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Does my girlfriend have a case for a labor suit and or restitution?

Chatsworth, CA |

I am writing this on behalf of my girlfriend. She is employed at a franchisee of McDonalds and has been employed there for the last 12 years as a full-time employee (38-40 hours per week). Due to the Obama-care mandate, all of the employees have had their hours cut to under thirty hours to avoid the insurance penalties. Most of the employees are “illegal”, but my girlfriend is a legal resident.
I’m sure the employer is counting on the fact that these employees won’t make a fuss due to their status, but my girlfriend is mad as hell and wants to fight.
She also has knowledge of many labor code and corporate violations that occur on a regular basis, which is a separate issue, but may add impact to the employers lack of employees rights and well being.
Can you help?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

If your girlfriend works for McDonald's, she is an at will employee and the employer can reduce hours, cut hours, change schedule, change pay, etc. at their own discretion. She is not being singled out because she is in a protected class but is part of an entire group of employees being targeted so there may not be much she can do. As for other labor code and corporate violations that are vaguely referenced, she should talk to an employment attorney to determine if any of the claims have merit.

Posted

It is not illegal for an employer to reduce the hours an employee may work. And while it is illegal for an employer to hire and retain undocumented workers, I fail to see how your girlfriend has standing to file any legal claim unless she is the victim of unlawful discrimination because of her documented status. The employer could get in trouble for employing undocumented workers but this will not benefit your girlfriend in a monetary way.

You mention other labor code violations. If the employer is, indeed, violating laws which adversely affect your girlfriend, she should consult with an employment law attorney to discuss her legal rights and options.

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.

Trang Quoc Tran

Trang Quoc Tran

Posted

I disagree. The employer mandate to provide health care to full time employees (30 hours + per week) does not go into effect until January 1, 2015. The company reason for hour reduction sounds fishy. Even if Obamacare was the reason for reducing the employee hours they may be violating ERISA because they are trying to avoid providing healthcare benefits. Such cost saving measures leaves the company open to class action ERISA lawsuit. Lastly, there was no mention of the age group involved in the hour reduction but there may be an age discrimination claim if only workers over the age of 40 had their hours cut.

Posted

Depends on what these "many labor code and corporate violations" are. A full consultation is necessary to properly advise you.