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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116829
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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How does this work? I need emergency employment law help in

Customer Question

how does this work? I need emergency employment law help in California
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: CA
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Only through HR department, not with legal help
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: It is in regards ***** ***** accommodation So I pay $5, what else do I have to pay?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My husband and I work together as Family Teachers for a group home. We were hired as couple in April 2016. On 12/8/16 we requested a reasonable accommodation to not have to move into a youth girl’s home. This is because in July 2016 when we were filling in there my husband was put with a youth that publicly called him a rapist, n-word and many other things. (Before this she physically assaulted me by throwing a cookie jar at my head. I went to urgent care) She then proceeded to break the window of the van he would be driving home. After management decided she was calm he was forced to drive her home in the broken down vehicle. We filed a grievance with the company about keeping employees safe and having a safety plan for these situations. At the end of October we ended up having to work in that home only this time they wanted us to move in because the former Family Teachers had quit or been fired. We asked 3 managers to not have to move in because we felt another couple would be a better fit and we had trauma working there and couldn’t move past it. They did not agree so we asked if we could get help by going to EAP (employee assistance counseling) We were able to do that and the EAP counselor suggested we ask for a reasonable accommodation. When we asked for the RA on 12/8 we were sent home and forced to use sick pay even though we could have worked elsewhere. On 12/13 they expected us to be back to work after they refused our reasonable accommodation. We both had variations of a panic attack and went to see a doctor at urgent care.
The nurses there said this was workman’s comp and we’ve been going through workman’s comp for those dates of 12/14-12/19. On 12/19 the Dr cleared us to go back to work at that house for a week trial period or anywhere else. They did not comply and even though they needed help they did not allow us to return to any work site until 12/31. (We were able to work and cleared to work but not allowed to work from 12/19-12/30. It is unclear if we will be paid for this time or not) This is because they gave us an ultimatum to either accept an Orange County owned home in Tustin, CA where dogs were not allowed. We said we would accept but we needed further clarification. They may have known at the time that we have an Emotional Support Animal or it is possible they did not know. However, we informed them very clearly in emails and in person the last several days.
When we were hired we did not disclose that the animal was ESA because the place where they had us live and the places where we could potentially move all allowed regular dogs (without ESA status). It was only as of last week that they began to force us into a county owned home that doesn’t allow dogs.
Now, they are forcing us to relinquish our emotional support animal (ESA) who is allowed at the current apartment they pay for and move to the Tustin home THIS Saturday. We already sent them the dog’s registration and told them about the law and that they’d be breaking it under the ADA if we are forced to relinquish the ESA.
Yesterday the Executive Director said we have to “resign or get rid of our dog”
Today HR says we have to be vacated from our apartment and cover the cost of making other arrangements for our dog at our expense on January 7th. They want us to move into the Tustin apartment by the end of the business day.
How can we stop this process or slow it down?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 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.
They cannot make you get rid of an emotional support animal if you have a legitimate need for the animal, it would violate the ADA. So, your next step is filing a complaint with Fair Employment and Housing for discrimination under the ADA for them trying to deny employment and terminate you based on your need for a service/support animal. You will need to prove to FEH the need for the support animal and show the requests made to the employer for the reasonable accommodation and they will investigate. In the meantime, if the employer tries to put you out and terminate you, then you would need a local attorney to file a discrimination suit and for a temporary restraining order to prevent them from doing so while your FEH case is pending.
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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Okay thank you, ***** ***** currently trying to get us to resign, they have used this word very clearly... they are trying to avoid being liable and firing us. Since we can't and won't comply with moving and giving up the ESA on January 7th should we show up to work on Saturday? (we work weekends) I don't want us to be seen as abandoning the job at all.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

You need to continue to work, but in the meantime, tomorrow you need to contact FEH and tell them what is happening and file your complaint.