prove that he threatened me. I already wrote complain letter and submitted it to HR and took her signature on second copy of that letter, just for my record.I am also going to ask her to sign one more letter in which I will mention that I will never call my manager for sick leave, I will call only HR.

Legal Counsel : I agree with you that you should have HR sign off on your request that you not be required to call your manager when you call in sick and include that HR will inform your manager that you have called in sick. I would also include in the letter that the managers's threat to terminate your employment caused you much distress and that calling HR is necessary to avoid you from having to hear those type of threats again and that is why you are requesting that you be allowed to call HR instead of the manager. If your manager mistreats you in other ways, be sure to document it, because if the manager is a vindictive type of person he may start finding reasons to make it look like you are not doing your job. So keep track of how he treats you.