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Stephen R Jaffe

Stephen Jaffe’s Answers

32 total

  • Can a current employer block me from being hired by another company after he was told about it.

    Hello, After being interviewed, a prospective employer contacted me saying that they wanted to hire me, but first they had to get the blessing of my current employer, with whom they have a working relationship. Well, my current employer told t...

    Stephen’s Answer

    This is a bad news / possible good news answer.

    Based on the facts you have provided, your current employer has probably (see below) done nothing illegal. That is just hardball business.

    However, if your current employer made any statements to a potential future employer which statements contained any negative comments about you personally or in a business context and if those statements were untrue, you MAY have an claim for defamation against your current employer. Of course, that is not a claim you probably wish to assert if you want to keep your job.

    On a different level, it is unlawful in California to actively impair the right of someone to work wherever he or she wishes. You might be able to make some kind of "restraint of trade" claim against your current employer but, again, that is not another claim you wish to assert if you value your current job.

    Bottom line: If you have any claims at all, they are only against your current employer, not the prospective one.

    Hope this helps.

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  • Is there any law in California protecting the employees or they are just left at the mercy of their supervisors?

    To cover financial hardship, my employer needed atleast 200 people to take a severance package toavoid layoffs. After ten years of outstanding reviews, to my shock supervisor presented my with a poor review. During the year, not a single perfo...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Unfortunately, in California, it is not illegal for a boss to be a jerk, a bully, a harasser or just an unpleasant person UNLESS the boss is motivated by your membership in a protected class of persons OR is retaliating against you for having engaged in a protected act.

    The last sentence of your question may provide you some protection under the law. If you believe you were singled out for your boss's poor review and ultimate termination on account of your age or senority and you are over 40, you may have sufficient facts to support an age discrimination claim. I urge you to consult with a lawyer who specializes in representing employees in such cases to see if there are strong enough facts to sustain such a claim.

    You might also consider filing a charge of discrimination with your local office of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Look up the location of the nearest office at www.dfeh.ca.gov.

    If you contact either a lawyer or the DFEH, try to find out the ages of the people who were laid off compared to the ages of the people who were able to keep their jobs. If there is a pattern of age discrimination, it will help your case.

    Good luck!

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  • II have not been paid since february 2009 and the owner has now cashed the checks that were made out to each emply. what do we

    I work part time at a resturant in Diamond Bar Ca. The owner has not paid me since February 2009. He promisses payment then says our tips are enough. I recently heard that the payroll company that makes out our checks does so twice a month and...

    Stephen’s Answer

    This question is easy to answer. You have two calls to make: (1) to the California Department of Labor and (2) to the District Attorney in the county in which you work. If your employer signed your name (and that of other employees) to a payroll check made out to you, that is the crime of forgery. Make these calls right away. Then call a California lawyert who specializes in representing employees in workplace matters. If you need a referral, Iw will be glad to make one for you.

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  • I was terminated a few days after telling my employer that I might have cancer. Is this a possible case of wrongful termination?

    The reason given for my termination was that I was having some difficulty with the office work flow. When I asked my boss to be more specific, she said it was "complicated" and she couldn't elaborate. I have worked at this company for about one...

    Stephen’s Answer

    On the surface, your facts appear to point to a transparent act of disability discrimination against you, especially taking into account the closeness in time of your disclosure of your illness and the termination of your employment. Was anything given to you in writing regarding why you were terminated? Did you have any unfavorable reviews or incidents during your employment? Those would be important facts for a lawyer to know.

    I suggest you contact a California lawyer who specializes in employment law for employees. If you need a referral, you may contact me.

    Best of luck.

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  • Request to view personnel records denied by HR

    My uncle worked for a company that provides aviation support at SFO for 24 years. He was considered an EXEMPT employee although he was treated like a NON-EXEMPT employee. Four months ago, he sent a certified letter as well as emailed the Director ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    I concur with my colleague Mr. Fink on your rights and remedies regarding your personnel file. My answer takes a somewhat different spin, however.

