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California Employment Discrimination Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: Is it illegal for my manager to call me "guedo" at work because i'm the only one who doesn't speak spanish?

it's my 1st week on the job. I believe the term means whitey or white boy and is slang. I don't know what I should do the next time she does it. I find it inappropriate. Is that a law suit? Do I walk out when she does it because I feel uncomfortable? Should I go to a laywer first or HR?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 14, 2020

I know the term "guido" is defined in an English dictionary as "a man, especially an Italian American, regarded as vain, aggressively masculine, and socially unsophisticated." I do not know what it may mean in other languages.

Calling you by a race or national origin...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: Employer accepted WORK COMP Claim but stated cannot pay, is that legal in WC?

I received a memo 3/24/20, from WC Office / self insured, that states Injured worker became P&S as of 2/4/20, IME Report. The claim for industrial injury has been accepted, but WC office states it cannot pay for time lost from 3/18/20 and continue while the Division explores alternative work... Read more »

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi answered on Jul 14, 2020

You need to talk to a Worker's Compensation attorney, and ask her/him to handle your case for you. Your employer is not your friend when it comes to a worker's compensation claim, because it then goes into the hands of the worker's compensation insurance company for the employer. And... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: Can I sue my employer for firing me based on my panic disorder? I was fired in 2002 and am on permanent disability

In 2002 I went to the hospital thinking I was having a heart attack. I was informed that I was having a panic attack due to a panic disorder. My employer fired me claiming I was too much of a liability. I have been on permanent disability since then. Can I sue them for firing me for my disability?

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jul 14, 2020

This is an excellent question. The question is whether your employer is covered by the laws, does he employ more than 5 people? Your panic disorder probably qualifies you for anti discrimination protection and entitles you to addition benefits as a Qualified Physically Disabled Person. Certainly... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: Can my employer deny days off when submitted 5 months in advance

I submitted for 2 days off the night before my boss came back from his 2 days off so he would have it in the am. I did it 5 months in advance and took a pic of it incase he looses it cuz it's happened before. 5 months later he calls me at 530 on his day off to ask you if wasn't at work.... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 13, 2020

Unfortunately, there is nothing unlawful about your employer denying you days off unless you can prove it is motivated by your membership in a protected class of people (i.e., race, religion, etc.) or because you engaged in some form of legally protected conduct. Taking a picture of your request... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: Can an employer fire an employee of that employee calls the police because they suspect a crime is happening?

My sister works for a major retailer. She called the police because she saw what she thought was something suspicious outside the store. The employer is now saying she could lose her job because of the person she called the cops on can go to the news or sue about being falsely called. This... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jul 6, 2020

Unfortunately, almost all employment in CA is on an "at will" basis, meaning that an employer does not have to have "just cause" to terminate an employee, SO LONG AS the true reason for the termination is not one that it prohibited by law, such as reporting wage problems or... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: Can I sue my employer if they wont let me return to work due to covid.

I have a doctors note saying I can return to work after having covid for 2 weeks. My employer is making it very difficult to come back to work. Can I sue my employer if they refuse to let me back at work?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jul 3, 2020

The answer to your question depends on many things, most importantly, the reason why you are not being allowed to return. If business conditions have changed and your job has been eliminated or some other legitimate business reason can be proved for not bringing you back other than the fact you... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: Do I have a case for age discrimination?

Due to Covid 19 and the advice from CA health board for people over 65 to stay home (I'm 67) I took vacation time at the end of March and then was furloughed until I received the call last Tuesday and the letter yesterday to say my employment ends today June 30th. I was part of a team of 11... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 30, 2020

Sorry to hear about this situation. IMO proving up an age discrimination case based on a disparate selection of older employees during a lay off, is a difficult and drawn out task. There are attorneys that have great success in it and you need to seek out that kind of attorney. You should also... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: Last day at job 2-26. Employer has my property. I have asked them two times by email. I have their laptop, phone, keys.

We had bad issues at work so I gave one week notice to quit. They told me not to come back in until 3-5 @2:00pm. On final day-3-5-20 I also had a phone interview with the corporate office HR at 1:00pm. I waited at home for his call but he stood me up for my exit interview. I did not have the... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 29, 2020

Sorry you are having this problem, particularly with Attorney employers. Under the Labor Code, the employer does not have the right to retain your property, and likewise, you are obligated to return theirs. It sounds more like you need a mediator or go- between. You might contact the local bar... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: Can't Hire For Driver Job Because She's Pregnant?

My girlfriend wants to get a job as delivery driver with the company I work for. My boss said, "HR just told me that our auto insurance will not cover your girl because she is pregnant. So driving wouldn't even be an option,..." Is this even legal?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 23, 2020

No, that is not legal and I frankly doubt the insurer would take such a position.

