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Sam G. Morgan

Sam Morgan’s Answers

11 total

  • Is it legal for my employer to refuse for me to have water with a doctors note?

    I work at Kmart and a new rule was passed that employees are not allowed to have any type of beverage in the store room ( a room about 3-4 meters from the checkouts) but then recently a new rule also occurred that were not even allowed to have w...

    Sam’s Answer

    If the employer's rationale for the rule is related to the business, and there are other methods of effectively accommodating your health-related need to have the ability to drink water during the work day (such as giving you periodic breaks, as needed, or during down times, to go to the break room), then the rule will prevail. One of the key provisions of the ADA and the regulations that implement the law, is that employees are not necessarily entitled to the specific accommodation that they want, if there is an alternative that is just as effective.

    You should beware that just having "a doctor's note" does not necessarily always get you what you want. The doctor's note is subject to scrutiny by the employer, and the employer is allowed to get clarification from your doctor about the necessity for you to have a water bottle on your person at all times. In fact, the employer is also entitled to seek an independent medical opinion from another doctor to determine whether the "accommodation" of a water bottle on person at all times is really necessary.

    You have not explained what problem, if any, there is with walking to the other side of the store to get a drink of water. That is an important issue, because if your doctor says that it is no problem, but it is a matter of what you want, and you don't want to have to walk to the other side of the store, then you are going to be out of luck when it comes to this issue.

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  • I was terminated after 12 years the manager sited that i was giving other emploees one word answers when asked questions.

    I was told in dec that i was to be demoted for answering a question from my boss in a snotty way. I was sent home w/0 pay. We discussed my options that next monday. I sought a counseler to deal with my stress. May he thanked me for changing and ...

    Sam’s Answer

    If you do not have an agreement on the duration of your employment (i.e., the length of time that you will be employed), and you are employed for indefinite duration (i.e., it could be a short term, it could be a long term - no one ever discussed it with you), the law in Michigan presumes that you are employed on an at-will basis. To overcome that presumption, you need to have objective evidence that you and your employer negotiated and agreed to a term of employment that requires just cause for a termination. Most people don't have that type of evidence, because it never came up. Accordingly, it becomes clear that they are employed on an at-will basis, which means that the employer can terminate the employee with or without a just cause, and at any time, with or without any advance notice. The at-will rule allows the employer to be the final decision-maker of what is fair, and protects the employer from being sued in court for an unfair or unjust discharge.

    If you complaint is that your termination was unfair, and that you got blamed for things that should not have been your responsibility, or circumstance that you could not control, or because the boss did not approve of the way you were interacting with your coworkers, or the attitude that you displayed at work, you are going to be out of luch as far as a wrongful discharge claim. The only way that you could challenge the termination is if you can demonstrate, with facts, that you were treated differently, and held to a different standard, on the basis of your race, or gender, or religion, or some other legally protected characteristic. In that event, your complaint would be about unlawful employment discrimination.

    Based on the description you have provided, it does not look like you have a viable wrongful discharge claim.

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  • I am full time cook for a major corp my boss makes me serve muslims, blacks, whites 3 different menu what can i do

    do i have a law suit

    Sam’s Answer

    To answer your question, I am going to assume that you are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement (i.e., union represented) that defines you job description in a way that limits the number of menus that you can be assigned on a daily basis. Because if you are, and changing your scope of work is something that the CBA says must be negotiated, then you could grieve the directive on that basis.

    That being said (i.e., you are the typical, at-will employee without an employment contract), you don't have a lawsuit. You should continue to perform as instructed, or else you risk being disciplined for insubordination. If it is a workload issue, i.e., it is just too much work to prepare and cook off such an expansive menu, then you could couch a complaint to management or HR in those terms - but, be careful about doing that, because you risk being viewed by managemet as lacking the depth of skills or ability to handle the job.

    Certainly, you should not couch your complaint in a way that you object to serving Muslims, or Africian Americans, or white people - because you will be viewed as having illegal bias. Just because some of the populist or political rhetoric that you hear or see on TV may seem to encourage people to challenge efforts to include Muslims, or African Americans, does not mean that the civil rights laws have changed. Those laws remain in tact, and major corporations are well aware of that fact.

