I have repeatedly requested a copy of my paycheck stubs / payroll records, current employee handbook, my current health coverage, and my personnel file. I am on medical disabilty leave. CA requires they provide this, but they are Alabama based and that state does not. I work in CA. My company is trying to "package me out" by giving me a release of claims and in return a small payment of my salary for two months. My leave is work related stress and detox from legally perscribed and obtained medication that I decided I no longer wanted to take. I believe that the reason for leave is viewed as unacceptable by my company, and that I have no work to return to. My company has "gone dark." I included the CEO on my requests, via fax and e-mail, with receipt confirmation. What should I do?
Your question raises a number of issues and you should retain qualified counsel to address them. Generally speaking though, California law requires all employers to make parts of an employee's personnel file available for review and copying upon request (Labor Code sec. 1198.5, sec. 226 and sec. 432). Further, a "release" is a form of severance agreement. Wages due to an employee cannot be paid on condition that an employee sign a settlement agreement; however, extra payment that is not owed is often offered as part of a severance agreement. Access to group insurance plan information is governed in part by COBRA's rules, which are too lengthy and detailed to list here. More information can be found at www.dol.gov. Finally, California law protects some employees who are on qualified disability leave. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing is the agency that is involved in disability matters.
Please note that this answer is not legal advice but intended only for general informational purposes. The question and this answer do not establish an attorney-client relationship.
You can file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, which is the arm of the California Labor Commissioner that enforces the California Labor Code. If you worked in California, the employer is subject to this state's labor laws.
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.
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