He is afraid to file a complaint because of retaliation, but people who are newly hired are making more than he does and hes been doing the same job for many years. Everyone knows hes good at what he does and go to him with questions. management started bothering him and picking on his work after he came back from medical leave with a diagnosis of parkinsons, then within days put him on a payscale which is lower so that means the next raise will be smaller. The manager also made a comment to other people that he shouldnt be working anyway, maybe he can collect permanent disability. We have seen the effects of coworkers who have filed eeoc complaints, so he doesnt want to go there. The union didnt help him either. What should he do?
I can only echo what Michael said. It is unlawful for your employer to retaliate against anyone who reports disability discrimination either internally (i.e., to HR or a supervisor) or externally ( like the EEOC or Department of Fair Employment and Housing). The employer can face liability for damages caused by its unlawful retaliatory conduct, including financial losses, emotional distress, punitive damages and payment of attorney fees. However, to hold the employer responsible for any of these possible exposures, your friend needs to make the complaint. The best course of conduct would be to report to the company HR. If the company fails to remedy the situation, then make a report with the DFEH.
Of course, having a job is so important that your friend may be willing to experience this unlawful discrimination to guarantee he has a job to go to. That will have to be his decision. It is never a good decision to simply do something to set up a better lawsuit. Your friend needs to weigh the options and make the decision that is best for him and his life. Keep in mind a lawsuit is very stressful and stress can affect his condition.
I wish your friend the best of luck.
Pedersen Heck McQueen, APLC is an employee rights law firm assisting employees in all Southern California counties.
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It sounds as though your coworker is already being discriminated against, even though he has not complained. Sure, it may get worse after he complains but what does he plan to accomplish by doing nothing? Does he think it will get better?
If you are giving him friendly advise (and he is the one who should be posting here), tell him if he wants to protect his rights, he either needs to make a formal written complaint, with details of comments and actions by his manager, to the head of the human resource department or he needs to hire a lawyer to do it for him. This situation needs to be addressed and remedied, one way or another. If he chooses to do nothing, no one can help him.
They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.
I completely agree with Mr. Pedersen and Mr. Kirschbaum.
This employee should keep a log of any comments, adverse actions or other funny business, starting with the day the first adverse action took place. He should write down the date, time, what was said or done, who said or did it, and any witnesses. He should be sure to include any information about his medical status made to HR, his boss or anyone. And he should keep his log at home, not at work, because you never know what will disappear.
*** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***
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