I have been with my company for 14 years. I was injured back in 2004 at work,W/C.. I have a permanent Disability rating with the state of 7%.. Ever since then I have been written up for time off because of my Disability, disciplined and 5 attempts to fire me. Made fun of in front of other employees at my start time. Been lied to about available work when I walk in to get a re load and was told this was all they had when other employees were given high paying runs. I have had management show up to company required fit for duty tests after I was off work for a flare up and harass the Dr about disqualifying me. All my write ups were fought by the union with witnesses to the harassment by my Shop Steward and business agent. There is allot more, can anyone help me? My employer is a major Chain
You should discuss your situation and your legal options with an experienced attorney without delay. While an attorney cannot physically stop your management from violating your rights or otherwise treat you unfairly, there can be quite a few options on coming up with other solutions, including enhancing any potential discrimination claims you might have in the future.
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The issue is going to be what you really want at this point. While getting the company to stop the various forms of harassment would be ideal, having the job is probably your highest priority. That said, if you can prove you have been given less valuable runs and your income has been affected by this disability harassment, you have a claim.
It is highly unlikely you will be able to reach back ten years. You basically have one year from the act about which you wish to complain to file an administrative complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing or your claim is lost.
Therefore it is important that you right away locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.
Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.
Good luck to you.
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Although I agree with the vast majority what Mr. Pedersen says, I do believe you can reach back very far into the past, possibly even 10 years. It depends on whether you can show the harassment has been continues and consistent throughout that time. If so, it is all one set of acts inexorably linked. The statute of limitations for all the bad conduct would not start to run until the final act of harassment.
You should also be aware that, if you formally complain through an attorney, they cannot retaliate against you in any way, including firing you. They could try to put together a perceptual reason for firing you, but that almost never works.
That said, if you sue them while still employed, there is vitrually no chance you will be able to stay employed there. If you end up settling, they will demand that you agree to quit as part of the settlement. If you lose at trial, you have some risk there.
Typically, the only way to win and keep the job is to sue and win at trial. If they then fired you, you could then sue them again.
Of course, this is very fact specific and should be analyzed by an attorney. This is a very complicated situation. You should engage an attorney as soon as possible.
The above answer should not be considered and does not constitute legal advice. You should not rely on any of this advice because each case is fact specific and could be subject to different local, state, and federal laws. No attorney-client relationship exists based on this response.
There is very little in the way of options to prevent mistreatment, but you have various means to address each instance and hopefully come up with a bigger solution. Some of those are legal options, but if your shop is unionized, the best place to go is to the Union first and to stick with it. Your Union may be able to address these issues much faster than a court case can, particularly where this is such a long history of alleged mistreatment. Lawsuits run on average between 6 to 18 months, but can stretch out as far as 5 years.
Please note that this answer is NOT intended to be legal advice. It is meant to serve as general education about the law. It is always recommended that you consult with an attorney in person that specializes in the area of law that your issue relates to.
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