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Elisa W. Ungerman

Elisa Ungerman’s Answers

143 total


  • Should I write a letter to landlord about how the property mgr is treating me?

    I have been harassed, have proof of retaliation , and was given a 3 day to pay or quit. I paid. we are never BEHIND in rent, LATE frequently. He says he received but wont accept it. Says it was late. We are taking this conflict to mediation....

    Elisa’s Answer

    Based on the facts, I do not believe this an employment/labor question but a landlord tenant question. I am referring this over to the proper practice area

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  • Contract says I need to be given 30 days notice before being terminated from employment

    I called in sick and later was told I had to be in by noon or was fired . My contract says I'm an at will employee but also states I need to be given a 30 day notice before being terminated. Do I have any kind of case?

    Elisa’s Answer

    You may, depending on what your contract says. Many contracts say they give one thing, only to take it away in a different paragraph somewhere else. Additionally, depending on your status and why you were sick, etc., you may have had more than your contract breached. Have your situation reviewed by a knowledgeable labor/employment attorney.

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  • Can my boss tell me whatvI can and cannot talk about with coworkers?

    Excluding company or corporate secrets, can my boss tell me what I can and cannot talk about with coworkers? Me and some coworkersc were talking. We were just speaking our opinions on some things in the workplace. I got in trouble for voicing m...

    Elisa’s Answer

    This may be around about way for your employer to tell you that you should be working and not talking to co-workers in lieu of working. In other words, it is a timing issue. There is the right to free speech, but there is also at will employment and at least with private employers, there is nothing illegal about being terminated for your opinions on the internal workings of the job. Your employer can put reasonable work restrictions on your work, including talking to co-workers when you should be working. And it can terminate you when you talk or voice Innocent opinions if it does not want you to. Having said that, there are some topics that an employer cannot forbid you to talk about with co-workers or it will run the risk of being exposed to a claim of illegal retaliation. For example, one of those topics is wages, another is job safety. If your talk involves those items and you are fired for discussing them, then the situation you describe may very well be illegal.

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  • Can a wk place audit certain individuals (Hisp) and females (farther back than males) & not across the board equally?

    I wk security for private comp. (100 empl).I've been here 7+ yrs.Today I have been written up for being 1, 2, 3, 7, min late in the past month, 1 late in 2011 & 1 late in 2008 (actually 2009), but it shows no details & HR can't prove it.This doesn...

    Elisa’s Answer

    First, if you are late to work, regardless of what others do, you are violating the rules of your employer and are setting yourself up for failure. Stop being late to work. Be early. Set the example. Show your employer you care. Showing up late when you are being paid for the time is inconsiderate or worse. Second, an employer can audit who they think they need to audit. However, if the audit results in adverse employment actions only to a particular class of people because the audit targeted a class of people based on protected characteristics, then the employer may be exposed to a lawsuit for discrimination if others outside the class were late and were not impacted. If you applied for an assist sec job, I would think one of the things your employer would be interested in is whether you are late coming to work. That they audited you to see is not illegal on its face.

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  • Can I sue my ex employee for competing against my business?

    I trained my employee how to be become a trainer. She learned the techniques of training players. We have a unique way to train. I have her sign a contract, a noncompete contract and she cannot train within 30 miles of my gym. I just discove...

    Elisa’s Answer

    Generally, under the California Business and Professions Code, non-compete clauses are void and unenforceable in California, with very limited exceptions and circumstances spelled out in the statute. You should consult with a knowledgeable attorney in your area on whether in your situation fits within any of the exceptions.

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  • My company hasn't paid me in 12 days after pay period ending. Help!!!

    I posted a similar question, but am looking for more specific information. My company has refused (insufficient funds available) to pay the employees until some time next week. Payday was last Thursday according to our employee manuals. I am a sal...

    Elisa’s Answer

    As an at will employee, your employer can fire you for any reason as long as the substantially motivating reason for the termination is not illegal. Firing you for complaining of illegal conduct - such as failure to timely pay wages - could be grounds for lawsuit, but if your employer has no money, such a suit might be futile, especially if the employer went into bankruptcy. I suggest making a request in writing for your employer to rectify the situation and pay you. If it does not, and you no longer desire to work there, tell your employer that until such time you that you receive it, you believe you have been constructively terminated since your employer is unable to pay wages for your work that is required under the labor code. Once you do so, you will be able to apply for unemployment after a week, and may very well get it, assuming you have the correct documentation. Good luck!

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  • Can my employer change the vacation policy and enforce retroactively as in pay out the accrued vacation and start over?

    It is an ongoing employment at will. No termination. the policy states that we have to take the vacation or get paid out within the budget year. That was not the case when I started and for that matter for the vacation days I have accrued and they...

    Elisa’s Answer

    Short answer: Yes. The law does not require an employer to provide vacation days and how an employer does so is up to the employer. The only restriction is that once an employer does provide vacation any accrued vacation must be paid out before or at the time you terminate your employment. You cannot lose any accrued vacation. As long as you are paid for the accrued vacation days, the employer is within the law to decide how vacation is accrued or paid out while you are employed.

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  • Our dental office staff works 7-8 hr days. How much unpaid meal and paid rest breaks am I required to give them each day?

    We are a small dental office with 10 staff members. They typically work 7-8 hour days and take a one hour lunch mid-day.

    Elisa’s Answer

    An employer is generally required to daily provide an unpaid 30 minute meal period, free of any duties, for each 5 hours of paid work unless your employees work only up to six hours, You are also required to provide your employees 10 minute paid breaks every four hours. So under your stated situation, you are fine on the meal breaks, but are missing the other break. You should consult with a qualified labor attorney to make sure that you are complying with the law in other respects.

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  • I have a friend who has been working 6 months for a bar owner. The employer has recently cut her hrs to zero. hasn't termed her.

    Meanwhile the employer has hired several employees to take one shift each. The employer is paying them all under the table. The employer has not paid or reported the taxes to state of CA for 2nd quarter 2014 (yet she did for first quarter) for thi...

    Elisa’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I am not sure of the point of your inquiry. If your friend believes she has been constructively discharged because she has no hours, she or he can file for unemployment, or if she believes she has been retaliated against for protected conduct she can file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner. Likewise, she can file with the Labor Commissioner for lack of a paystub and failure to pay minimum wage. As to the "terrible things" being said about her, if they are saying provably assertions of fact that are untrue against her that affect her professionally, she may have a defamation claim if she can prove malice.ill will on the part of those who are making the comments. An attorney knowledgeable regarding defamation will need to assess the totality of the circumstances and the specific comments made,

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  • If my supervisor fired me as retaliation because my players reported him to the president is that grounds to sue?

    I am a walk on volleyball coach at a college. I have had several issues with my athletic director over the past years. This year it has been the worse. My players felt the need to take matters into their own hands and decided to talk to the presid...

    Elisa’s Answer

    As a presumptive "at will' employee, you can be fired for unfair or unethical reasons, as long as the substantially motivating reason was not illegal. e.g prohibited by statute or regulation, That you had political or strategic differences with you athletic director, and the President of the School chose to back the athletic director is not an illegal reason for your termination. That you may have been discriminated against because you are a walk on coach as opposed to a tenured coach is not illegal either. Unfortunately, you are stuck with that and the short answer to your question is "no." There is legal harassment/retaliation based on the facts presented. Can you sue - sure. Anyone can file a lawsuit. Can you prevail? Probably not on the facts presented here.

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