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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 116817
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I have a couple of issues with my current employer but my

Customer Question

I have a couple of issues with my current employer but my one concern right now is as follows:
I was out in disability and had my fist meeting with my manager one on one with the hr manager since I have been back (last Monday). She has avoided talking to me about my return. When I sat with them yesterday they told me that I now have to come into work three or at least two days a week. I have worked as an at home employee with a set schedule to come in most Wednesday. This was because 8 years ago I have my notice due to a move 1.5 hours away and the offer a position to work from home. Now after being off for 8 weeks I came back to them say a lot of things are changing and they need me In The office more for my role. When I said I have to think about what a "set schedule" would have to look like for me bc my daughter needs someone at home after school they just tried to give me advice on how I could get some kind of child care. Later I contacted the hr manager and asked what my reimbursement would look like for the added expense for the new job responsibilities and she offensively responded there will be none and we can change the position without compensation at any time. And that pretty much if I do not that I will be declining my new job requirements and moved into a new position or let go.
Can they do this to me? Force me to change my job requirements and especially after I just returned from disability where they realized that I need to be in office more in set schedule?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If your employer can prove a legitimate business need for an employee to be in the office physically, the employer can do so. Even though you just returned from disability, in order for you to have a claim against the employer, you have to prove that the only reason for this action was because of your use of disability. If the employer shows a legitimate business need, then that would defeat your claim.
You must do what the employer demands of the employee as an at will employee and failure to do so could result in dismissal for good cause for refusal of work.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Even though I was hire as a work from home employee?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I can prove that my team has still provided a high level of proformace as when I worked from home. It wasn't until I was on leave that they had a issue with one or two of my team members. I believe they are using this to try to get rid of me.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Unless you have a written contract to the contrary, you are an at will employee and the employer can change the conditions of employment as necessary for the employer's needs. It really does not have to do with performance as much as it does the needs of the employer.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Shouldn't I be compensated? I now have to add 3 more hours to my day to due to travel and the expense of putting my child in after school care
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I went out in leave due to health issues and mental health issues. I have complained to hr about the working conditions and there has not been any action except that I feel they are now trying to find a way to get rid of me. I have been told by management many times that when I said I can try to be in the office more but can not all the time but always will if needed that day, I was told that I do not need to be in consistently and I need to make sure my family is taken care of first.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Unfortunately, no, they do not have to compensate you extra unless you have a contract to the contrary. Your travel time and child care needs are personal issues under the law and not something the employer must compensate an employee for.
I understand your claims, but the at will employment laws are not in favor of the employee, they favor the employer and as such no at will employee has any real right to employment or to dictate how the employment will be performed, that is up to the employer and if you disagree with what they want, the employee's only right is to find another job.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I also right before I left questioned the some of the potential elegal things they may be doing and was told by other employees that the owner was going to fire me bc of this action.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
She has not fired you, she is asking you to show up at the office for work, which is the right of the employer to do.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I am finding it hard to believe that with the hostile work environment and the action pushed on me that I do not have some kind of case with how the are trying to get rid of me
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You have not described any facts yet that actually qualify as a "hostile work environment" under the legal definition of such, which is what the issue is. Under law, the US Supreme Court says to be a hostile work environment the conduct must be ONLY because of age/race/sex/disability/national origin or in retaliation for exercising some statutory claim and the law is not designed to create a code of civility in the workplace. See: Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, 523 U.S. 75 (1998)
Many at will employees are not aware of the law and seem to believe that they have many more rights in their employment than the laws give them and are upset when they find out that they serve at the employer's will and pleasure and they do not have a legal right to dictate terms to an at will employer.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I do have that proof that it has been a hostile work environment and that I have contacted hr about it and I have proof that they have done shady things with the health care insurance of our patients. I believe I have enough but not sure. I haven't wanted to use that card because of the way I have been treated when I have voiced my concern. And when i have felt attacked and given I lower performance review because of a personal issues my manager has with me about these concerns and my management of her daughter. I have talked to my vp and hr manager and still now I feel even more that I am being forced out. I am also not the only one that feels this way. They are putting an employee on my team because she is feeling harassed by the same person so they want to move her from under this person. It's a poisons environment but j am now even more scared to voice my concern.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If you have proof this was based on age/race/sex/disability/national origin, or in retaliation then your first step is you must file a complaint with the EEOC, they must investigate and issue you a right to sue letter. Since you have voiced your concern to HR and they have taken no action, then you need to go to the EEOC and if they issue you a right to sue letter and you can then sue the employer for their conduct.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ok, do you know what type of documentation I would need to have to do this? I feel alone, unsure of the how to do this, nervous, and a bit concern about the whole thing and I am afraid how this could all effect my current job. Any suggestions on how to get what I need and how to preform all that is required and not continue to be mipulated into be pushed out of my job?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You need to gather witnesses and your evidence to prove that your employer is doing this to you based only on one of those unlawful reasons. It is up to the EEOC to investigate those witness and your evidence and issue a determination letter after which time you can file suit against them.