Do I have enough to take legal action against my employer? They have wronged me in several ways,

Asked about 1 year ago - Costa Mesa, CA

My case is is very hard to briefly explain in short, however, my employer has wronged me in multiple categories:
Discrimination: I am one of the mangers in the company however they treat me far different than every other manager , I was hired by the VP who was fired 2 days after I started and that marked me as well.. They took me out of my office to be the only manager placed on the floor , they move my desk once a month, they try to micro mange me , I am an Exempt employee like the rest of the managers and they have docked my pay unfairly for sick time (no other manager) they belittle and laugh and roll their eyes if I ever bring up the treatment of myself vs the rest of management , often claiming that they do not regard me as management.
I recently fell ill and they refused to engage i

Additional information

I forgot one other piece of information which is that the company is a PUBLIC company but the Executives are all of Persian decent and linked to one another by family / Persian community. It's an unspoken knowledge that the only way to move up is if you are Persian and linked to their circle. I even got reprimanded in a meeting for trying to speak to one of the CEOs in a manager meeting . I was told it was because I wasn't high enough in the company to speak directly to him and because that's how things are run in their culture?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Marilynn Mika Spencer

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This sounds like a really horrible place for you to work! I assume you are looking for another job but so far, have not been successful. I hope you are able to find something else soon because employees have very few employment rights, and employers have a lot of leeway in how they choose to run their businesses. In general, an employer can be unfair, obnoxious or bad at management. And an employer can make decisions based on faulty or inaccurate information. An employer has no obligation to warn an employee that he or she is not performing as the employer wants. It’s not a level playing field. An employer hires employees to provide work for its benefit, not for the benefit of the employees. Don't expect the employer to take care of its employees; it doesn’t have to and it rarely does.

    There are some limitations on what an employer can do, mostly in the areas of public policy (such as discrimination law or whistle blowing), contract law, union-employer labor relations, and constitutional due process for government employees. Please see my guide to at-will employment in California which should help you understand employment rights: After you take a look at the guide, you may be able to identify actions or behavior that fits one of the categories that allows for legal action. See if you can figure out why you are being treated this way. If something comes to mind, an experienced plaintiffs employment attorney may be helpful.

    To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, please go to the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is Click on "Find a CELA Member" and you can search by location and practice area. Many CELA attorneys represent clients throughout the state.

    Employment rights come from the state and federal legislatures. One of the best things people can do to improve their employment rights is vote for candidates with a good record on pro-employee, anti-corporate legislation. Another way to protect employment rights is to form or affiliate with a union, or participate in a union already in place.

    @MikaSpencer * * * * * * PLEASE READ: All legal actions have time limits, called statutes... more
  2. Christine C McCall


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your case is factually dense and complicated and this forum is not the means where you can obtain a conclusive evaluation. For that, you should consult with a skilled and experienced employment attorney who can fully develop all of the relevant facts and potentially applicable legal theories. But here are some general considerarions that are likely to apply to your case:

    First, it is not the state of the law that all persons in a specific job classification must be treated identically. This is particularly true in the case of supervisors and managers. The employer is legally required only to avoid different treatment based on race, national origin, gender or other legally "protected" characteristics or activities. All other kinds of discriminatory treatment are most likely lawful in this context.

    In your case, it may be specifically impoetant for you to know that nepotism by the employer -- favoring family and relatives -- is not unlawful.

    It is not uncommon for managers hired by former members of the excutive team to feel that they are unfavored and not valued by the current executive leadership. It is not unlawful for the employer to treat a supervisor or manager differently or with professional disrespect or disregard because that employee was affiliated with a former executive who is no longer valued or with the company. Similarly, micro-managong one manager or supervisor among the others, separate officing, and restricting access to top management are all typical and lawful employer conduct even if applied only to specific individuals and not all persons in the same position or classification.

    You haven't provided enough facts for any attorney here to know whether your recent ilness qualifies you for any protections under the law, and we cannot determine whether you have made legally cognizable complaints of discrimination that the employer has failed to treat as the law requires. "...if I ever bring up the treatment of myself vs the rest of management..." does not tell us what we need to know on that issue.

    But it seems clear that your future in this company is very limited. For much of what you complain about, it is unlikely that you have meaningful and effective legal recourse. Since you have not been fired, your potential legal damages here are minimal and you will have difficulty finding legal counsel interested in this case on a contingency fee basis. Your best recourse is to springboard from this employment to another. I wish you well in that mission.

    No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended... more
  3. Barbara Emily Cowin Figari

    Contributor Level 6


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . For a discrimination claim to be actionable, you need to show that your employer treated you differently because of some protected characteristic (race, age, gender, etc.). If your employer just treated you unfairly, that is not enough for a discrimination claim. If your employer refused to engage in the interactive process, you may have a claim for refusal to provide a reasonable accommodation and/or disability discrimination.

  4. Patrick John Phillips

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . Other attorneys have provided competent and thorough responses to the concerns you raised about discrimination, so I will just touch upon the docked pay issue.

    Generally speaking, a salaried employee must receive their full salary without regard to the quality or quantity of work during a given pay period. However, an exception to this general rule arises for FULL day absences which occur as a result of illness or personal reasons. Under such circumstances, employers can make a pro rata deduction to salary (e.g., if you miss one full day and there are 10 days in the pay period, your salary for that pay period can be docked 10%). Assuming you were docked for full day absences, deductions from your salary for being sick are not inherently illegal.

    This answer is a general interpretation of the law and is not fact specific to your case. Likewise it does not... more

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

29,515 answers this week

3,163 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

29,515 answers this week

3,163 attorneys answering