Q: Can an employer use when I got my hand surgery as an excuse why I fell in seniority for training?
I been here 2 years in jan. and when things slowed down I took the moment to get my carpel tunnel surgery done cuz I plan on being here a long time. When I got back 3 months later, people that came in 6 months after me got training I havmt gotten and when I asked they said that I would have gotten it but my surgery was the thing that hurt me. Like even if you take the 3 months off I still was here longer. I just wanna know if they can use my surgery against me legally
Unless you are in a union where seniority is a bargained advantage, the concept of seniority is not recognized in employment law.
If you missed the training because you were on leave, there is no way you could be trained while you were out. Upon your return, making you wait for the next possible training session is not unlawful. However if it could be proved that the employer is not allowing you to train because it is retaliating against you for taking the leave, you may well have a meritorious claim for disability discrimination.
This area of law can be complicated and the issues are often resolved based on the specific facts of each situation. It would therefore be a good idea for you to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.
Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law offer a free or low cost consultation in the beginning and then, if the matter has merit and value, will usually agree to work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.
Good luck to you.
Maya L. Serkova agrees with this answer
Your employer may not retaliate or discriminate against you because of your surgery. However, more details would need to be known to say definitely what happened.
I suggest you consult an employment law attorney who will further examine your situation and explain your options. Most employment law attorneys in California offer free-of-charge initial consultations and thereafter may take your case on a contingency basis, meaning you do not have to pay attorney’s fees unless and until there is a positive outcome for you. They may also advance either all or partial costs of litigation.
You can look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section or go to California Employment Lawyers Association (www.cela.org), an organization whose members are committed to representing employees’ rights. Best of luck.
Maya L. Serkova
Under California law, employers cannot discriminate against employees based on a medical condition or disability. If you took a medical leave of absence for your carpal tunnel surgery and it's related to a disability, the employer must provide reasonable accommodations, which can include training you might have missed. It would be problematic for an employer to use the surgery and subsequent leave as a reason for not providing you with training, especially if it impacts your job opportunities or seniority.
You may have rights under both the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It's advisable to address your concerns with your employer in writing and to consult with an attorney regarding potential discrimination.
Document all communications and actions related to this issue to protect your interests. If necessary, you might consider filing a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The DFEH can investigate and take action against employers who violate anti-discrimination laws.
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