California Employment Law

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I have been an employee of my company from five years ago (with

just one short break) and...
I have been an employee of my company from five years ago (with just one short break) and recently last October we rolled into a singular sales office as opposed to on each property. With this roll out brought many changes and I originally worked varied hours and they were flexible with my hours due to the distance that I live. I had never received a write up and was a strong contributor to the team that my employees loved. This April, I went on a vacation trip to Asia where I unfortunately contracted a severe form of staph infection. Thus, upon returning, I was out for an additional few weeks because of the surgery required and recovery time.
When I got back, it was nearly time for my brother’s wedding and I was told I had give up the wedding time off request because work needed me to stay. I obliged because I understood my company needed me, but was also told at that time that my performance was low despite being given no warnings verbally about what I was doing wrong. Rather, it was perception based on what my now new boss has envisioned for the roll.
My job description was never given clearly still because with the roll out came many changes. I was then tasked to train a sales manager, which I did, and also to assist in the development of a plan for a underperforming unit. I said I would be doing the development plan all day the next day and pass the training for the sales manager to the outgoing sales director. I did that and then two days after my new manager came to me and said I shouldn’t have done that even though I told her what I would be doing. I was then yelled at in a very public environment as well. I was told not to work on it anymore because it was no longer my job and that she would work on it. There was one error on it which she called me about and we fixed it over the phone.

I ask her to discuss her publicly yelling at me and she brings me in a room with a new hired boss of mine. She said that I was making excuses for underperforming. I asked her what were my excuses she said “you taking days off for moving or not fixing (one of our entities) because you were out with your surgery†to which I obviously gasped. There was no adjusted expectation because I was out with this surgery, but rather blame that I didn’t fix it. She later pulled me alone to give me a write up stating I made errors on my spreadsheet, which when she printed shows she just didn’t read it. She wouldn’t accept responsibility for it and changed it to “locked cell error†. She also now forced me to change my hours, knowing very well that flexibility was what allowed me to stay working. Essentially, I feel I was insulted and truly forced from my job forcing me to put in my notice.

I let my regional and my newly hired boss know of this and it seems no action has been taken against her because they want to keep her and my notice was really after I knew they were just going to keep her and I couldn’t have my same job back.

I was wondering if there was something I can get for this in terms of compensation.
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Answered in 12 minutes by:
6/13/2013
Brandon, Esq.
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,953
Experience: Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
Verified

Employment-LawExpert :

Hello and thank you for your question today.

Employment-LawExpert :

Are you online with me?

Employment-LawExpert :

Welcome to the chat

Customer:

Hi there.

Employment-LawExpert :

First, let me say that I am terribly sorry to hear that you have had to go through this. It is a shame when an employer feels they can act in a manner without legitimacy. Especially when that action is quite frankly wrong. Concerning your question, I have good news and I have bad news. The courts have made very clear that they will not be the arbiters of general claims for unfairness or harassment that is not premised on a protected trait such as race or religion, reasoning that if workplace unfairness/harassment could form the basis for legal action, we would see thousands of such lawsuits every day. This is certainly not to diminish your concerns or complaints, but rather to explain the policy behind the law, which may assist with your understanding. That being said, you specifically state that she mentioned your surgery in response to your write-up

Employment-LawExpert :

Can you tell me more about that?

Customer:

Correct, she explicitly said that she feels that I was underperforming and that I was always making excuses. I asked her specifically for examples and she said to me "One, like when you took a day off for moving and two) when you were sick with your surgery"

Customer:

She said this with our new regional new hire in the room as well.

Customer:

I then told this to my regional director and then again discussed how I cant work with her to my new director of sales as well.

Customer:

She did not explicitly write it out because I am sure, after my very shocked remark that this isn't right she wouldn't have wrote it down, but she did state this.

Employment-LawExpert :

It is unlawful to engage in any adverse employment action against an employee for a disability. A disability is anything that greatly impairs an employees ability to do their job. In your instance, it sounds like this is the real reason why you were reprimanded and written up. This, is illegal, but must be handled properly for you to see any damages. First, you would need to make a complaint to HR (or this persons boss) where you specifically reference discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based on a disability. It cannot just be that she stated that you were under performing, you have to specifically state preferably in writing "formal complaint of discrimination based on a disability" where you reference this statement.

Employment-LawExpert :

Then, if the company fails to do anything about it, you would have a cause of action and could make a complaint to the EEOC or DFEH alleging your protected right

Employment-LawExpert :

In this scenario, you would be entitled to emotional damages as well as any back pay or front pay lost, etc.

Customer:

Ok. I will go ahead and do that. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX satisfy my question.

Brandon, Esq.
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,953
Experience: Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
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