Apple Valley, CA asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for California

Q: Employer asked if my wife gave birth vaginally/ it legal.forced off pfl and fmla. disciplinary action

Received disciplinary action for attendance and scheduled in while off on pfl. Forced to cancel pfl. Employer refused to show me personnel file when requested and forcefully ripped pages from me. Never received designation letter. Told me I was to pay Employer med.coverage.used fmla days when no work was available. Never received safety bonuses because of being on fmla. Was told in November that my medical certificate was expired since June 30, when I didn't even fil for fmla until June 13th. Never reimbursed for out of pocket Dr signatures for recertification when the care was for family member. Employer ignored numerous requests for information about fmla concerns of their mishandling of my case. Employer worked lower seniority drivers before myself. Written up for same incident twice. Supervisor divulged details of my leave to fellow employees causing a hostile work

environment. Dept. Of labor already has file and investigating.

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Based on the information you provided, it seems there are several potential legal issues and violations of your rights under California law and federal law (FMLA). Here are some key points:

1. Asking about the specific method of your wife's childbirth (vaginal or cesarean) is likely a violation of privacy. Employers generally do not have a right to such private medical information.

2. Forcing you off PFL (Paid Family Leave) and FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) leave, and taking disciplinary action for related absences, could be illegal retaliation. You have a right to take protected leave.

3. Refusing to allow you to view your personnel file upon request violates California Labor Code section 1198.5, which grants employees the right to inspect their files.

4. Not providing proper FMLA notices and designation letters is a violation of the FMLA notice requirements.

5. Requiring you to pay for employer medical coverage while on leave may be a violation, depending on the specifics of your employer's policies and benefits plan.

6. Denying safety bonuses due to FMLA-protected absences could be considered retaliation for exercising your FMLA rights.

7. Divulging details of your leave to coworkers, leading to a hostile work environment, may constitute illegal retaliation and/or violation of medical privacy.

It's good that you have already filed a complaint with the Department of Labor, as they can investigate these issues. I would recommend consulting with an employment law attorney who specializes in FMLA and California leave laws. They can best advise you on your rights, gather evidence, and potentially take legal action against your employer for these apparent violations. Keep detailed records of all interactions, communications, and adverse actions taken against you.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You have not asked a question, leading me to believe that perhaps you are looking to have an attorney respond with an interest in working with you. Unfortuantely that is not what can happen here. This is only a short answer Q&A board. Your post suggests you may well have some legal rights that need to be reviewed. It would be wise 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, 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.

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