I work for a franchise Taco Bell. I'm also pregnant. Is it legal for my boss to take me off the schedule for the whole week?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Garden Grove, CA

i had an emergency right before my shift, i didnt have time to call work, so i called the next day and my boss considered me a no call no show. as punishment, he took me off the schedule for the following week. is that legal?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Neil Pedersen

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . An employer is not allowed to penalize, or otherwise create a disincentive for, an employee to take legally recognized time off. Your emergency is not described. If it was a physical or mental condition that required you to take time off of work, and you presented the employer with proof that the emergency was of that sort, the perhaps the punishment would violate the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

    California employers of 5 or more employees are required to reasonably accommodate a temporarily disabling condition. Giving you one day off to address a true medical emergency probably falls into that requirement, since granting one day of unpaid leave likely did not create an undue hardship on the employer.

    If you are having complications with the pregnancy, it would be a good idea to get a doctor's note indicating what restrictions you might have, including whether you may need certain days off on an as-needed basis, or allowance to come in late on morning sickness days, etc. If your Taco Bell is a corporate store, or is part of a franchisee who employs 50 or more employees with 75 miles of your workplace, then you have even greater protections.

    It might make a great deal of sense for you to consult with an employment attorney who can assist you in setting this up in a way that your job will not be threatened as a result of medical conditions created by your pregnancy.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed... more
  2. Marilynn Mika Spencer

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . I agree with Mr. Pedersen if your emergency was related to a medical condition. However, if it was not, then it is most likely legal for your employer to have taken you off the schedule for the no show. Employees and job applicants 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: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/an-overvie.... 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. If so, an experienced plaintiffs employment attorney may be helpful.

    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.

    I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best.

    *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your... more
  3. Shawn Michael Haggerty

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . Unless yu are a contract employee or in a bargainig group the guarantees hours , you may have no luck. If you wanted to file a lawsuit, you would have little or no damages. Good luck.

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