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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38913
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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My employer has eliminated my position and lowered my pay even

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My employer has eliminated my position and lowered my pay even lower than what I had started when I first was hired. I filed a claim under workers comp and I was denied yet I appealed it by seeing a QME specialist. I have been working with this company since April 2002. I have never had a bad evaluation. I have been a good if not great employee. I have never been written up. Over two years ago the company hired a consultant with a contact of 6 months, then she was given another 6 months then she got 1 year contact (which would have been over at the end of July 2013). The consultant is a friend of the managing partner (there are 8 or 9 partners in the organization). She has caused me so much stress since the beginning of 2012. I just couldn't take her mental abuse anymore that I put in a complaint that I had feared to do for so long and now that I have, I have been given a written warning, my position has been eliminated, my pay has been drastically reduced and I have been out on medical leave by my primary doctor, my psychiatrist, my psychologist and the N/P at my psychologist/psychiatrist office. I tried to explain to other partners who were in agreement with me and other co-workers that have now been afraid to talk in fear of losing their jobs. I have provided a doctor's slip requesting medical leave until August 14 to my employer, which was an extension. Now I have received a certified letter stating that I have to make a decision by Friday, August 2 to return to work with a lower pay and a demotion and a written warning, otherwise they will consider I abandoned my job. Is there anything I can do? I have been on depression and anxiety pills due to the mental abuse caused by my immediate supervisor. During the time of her mental abuse, I have had chest pains, anxiety, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight, concentration, memory, crying episodes, nightmares, headaches and so much more. I have a family and bills to pay and I feel that this is not fair. What can I do? Please help!!!!

You can file a Labor Code 132a Petition to remedy your demotion and any other related discrimination. The link provided above explains the details.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What can I do about my employers W/C insurance in regards XXXXX XXXXX not responding? I call and I get transferred to a voice mail. I leave a message and no one calls me back...time and time again. Plus my work accused me of inappropriate behavior with upper management yet I have never been written up for such behavior. I was also accused of causing the company to hire an outside firm (not really outside firm, the {firm}consultants hired to mediate are part of the organization that the partners are affiliated with) with false accusations. I had provided a consultant that would have mediated with the group free of charge, who I have no ties with or have not know yet the organization wanted to bring someone who they are affiliated yet said they don't know them. I was questioned by the firm/consultants and of course, they sided by the organization instead of me,an employee. What can I do about this and do I have any defense?

Everything that you are describing is retaliatory in nature -- and it may rise to the level of a misdemeanor criminal action against the employer. The 132a petition is the first step. I strongly urge you to hire legal representation. You may be able to expand your complaint into a disability discrimination action, but you will have to take additional steps to make that happen.

Attempting to "do-it-yourself" this matter will only increase your anxiety. You need a lawyer to push back, so that you can get healthy and not worry about the details.

For a competent referral, see this link.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have been told via certified mail that I have to respond by this Friday, August 2, otherwise they will consider me abandoning my job. I have about 140 vacation hours that they told me I would get paid out at the lower rate. I told them that those vacation hours were accumulated when I was at the higher rate, but I was told that I would be paid at the lower rate. If I don't respond, are they obligated to pay me my vacation hours and if so is it right and just for them to pay me at the lower rate or do I lose my vacation hours? Plus I also have 8 hours of PTO, shouldn't I also get these hours paid? What can I do about this?

Re the vacation hours, you can claim that the reduction in pay is retaliatory and file a wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement to recover the difference between what you are paid and what you are owed.

This, also, could be combined with your other issues to create grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit. You may even be able to force your employer to reinstate your employment and/or pay for lost wages until you find a new job.

But, you need to get that Labor Code 132a petition in the works, so find yourself a lawyer, ASAP.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I also found out that they are also doing something bad, wrong which could get them in trouble but I've been afraid to say/report anything for the same reason that they would fire me. I don't know what to do. I have been so stressed out I am so afraid of taking pills that have been prescribed but my husband said I need to continue taking them to help me get better. I don't know if I should try to do something about the retaliation first and then report them. Can I get in trouble for not reporting them for fear of what they might do to me? What can I do?

If you are talking about something that you believe in good faith is a violation of criminal law, then if you report the matter to the applicable law enforcement agency, be it, the police/sheriff, OSHA, SEC or otherwise, then you will be immune from any retaliation after that, because Labor Code 1102.5 provides immunity for good faith reports of illegal conduct by an employee, even if the ultimate finding is that no illegal conduct took place.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much for all the information. Can you refer or provide me with some lawyers that will charge only if my case is won? I am currently receiving disability and it would be hard to hire a lawyer if I have to pay upfront.

Thank you again.

Most employment rights and workers compensation attorneys will work on contingency. I regret, however, that I am not legally permitted to make direct referrals in this forum. The best I can do is to give you the State Bar Certified Legal Referral Services, which I did in one of my previous answers. Again, for your convenience, see this link.

Hope this helps.
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