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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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My son works large auto company, he works out in the 115

Customer Question

My son works for a large auto company, he works out in the 115 degree weather and the cold in winter in Phoenix (it is cold sometimes). at his work he is treated differently in some benefits and general daily work. They hired a new manager above , my son is currently the oldest employee in time working at this entity of the company. He help build the company from ground floor. the new manager wants to get rid of him and 2 other employees and the office manager verified this to the the 3 when she quit between a problem with him. she let them know that he was trying to get them. my son is the only person in the field that does not have a company credit card for gas, he works in the shop but must drive 1.5 miles a day x 10 to get his parts and is not paid gas to pick them up. when the new guy came in, they put another guy in there with him and they pay his gas because he does maybe or maybe not any mobile (1 or 2 a week?). The significant s of this is that in the winter when cold he sits in his van and warms on company gas and in the summer he cool in air conditioning and has a swamp cooler at his station.
my son asked for a cooler and has never been given one and he can not sit in his van and run the heat and air unless he wants to pay it out of his pocket. there is another in shop guy at another location that does no mobiles but they pay his gas. the new guy is not splitting the jobs evenly as they are to be. these are some issues and there are others but we have had discussions with the higher up and he was told not come in here again. HR is for the company only. We have someone who could testify if ever needed that he is specifically targeting my son and others for their jobs. it there recourse for deliberately targeting an employee to get them out of their job and the equality differences. if he goes to HR they will find a way to fire him. ***@******.*** or***@******.***
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

It sounds like your son is working for an employer who is treating him very unfairly. However, in general, employers are not legally required to be fair. No law says that employers must promote by seniority, must equally distribute work, must provide the same benefits and perks to all employees, or must reimburse all employees' expenses. Generally, unfair treatment is only illegal if the employer is MOTIVATED by a legally protected trait, such as race, religion or disability. In these circumstances, the treatment would be actionable under our civil rights laws. Otherwise, though, the unfair treatment is not legally actionable and an employee's only recourse is to leave for alternative employment where they are treated with the respect and fairness they deserve.

The only exception that comes to mind based on the facts you have described is the temperature of his work area. Under the Occupational Safety & Health Act, employers must maintain a work envronment free from unreasonable risks of harm. A work environment that is dangerous hot or cold could be a violation of OSHA. Your son's recourse in this circumstance would be to file an OSHA complaint here. What is notable about filing an OSHA complaint is that it is a "legally protected activity." This means your son's employer will be legally prohibited from retaliating against him, and any adverse employment action which he can link to the filing of his complaint with give rise to an entirely separate legal claim for damages. So, strategically, he could file an OSHA complaint and then if he faces any further adverse action, argue that such adverse action was motivated by his complaint. In that circumstance, he may have a claim. But again, aside from this potential OSHA violation issue, the facts you describe while indicative of poor management and highly unfair treatment do not violate any law.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

* Disclaimer *

Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
would the facts that the other employee that is allowed to keep himself cool and warm evidence to his case what's the approach to the case. standing
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
they will fir him after that, they do have a handbook,
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can not believe that their is no recourse to a person being targeted to get them from job when you have person who openly abusing in your job to get rid of you
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

Remember as noted above that employers are not required to be fair or to treat all employees the same. Your son would need to prove that the REASON for such unfair treatment was a legally protected trait, as defined above, in order to have recourse arising from the disparity in treatment. Now, if the heating and cooling issue posed a health hazard for your son, then he can complaint to OSHA as noted above. Complaining about an OSHA violation is a legally protected activity, meaning if his employer retaliates against him for that specifically, he will have a claim for damages. Note that retaliation is otherwise not illegal. In order to be actionable, the retaliation must be for engaging in a legally protected activity such as filing an OSHA complaint. So, a general complaint about lack of fairness in the workplace would not be protected and could lawfully form the basis for retaliation against him

It sounds like an OSHA complaint may be his best recourse. The only other option is to leave for alternative employment where he is treated better because clearly this business is poorly managed and your son is deserving of much better.

I hope this clarifies things. 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 so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Very best wishes.

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

It is very unfortunate that there is not more recourse, trust me I agree. But the law just does not require employers to be fair. Poorly managed businesses like this usually have a very high turn over rate, which harms the company and eventually causes them to go out of business. So, it's usually in an employer's interest to treat its employees well. It's just not a requirement. I am truly sorry I can't give you better news.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
but in big companies it easy to do
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

What is easy to do?

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Are you still with me?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you info - I was a CEO, I went to many classes on employment. I came out of those with fact that I could not give some employees benefits such as medical insurance and not give it to all. I could not give upper people better insurance than the others unless they were in a different company (that's how some get around it). I thought benefits in general had to straight across the board for everyone. is this not the case
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Legally speaking, no that is not the case. As a matter of good practice, most employers instruct managers to treat all employees equally. This is generally done to avoid the allegation that an employee is being treated less favorably due to a legally protected trait, which as I described above would be legally actionable. However, from a purely legal standpoint there is nothing improper about giving some employees better treatment than others. It's unfair and bad management but not against the law. Again, please let me know if there's anything at all I can do to assist you further. If I have adequately addressed your concerns, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service, which will enable me to receive credit for my time. Very best wishes to you and your son.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Was there anything else I can do?

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Are you still with me?

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

If I have answered your question, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service. This is the only way that I am paid for my time on Just Answer and is very much appreciated. Thanks and best wishes to you.