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Delta-Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 3546
Experience:  In-House Counsel & Litigator
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I have a friend who needs help. He is a production worker who

Customer Question

I have a friend who needs help. He is a production worker who doesnt know English. There was an accident at work today due to a safety hazard which was created by another employee, employee B.That employee turned around and accused that he assulted Employee B.The truth was my friend tripped on B's safety hazard, failed.Since the workspace was congested and small, when my friend failed he failed on top of B. Everything then failed on top of both. When my friend and B got up, right away B accused that my friend assult him. My friend said No, he didn't. B went to the office. B doesnt know English either. However the only trnaslator for the plant was Bs relative. My friend tried to explain what happened to the translator. My ftiend didnt know what all were being translated but from a workplace accident it was turned into an assult. The translator called the police and unsure what was translated to the officer. The officer issued my friend a ticket for assult and require to be in court.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
I hope this message finds you well, present circumstances excluded. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of employment law experience. It is a pleasure to assist you today.
Well, your friend has two options at the moment. He can try to persuade Employee B to drop the charges, at which point the court would no longer have a case and this will go away. The only other option is to fight this in court. To do that, it is recommended to have an attorney present. In short of having an attorney present, he definitely needs to have a translator present in court and he needs to have with him any and all witnesses possible to portray his side of the story.
The court is not going to have a translator probably more so than a lawyer, a translator is a necessity under the circumstances if this proceeds to court.
Based on the facts you have shared with me, it sounds as though your friend has a very defensible case. However, he has to be able to articulate the facts and will need a translator and witnesses for that purpose to win.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Please rate my answers positively.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
To be continued. friend refused to sign the ticket and asked the translator to tell the officer that he didn't do that. The translator said to my friend that he must signed the ticket otherwise the officer would put my friend in jail immediately. My friend had to sign it. There was no witness. No video survellence. This is a workplace harazard and workplace accident. However his employer suspended him, listened to the translator and tried to blame him for everything. Do you think that ethical? Fair? Can they get in trouble for what they are doing to my friend? They took B's side, listened to the translator who is bias In this case. My friend was treated unfair. Please advise. Thanks!!!
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
This is certainly not ethical and not fair. However, this is an employer discretionary issue and it is unlikely that they will get in trouble for a decision made within their discretion. I wish there was a different answer here, but the employer enjoys a broad discretion on issues such as this one.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Also, please rate my answers positively.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What do you mean by "their discretion"? Should there be laws and regulations that they must follow? Can you be more specific, I am now more confused tham before.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If my friend go to court and lose, not that he will. However I would like to know what would happen to him.
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
Employers have the discretion to choose which side of a story to take relative to a work situation. The policy and case law in the US for generations has supported this fact. It does not assume that they will always be right (as in this case)...but the policy decision has been made to not interfere with this discretion to choose the side they desire as being more important than second guessing all decisions.
The only time this is not true is when someone is discriminated against based on their race, gender, age, religion or handicap. Since both Employee A and B are both of the same ethic heritage (I assume), it is unlikely that discrimination can be laid as a claim by your friend based on the protected classes delineated in the law (Civil Rights Act).
Let me know if that helps at all and understand, I am not saying the treatment is fair, I am just telling you what American legal policy is in this area of employment law.
If he loses, he will likely receive a misdemeanor conviction and he may lose his job. A misdemeanor assault charge is not overly bad in the grand scheme of things. I have seen many blue collar workers as well as white collar workers with a misdemeanor assault conviction and it rarely affects future employment.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So its not a discrimination b/c they are the same race. How about playing favorism? Conflict of interest when the management listened to the translator who is related to B.
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
It is not discrimination. Employers, believe it or not, can actually show favoritism as long as they are not discriminatory. It does seem to be a conflict of interest and they should have used an independent person to conduct the investigation and translate. However, that is unethical, not illegal. Unethical is perfectly legal in this context. I wish I had better news. Your friend is getting screwed over here and is falling in a loop hole in the process.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When the officer issued the ticket, my ftiend refused to sign it bc he didn't do anything wrong. What would happen to him if he didnt sign it? He is in Nebraska.
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
If he didn't sign it, he probably would have been arrested and detained on the spot for a charge called, disobeying the lawful order of a law enforcement officer. They would have tacked that charge on to the existing one. Your friend was wise to sign the ticket as it gives him the ability to "fight another day" in court. I really think he has a good shot at beating this charge - if he can get a translator to court with him.
Let me know if you have any other questions. If not, please rate my answer positively. Thanks!
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
You have any other questions on this matter? Thanks