COMPANY - Call Center, Large Corporation, Just merged & re branded with 2 companies, changing dept. commission structure dif. -$ possible to earn lower & affected only those whom avrg higher, raise depended on avg commission. Everyone was 11.05/hr, raise was anywhere 11.05 - 20/hr
Employee (Me) - Top performer, max raise $20/hr, praise/positive feedback, no corrective actions.
Took 1 month FMLA leave apprvd. - retrn w/odd things, mgr in shift mtng says leave policy changing -was to be harder for ppl to take "ext vacations", our benefits/free srvs not paid while on leave.
Get call from irate cust demanding supervisor (normal). Tried to help as trained & de-escalate call, cust said i offended him somehow, demanded supervisor, told all were in meeting & none present. took long time to get sup. 1d later was talked to re call (not normal) said I didn't handle properly, denied cust supervisor. It was odd. I responded "i did what u said to do, no supervisors around, I feel i'm get conflicting direction". 3d later procedure emailed to all. 25d after fired "denying cust supervisor, unprofessional extended call when could of got supervisor" -term letter, "offending cust" -supervisor
No one here can tell you if you were terminated for taking protected leave, even with the large amount of facts you have provided. However, if it can be proved that you were terminated for taking protected leave, and not because of the customer complaint, then you would have a claim of violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act and wrongful termination. The difficulty is in proving motive. Certainly you have evidence in the form of a temporal nexus between your taking of leave and your termination. It is likely you are going to need more to carry your burden of proving that the customer complaint was a mere pretext and that the real reason you were terminated was the taking of leave.
These kinds of cases are very fact specific. You will need to 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 offer a free or low cost consultation in the beginning and then, if the matter has merit and value, will usually agree to 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.
This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.
The circumstances and timing of your termination are certainly suspicious, and may in fact be unlawful retaliation for your FMLA leave. You should speak to an employment attorney to discuss your situation in more detail. Many of us provide a free initial consultation, and would take a case like yours on a contingency fee basis, so don't let concern about attorney's fees dissuade you.
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