Being pregnant does not disable a woman from driving. Absent a disability that restricts a woman from driving, it is unlawful to preclude a woman from getting a job because she is pregnant. Such a position...
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2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: Does it matter if I “quit” or I am “terminated” after being furloughed due to corona virus? My company wants me to quit

I was laid off due to coronavirus in feb and got a better job during the time off. I was given my estimated start date but I am not going to Return to my original job. My employer is telling employees to resign/quit if they do not want to return. Is either in my best interest? I am enrolled in... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 23, 2020

If you have a new job lined up and do not have to worry about immediately qualifying for unemployment insurance benefits, then the main thing for you to consider is what you want future employers to know about how your employment ended. Quitting to move on to a better job is usually a good thing... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: I was laid off due to covid 19 but I never got paid for the sick days I had asked for before the lay off

Never did I received a notice from my employer about my termination. All I got was a phone call from HR telling me that unfortunately they were letting me go. I worked there for 10 years, when covid 19 started I was was only working one or two days a week. On April 29 I got a message from HR saying... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 17, 2020

If you believe you can prove you were terminated because of your nationality then you would have a meritorious case. If you cannot prove that was the reason, then you probably have no legal claim to bring. Seniority over others is not something that gives you protection from layoff. It would be... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: I am a salaried employee in California. Can I be forced to work 5 days a week plus weekends remotely from home?

We used to get a day off prior and a day off after our weekend to make sure we got 5 working days and 2 days off.Well recently it changed and our new boss wants us to work 5 days in person and 2 from home. Is this legal just because We are salaried?

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jun 13, 2020

NO, you cannot be "forced" to work seven days. Labor Code § 551 states: Every person employed in any occupation of labor is entitled to one day’s rest therefrom in seven. Your employer cannot compel you to work all seven days. The employer cannot even compel you to work Overtime!... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: I am a salaried employee in California. Can I be forced to work 5 days a week plus weekends remotely from home?

We used to get a day off prior and a day off after our weekend to make sure we got 5 working days and 2 days off.Well recently it changed and our new boss wants us to work 5 days in person and 2 from home. Is this legal just because We are salaried?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 12, 2020

Unless you have a contract that guarantees certain days off, your employer can change your days of work, the hours you can be asked to work, and every other term and condition of employment at any time and for any reason or even no reason at all.

That is true whether you are paid hourly or...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: Can I be laid off while on disability?

I was injured (non workers comp), and then furloughed due to the COVID pandemic. I'm still currently on disability and my employer has now laid me off. Does my employer have the right to lay me off while I'm on disability?

Daniel A. Thompson
Daniel A. Thompson answered on Jun 10, 2020

In California, covered employers are required to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons, such as an employee’s serious health condition. However, the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and workers’ compensation... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: Is what my employer doing is retaliation

I spoke up to my employer asking for documentation saying that I needed to get coronavirus tested and they were not able to give me no sort of paperwork saying it was mandatory since the argument that I had with my employer I have gotten coronavirus tested although I felt forced into it and with... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 8, 2020

Retaliation is not unlawful unless the action that triggered the retaliation was legally protected. Most forms of retaliation in the workplace are therefore not unlawful.

There is likely nothing unlawful about your employer forcing you to get tested as a form of fitness for duty...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: Can i do anything to get my employer in trouble

Working at subway franchise my employer told everyone to get tested for covid-19 and everyone one did but i didnt want to because it isnt mandatory and they kept pressuring me and my district manager called and got aggressive on the phone so i felt forced and uncomfortable and all i asked was for... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 7, 2020

In California you are considered to be an at will employee unless you have an agreement with the employer regarding that status to the contrary. The employer of an at will employee can change the terms and conditions of employment at any time and for any reason or even for no reason at all. That... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: what's right and wrong from my employer if things he does is legal

I work for a Subway franchise and my employer decided to transfer me to another store location which would require me to take the bus which would make my commute over 2 hours one way he did this without my knowledge and I didn't know until today June 5th 2020 when he had texted me he would be... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 6, 2020

Unfortunately, your post does not suggest any unlawful conduct.

In California you are considered to be employed at will unless you have an agreement to the contrary with your employer as to that status. The employer of an at will employee has the right to change the terms and conditions of...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: How can I get fired from my current job and still qualify for unemployment?

I have been applying for other jobs for months and have been unsuccessful landing any. I can’t handle another week at this current job and want out. I know if I quit I don’t qualify for unemployment to get me by until I do find a new job. The employer won’t lose any money if I don’t show up... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 1, 2020

If you stop showing up for work, that will likely be considered misconduct that would disqualify you from benefits.

If you are terminated for simply not performing well you qualify for unemployment. However if the EDD finds that you intentionally underperformed to get fired, that could be...
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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California on
Q: In California, what is considered a break at work

I work at a car wash. I work as a sales rep in an area where I work 3 days as the only rep. The other days I have another rep with me so being able to walk away to use the bathroom or make a call is easy. But those other days. I can't just walk away. And if we r slow my boss says I took my... Read more »

Michael Malk
Michael Malk answered on May 24, 2020

You are correct - those are not breaks. Your employer has a duty to authorize and permit you to take timely 10 minute off-duty rest breaks. These rest breaks must be truly off-duty to be considered rest breaks. If you are still required to perform job duties, or even to be on call in the event... Read more »

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