    If you make this an issue with your employer as an objection to its diversity efforts, then you will likely find yourself out of a job. Major corporations will not tolerate that kind of stuff, especially from employees lower down the totem pole.

    Major corporations have two key motivations for being inclusive: (1) Economic. They want to draw the best and brightest from our population, regardless of their national origin, religion or race, to enhance the capabilities of their work force. If the expansive menu in the cafeteria makes a Muslim or African American employee more content with their job, then it is more likely that they will stay and perform well. (2) Comply with state and federal anti-discrimination laws. They have to be vigilant to remove discriminatory obstacles from the work environment, or else they risk liability. If a cook identifies him or herself as being opposed to those two objectives, a major corporation is not going to waste time in brooming that person out of their job.

    This was a good question, and it was good to ask an expert outside of your company, first, before blurting it out to your manager or HR.

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  • Do I need a lawyer?

    I am a lead of a snack bar at a bowling alley for the last 9 years. And the manager, assistant manager, and several of the counter employees (mostly the assistant manager) are consistently swearing at me, screaming at me as they are calling me na...

    Sam’s Answer

    I like the idea of covertly recording your co-workers and supervisors being abusive to you, especially if you get one or more of them to mention that your illness is the or a reason for their abuse. It is always good to have evidence to support your complaint, because you know that they will deny it. Do a better job than just "trying" to go to your higher management. Put your complaint to them in writing, and specifically allege that you are being subjected to this abusive treatment because your are ill with this kidney ailment. If in fact they have discriminated against employees with disabilities before, identify those people and the circumstances in your complaint, to demonstrate that you have the ability to prove that they have a past practice of abusing people with disabilities. If the Center has an employee handbook with an anti-harassment policy and complaint procedure, refer to it in your complaint. Then, if upper management ignores your written complaint, you can also complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Detroit. They are charged with enforcing the anti discrimination laws. You must understand, though, that viability of your legal claim hinges on your ability prove that your kidney ailment and need for a transplant is your co-workers' motivation for harassing you. There is no law that requires your coworkers or managers to be nice or decent to you. If it is a case where they simply dislike you, personally, think you're stupid, or maybe you're just not part of their clique, and they do this to other people they don't like, whether they have an illness or not, there is nothing illegal about it. Just because you have an illness does not make it illegal. It's illegal only if they are doing it because of your illness.

    Also, assuming that your job as a lead in a snack bar is a near minimum wage job, with no Company-paid health insurance benefits, you should start looking for another, and better job. Because of the way damages are calculated in wrongful discharge and discrimination lawsuits - i.e., you can recover the wages that you lost and the value of your mental and emotional distress - you won't find many contingent fee plaintiff's lawyers who will be interested in taking on your case. Even though you may get a lot of sympathetic responses to your post, you should not interpret that as meaning that you may have a big money lawsuit down the road. Low wage earners mean low damage potential, as far as a lawsuit is concerned. Low damages cases mean small contingent fees, which make the lawsuit a money losing venture for the lawyer. What I am saying is that you are probably better off finding another job and getting out of that abusive environment, than spending alot of effort on pursuing a claim, because at the end of the day, there won't be much if any financial payoff from the claim.

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  • My husband was fired from his job on false pretenses is he able to sue them?

    my husband was fired from his job based on them closing the store down. upon talking to somebody else who works in the company they are still open and don;t plan on shutting down for a while. he was the only one working in the store at the time an...

    Sam’s Answer

    If your husband was an at will employee, the only way that he could sue them is if he has evidence that would demonstrate that his termination was based on his race, age, gender, national origin, or some other specific characteristic or conduct that that law protects. There is no law in Michigan or on the federal level that requires employers to terminate for fair or just reasons, only. The law in Michigan and in most states leave it up to the employer and employee to detemine, through the negotiation of an employment contract, whether termination can occur for fair and just reasons, only. At will employees can be fired unfairly, under false pretenses, or for no reason at all. At will means that the employee has no recourse to challenge a termination because they think it was unfair, or that they did not deserve to be fired. Therefore, the only way an at will employee can sue is if they can prove their termination was based on an illegal reason, such as race, age, or some other protected characteristic or conduct, which are legislative exceptions to the general rule of at will employment.

