Skip to main content
Michael Robert Kirschbaum

Michael Kirschbaum’s Answers

5,036 total


  • Can I sue my previous employer for worn knee that I am having trouble with after 9 months from quitting

    I am in my early 30's my previous employer was big manfacturer in mining industry. They had huge strcture of stairs to get to the equipment and as an engineer I was climbing stairs all day long and working intensive number of hours I started with...

    Michael’s Answer

    You cannot sue an employer in civil court for a work related injury. Such injuries are exclusively within the workers compensation jurisdiction. You should consult with a workers comp attorney for a legal opinion as to the viability of your claim.

    See question 
  • What is the impact if I decline a job offer after accepting it, just a few days before starting?

    Hello - I recently accepted a job offer and completed the onboarding formalities, e.g. background check, signing NDA etc. Just 2 days before my start date, my current employer made an offer to promote me so they can retain me. This would lead to ...

    Michael’s Answer

    Assuming there are no other contractual commitments contained in the documents you signed, an at-will employment relationship means that either party can end the relationship at their will. This means you have the lawful right to end the relationship any time you want to for any reason, just as they do. Of course, you can be held to the terms of the non-disclosure agreement, to the extent you have learned anything of proprietary value to the company.

    Blackballing is illegal in California, although it can be difficult to prove.

    See question 
  • What is the law regarding management at a warehouse facility?

    I was a lead at a warehouse and no upper management was hardly ever present. I was the only form of any leadership despite being only a lead.

    Michael’s Answer

    You are going to have to be more specific with your question. Is this in reference to how you were classified as "exempt vs. non-exempt" or some other issue?

    See question 
  • Re: Wrongfull Termination

    My partner was injured on job 7/30/2014....he was off on 7/31/2014 and called employer ...who then fired him on 8/2/2014! He killed himself on Nov. 07, 2015 due to financial worries of lack of workers comp. Benefits, but ....... that will be handl...

    Michael’s Answer

    I am very sorry to hear about the tragedy are you dealing with. Hopefully, the workers comp end of it will be handled to your satisfaction. However, any civil lawsuit may be more problematic. First, the issue of damages is limited. With your partner's passing, his estate cannot claim damages for emotional distress. At best, loss of income to the estate which can be proven to be the result of a wrongful termination may be the best you can hope for.

    Perhaps an even larger problem is timing. Since he was fired almost 2 years ago, any statutory claims, such as disability discrimination or a CFRA/FMLA violation is already lost, unless those claims have been preserved by a timely filing with the DFEH or EEOC. If no administrative claims have been filed or the right to sue letter is more than a year old, the statute of limitations has run.

    It is conceivable that a wrongful termination in violation of a fundamental public policy can still be filed within the 2 year statute of limitations for those claims. But there is no provision for attorneys' fees under that theory and you are likely going to have a difficult time finding a lawyer to take such a case especially on such short notice.

    Incidentally, it is not enough to be the sole heir to your partner's estate. You have to be appointed the executor or administrator of the estate to have standing to sue on behalf of your partner. Hopefully, you have already taken care of that or that will add another hurdle to any potential claims.

    See question 
  • Under what circumstances is it necessary to file a police report for harassment vs letting your employer handle an incident?

    Several times a week I am approached in the parking lot of my work by a man that works in the business next to mine. He is aggressive and rude and yells at me to slow down when driving through the parking lot. However, I keep my speed down betwe...

    Michael’s Answer

    Employers are required to provide a safe work environment. If this character's actions rise to the level of threats of harm to you or others, the employer should take steps to prevent him from coming on to the property. An unwanted intruder to the business establishment could be considered a trespasser. If the employer refuses to prevent him from entering the business property, you could call the police and make a report. They probably will not take any action beyond talking to him unless they witness a crime occurring or you obtain a restraining order and he violates it.

    You may want to keep your cell phone camera ready and record his actions. Make sure you tell him what you are doing and your advisement that you are recording him is captured on the recording.

    See question 
  • How to collect disability or unemployment?

    Last paycheck I received was in March. I ended up in emergency room for panic/anxiety attacks. General Doctor excused me from work. My HR told me today that as of June 13th they don't have to offer my position back, but weekly or often ask when I'...

    Michael’s Answer

    If you have been released by your doctor, with or without restrictions, inform your employer you are ready to return to work. If the employer refuses to take you back or says they cannot allow you to return with restrictions, it may be violating your rights and you should seek the advice of an employment law attorney as soon as possible.

    If you are released to return to work, with or without restrictions, and your employer does not allow you to return, you should be able to get unemployment benefits. If you are not released to return to work, you may be eligible for state disability. Both programs are administered by the Employment development Dept.

    See question 
  • Is there any time limit for a company to conclude an investigation or decide on the status of employment for an employee

    I was involved in an investigation at my company. Where I was forced to sign a statement that was not true. And they decided to suspend me till they conclude the investigation. It's been almost a month and they have not concluded the investigation...

    Michael’s Answer

    To answer your question, there is no time limit imposed by law for an employer to complete an investigation. Some companies may have internal policies but, even then, each investigation may be different with its scope and timing.

    One way to prompt a conclusion is to apply for unemployment benefits. Even though you have not been discharged, you may be eligible for benefits because you have not been allowed to work for more than one week.

    While employers may prohibit employees from working for competitors while they are employed, they cannot prevent an employee from working for a competitor after they leave the company as that would be unlawful for the employer to do. So, you can certainly look for work elsewhere and, if you get hired, resign from the company which is not employing you anyway. The employer must pay you all vacation wages you have already earned. They are not required to pay severance unless it is part of your compensation contract.

    If you have questions or need advice, consult with an employment law attorney.

    See question 
  • Can I be disciplined at work from borrowing money from coworkers?

    I was just written up for borrowing money from co workers at work, reason given is it is unethical. Mind you this business was handled off the clock or on break and away from the job, and all monies borrowed were repaid. It has never been brought...

    Michael’s Answer

    It is not unlawful for an employer to discipline an employee for borrowing money from co-workers. It does not matter whether the transaction was on or off the clock nor is it necessary for the employer to put you on prior notice.

    See question 
  • Discrimination for being lesbian help please

    I'm a shift supervisor in a restaurant i fill a formal complaint with HR because several team members are bullying me because my sexual preferences, my General Manager talk to them but they didn't stop, then we take this to HR and HR talk to othe...

    Michael’s Answer

    As you know, it is unlawful for an employer to allow workplace discrimination or harassment because of an employee's sexual orientation and to not take effective, corrective action after an employee complains. Since the employer is not doing anything to take effective, corrective action, the next step is to either seek the assistance of employment law attorney or file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

    Meanwhile, you should start a time-line of all of the relevant events which have occurred, including harassing incidents, who witnessed it, when you complained to HR, copies of all documents you submitted to HR and their response, etc. A lawyer will need this to help you.

    See question 
  • What can I do if my old employer hasn't given me my final check ?

    I quit on Tuesday, I was told my check would be available to pick up on that Friday. It is now the following Wednesday and after contacting them multiple times and they still don't have my check. I've seen that in California I should have had my c...

    Michael’s Answer

    The most efficient step to take is to send a certified letter telling the employer that if you do not receive your check immediately, you will seek waiting-time penalties, which can add up to 30 days' wages to what they already owe you. Of course, you can go ahead and file with the DLSE or even hire a lawyer, but these procedures take time. If you need the money ASAP, send a demand letter now. Most employers do not want to have to pay the penalties. If you do not get a quick response file your complaint or seek the assistance of an eployment law attorney to help you.

    See question