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I’m being harassed my by employer but I will lose my job if…

I’m being harassed my by...
I’m being harassed my by employer but I will lose my job if I say something. He thinks he has impunity bc I am under contract. It’s a big mess.
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Answered in 11 minutes by:
10/20/2017
Patrick, Esq.
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,240
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified

Hello and welcome. What sort of harassment are you experiencing exactly? Also, what is your question please?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Oh sorry this is more of an adendum to my previous question, I was confused how the system worked! So I’m a nurse and I was hired by a hospital and they made me sign a contract to work there through a third party. The terms of the contract are totally draconian but they said it was the only way to work there and it’s the specialty I wanted to get experience in. It turns out my peers did not have to sign the contract, earn more than me, and get more benefits. I feel like I signed under false pretenses. The guy who runs the 3rd party staffing agency was super nice when we met but he’s very hostile now and treats me like an endentured servant. I’ve attached some texts. I want to get out of my contract with this third party but I don’t want to lose my work at the hospital. I want to be hired the same as my peers. I don’t know what my rights are. The contract stipulates I will owe $15k for my training costs if I terminate early. I also wasn’t able to show the contract to a lawyer before signing.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I mostly want to know what kind of lawyer I need for this type of situation. Fair employment? Healthcare specific?
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I think the whole arrangement it illegal, both what the staffing agency is doing and what the hospital is doing by working with him. But I don’t feel like I have any recourse to demand fair treatment due to the structure of the agreement.

Thank you.

Unfortunately I must tell you that there is nothing inherently illegal about paying you less than others doing the same work. The law only prohibits unequal pay when the REASON for it is a legally protected trait, such as race, religion or gender. For example, it would be illegal for employers to have a policy of paying men 20% more than women simply because they are men.

You have not stated any facts which suggest that you re being paid less because of a legally protected trait. Ultimately, it is up to you to negotiate terms of employment that are acceptable to you, and the fact you may later regret those terms because other employees have negotiated better deals does not automatically invalidate your contract. Staffing agencies would be completely run out of business if employees could just cancel their contracts and then go to work directly for the employer with no consequences. These contracts are generally enforceable and clauses to reimburse for training are also generally enforceable provided there is some reasonable relationship between the amount to be repaid and actual retraining costs.

So It's hard to answer the question of what kind of lawyer you need, because this may very well be a situation in which you have no legal recourse. I know that is not what you want to hear, but I need to be honest with you. It would be an incredible disservice to you for me to lie to you for the sake of providing "good news."

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
My concern is that I applied directly to he hospital, like my peers, but unlike my peers I was referred to an agency. and when the staffing agency contacted me they presented themselves as if they were THE hospital. I asked repeatedly if the contract was a requirement of employment and was told yes, which is false. I was also told I couldn’t leave the room or take a picture of the contract.

Thank you. I do sincerely ***** ***** could tell you otherwise, but this does not change the answer.

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Again if there is anything more I can do for you just let me know. It's my pleasure....

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
My friend had this happen at her hospital and her union rep said these contracts are illegal and unenforceable. I guess the police had a similar contract system and it was deemed illegal in the past few years.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Last question, is there no recourse for harassment and intimidation? Is my only option to quit and “owe” money if I don’t want to be harassed? That seems wrong.

I cannot comment on the statements of a union rep that may have been made to your friend because I do not know the situation or what was said. What I can tell you with absolute certainty, though, is that there is nothing illegal about staffing agency contracts and nothing illegal about paying employees who work through a staffing agency less than other employees on that basis alone. There were probably reasons relating to the union contract which prohibited staffing agency employment on different terms. But again I don't really want to speculate as I just don't have nearly enough information to comment on that situation.

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Harassment and intimidation are not against the law unless they relate to a legally protected trait, such as race. For example, yelling racial slurs at an employee is illegal harassment. Otherwise it does not violate the law.

Your choices are to continue working pursuant to the terms of the contract you agreed to, or to quit and potentially risk being sued for breach of your contract. Again, I am sympathetic to your situation, but I am trying to be honest and realistic with you. It would be incredibly patronizing of you for me to mislead you for the sake of providing " good news," and I trust you will agree.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok thanks for your help

You are very welcome. Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service (using the stars at the top of the page) so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Very best wishes.

Patrick, Esq.
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,240
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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