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  • The General Manager son is trying to fight me and likes to come to work high. He has threathen me a few times what can i do?

    Can I do something against the company like sueing them for harassment. The kid has asked me in different times to hit him even after he touch me and told an employee that he was just waiting for me to be distracted for him to stab me in the bac...

    Sam’s Answer

    Make a formal complaint to HR. Request that the kid be forbidden for entering the premises. Use your common sense to solve the problem, rather than looking for a way to cash in on it with a lawsuit, because you'll find that there is not much of a lawsuit there at all.

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  • I work at a company for the past year and four months...I have a very well extablished work history before this.

    Everything was o.k until the human resource assistant was promoted to general manager (This is a call center). The general manager employs friends to work there and also hired her brother to do maintenance. This is where the problem begins. This m...

    Sam’s Answer

    This is a terrible situation, and you really should not put up with it. Why on Earth are you resorting to looking for help on the internet, instead of calling a lawyer? Get to work on a few different tracks. First, start looking for a different job. You are never going to feel good about working at that place, and you should put your mental and emotional health first. There is no shame in walking away form an abusive situation and finding a better situation for your health. Second, what kind of "waiver" did you sign? Are you really just saying that you signed an agreement to keep your complaint confidential? Make a written request for a copy of your personnel record file, submit the letter to Human Resources (make a copy for your files), and don't take no for an answer. You need that file to show your employment lawyer. Also, make a copy of whatever sexual harassment file is on the intranet, if you can. Show that to your lawyer. Third, pull out your employee handbook, find the sexual harassment policy, complaint procedure, and anti retaliation policy, and go to the Human Resources Vice President or Manager and make your complaint. The the whole story, have specific details memorized, dates and times, specific things that were said, and have your witnesses lined up ready to talk when HR does their investigation. Fourth, there are several good plaintiff's employment lawyers in Philly. Try the National Employment Lawyers Association website ( if you can't find a lawyer that specializes in employment rights.

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  • Is this situation considered a hostile work environment? Can the assistant director be charged with sexual harassment?

    I've been working for this company for almost two years now and in May we got a new assistant director. This man made sexual comments to me (said I needed to "get laid" and that he was going to buy me a sex toy for Christmas) in front of two other...

    Sam’s Answer

    Aside from the sexual comments and sex toy prior to your complaint, it sounds like the sexual conduct stopped after you made your complaint. If your expectation of something "being done" about it is that your employer must take disciplinary action, such as termination, you are expecting more than the law requires. The employer need only take action that stops the sexual harassment.

    Your problem seems to be retaliation for making the complaint. Does your employer have someone in charge of human resources or personnel? Most discrimination and harassment policies have complaint procedures that encourage employees to bring their complaints to HR, because HR is in a position to do something about it. Make your complaint to HR, and be prepared to provide specific details of the dates and times of the retailiation, witnesses to the retaliation, and how he has encouraged your co-workers to turn on you. Hopefully, you have a work record that comes close to having a history of walking on water. If your history is blemished with personality conflicts and incidents of insubordination, be prepared for HR to come back with an explanation that says you are the problem.

    Your next step at that point would be to file a charge of discrimination and retaliation with the EEOC.

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  • Do I have a sexual harassment case or where should I go?

    I have a boss that sent several nude photos and has become somewhat slandering in emails. Please advise. Thank you

    Sam’s Answer

    If your employer has a policy that states that sexual harassment and other forms of unlawful discrimination is prohibited, and a complaint procedure that allows you to report the conduct and secure remedial action, you must report the alleged harassment to your employer before your employer can be liable for a sexual harassment claim. If you report the sexual harassment, you should be ready to show all of your evidence that it occurred (such as copies of the emails and the photos), and how it has become severe and pervasive to the point of interfering with your work. If your employer investigates and takes effective remedial action (for example, they fire your boss), you won't have a case. If they ignore your report, or fail to fairly investigate, or fail to take effective remedial action, or if they retaliate in a manner that would dissuade other victims from reporting incidents of sexual harassment, you may have a case. If your boss has been sending slandering (about you) emails to third parties because you rejected sexual advances that he made in addition to sending you nude pictures, you may also have a case. Then, again, you should report his conduct to someone in higher management who has the authority to do something toward remedying the problem.

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