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.
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: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/an-overview-of-at-will-employment-all-states. 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 www.cela.org. 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 * * * twitter.com/MikaSpencer * * * PLEASE READ: 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.
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 as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.
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 create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for a review of your specific facts and documents.
Criminal defense Employment Constitutional law Discrimination in the workplace Disability discrimination in the workplace Gender discrimination in the workplace Employment forms Employment contracts Reasonable accommodation of employees Docked pay and work hours Lawsuits and disputes Gender discrimination Disability discrimination Discrimination