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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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I need a legal advise on one of my employees who is about to

Customer Question

I need a legal advise on one of my employees who is about to sue us because she could not agree with cutting down her work hours by two third. she is serving in military while working at my store. she believes that cutting her work hours was resulted of her absences while she was on military trips. she has been on her trips two three days in the weekends per month.
My store recently became very busy and I noticed her laziness at the work and felt that I need soneone else to replace her to keep up with busy traffic. She has been working for us about a year and I have cooperated with her schedule so far. The timing of reducing her work hours happen to be after her more frequent trips and she believes that she has been discriminated because of that.
When I gave her notice she told me that she could technically sue me and left saying a foul language. I need to know what could be the worst case senario.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.
Good morning,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Well, the timing of the decrease in hours, with her obligation to the military does raise a red flag. It doesn't prove that you are discriminating, but it does raise the question.

If she is being given less hours because you believe that she is slacking in her duties at work, I hoe that you have clearly written documentation to support that determination---and NOT just something that you plan to state from memory.

If you have not documented incidences of this problem in her personnel file on several different occasions---and hopefully will be able to prove that you have at least counseled her on one or more occasions on her laziness and failure to meet standards---then under the circumstances you should consider bringing her back in---stating exactly why she was placed on limited duty, tell her that her military service has nothing to do with it, and then give her back her hours---under the condition that she is on a 90 day probation and that failure to improve in her attitude and effort will result in her being terminated.

If you don;t have the documentation to show this is an ongoing problem, and you don;t give her the hours back, and she sues you---I can see a jury awarding her a significant judgment against your company for the discrimination. By significant. I mean in the neighborhood of as much as $20,000.00 to $50,000.00. That would be your worst case scenario.

And, finally, I agree that you would be well served by looking to retain a local employment law attorney in the interim.

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link if you need any clarification of my answer.

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I wish you the best in 2013,

Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.
Good evening,
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