    If your uncle believes he has been the victim of any kind of job retaliation (in any form) on account of his request to view his personnel file (i.e., termination, loss of promotion, demotion, decrease in compensation, etc.), then he may have a separate claim for unlawful retaliation. Whether that claim exists depends on his ability to prove a causal connection between his request to view his personnel file and the adverse job action against him. The closer in time the two are, the easier it is to prove. So, your uncle should keep careful track of what happens in the future to see if anything could form the basis of a retaliation claim.

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  • Can discipline be given to me now for an event that has been ongoing for 15 or more years

    REcieved ww for "critical" issue but root cause is event that has been ongoing for many years. ALso, supervisor who gave the ww has been aware of risk and has denied use of corrective measures until "event".

    Stephen’s Answer

    I agree with my colleague, Mr. Schultz. I do not know what a "ww" is ("written warning?"). Nor is there enough information in your question for me to provide an intelligent answer. Sorry. If you provide more information in a followup question, I'd be glad to try to answer. Good luck.

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  • I have an EEOC case and Wrongful termination suit pending. What do I say to prospective employers about leaving my last job?

    I was terminated in the middle of an EEOC investigation and the company was upset with me for reporting other illegal activities to State and Federal Agency's. I had been keeping a log and reporting incidents of Retaliation to my former HR dept. ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Of course, if you are not asked why you are no longer with your former employer, you need not say anything. Don't volunteer anything. the EEOC investigation is likely unknown to any prospective employers.

    If you are asked, I suggest you give a vague answer to why you left your past employment. Say there was a dispute which is a legal matter and that you are not permitted to discuss the details. If you have a lawyer, blame the lawyer and say your lawyer has instructed you not to answer. Be sure to emphasize you did nothing wrong and that you are confident the issue will be resolved in your favor. That will not make prospective employers happy, but it is honest.

    Best of luck finding new work.

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  • My boyfriend was fired after filing for disability, after the end of his leave of absence. Can he sue his former employer?

    My boyfriend was on a medical leave of absence after injuring his back, and being hurt worse by his physical therapy provider (MRI shows slipped discs). His immediate supervisor harassed him by placing him on the schedule and threatening his posi...

    Stephen’s Answer

    If your boyfriend can provide evidence his termination occurred on account of his disability and his exercise of his right to take time off because of his injury, then he may have a valid claim for diability discrimination under California law. You should expect the employer to come up with one or more other reasons for the termination which have nothing to do with his disability. Your lawyer's job will be to prove the employer's reasons are phony (pretextual) reasons and that the real reason for th termination was disability-related.

    If your boyfriend was injured while working, he should also file a workers compensation claim.

    Best of luck.

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  • I was fired when my employer said I did not tell her I was to be out of work for 5 day Per their workmans comp doctor.

    I had hurt myself at work. They sent me to their doctor and was being treated for back injury. When I called my manager to tell her i would be out for 5 days she claimed that I only said I would be out the day I called. This is untrue. Why would I...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Sounds like a pretty clear disability discrimination and a subsequent coverup. Go to the nearest office of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and file a charge of discrimination against your former employer. After that, you can let the DFEH investigate and try to settle your case or you can ask for a "Right to Sue" letter and file a wrongful termination lawsuit with a private attorney. Best of luck.

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  • Wrongful termination for using sick-time / Possible suite due to "release" they want me to sign?

    I took sicktime this week due to a serious issue w/ stress/marriage and having to consult with a doctor/attorney for a possible divorce and seperation.I was told taking the time would not affect my job status. I got a letter of termination via ce...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Your facts raise an issue of what is known in the law as a "causal connection." If you can prove termination was on account of you having taken permitted sick leave, then you may have a claim for disability discrimination. You should consult a NY attorney to see if you can connect these dots and make a case. Best of luck.

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