Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    2

    Default Unlawful Compensation Policies by an Employer

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: California

    There are multiple labor law violations and a lot of harassment issues occurring in my current workplace. I'm not sure what I can do about it. I've decided to leave due to these problems and the fact that it's also an incredibly unhealthy (codependent & manipulative) workplace.

    It's a franchise of a nationwide fast food restaurant BTW. Some of these violations are due to coporate culture, some definitely not.

    Violations include:
    - the state-mandated 30 minute meal breaks are actually 20 minute on-duty breaks that are typically interrupted (since there will often just be 2 people working)
    -employees often don't break on time or at all (I often don't break until 4+ hours into a 6 hr shift; a previous employee worked a month+ and adamantly refused to break ever, 2 managers & the owner encouraged his attitude & behavior; not really uncommon for managers to go from 6:30AM to 3PM without breaking)
    -final paychecks: when notice is given (almost always two weeks), the employee doesn't get it on their last day--they must wait until the next scheduled payday
    -wage theft: When I was doing closing shifts, the shift manager would regularly clock me out while I was still working. (This is a company wide issue related to labor management and profit shares.) Most of the days were apparently adjusted by the owner to the estimated time I finished working, but I can't be certain since I can't access my old time cards. I also believe my OT has been miscalculated, but again can't be certain.
    -paid sick leave: The owner either has no idea that California has a paid leave law for hourly workers or she has decided to completely ignore it. Either way, the result is that employees almost never call in when they're sick because they can't afford to. I worked on the line while contagious last month because my hours had already been cut and I couldn't risk losing more income. This is a big problem for me right now since I'm having wisdom teeth pulled next week, cannot work that day & possibly the next, but also can't really afford losing any income since I'll have a $1700+ bill to pay.

    Harassment is also a major issue in this workplace.
    I was subjected to near constant harassment from a previous co-worker from the day he started. Every manager and the owner knew and watched and no one said anything about it until after he quit. When I was visibly upset by his harassment in the middle of lunch rush, I tried telling the owner who was just feet away. She cut me off, said "That's just P------", and walked away.
    Every employee (even high school students) has also been made to listen to countless inappropriate comments from management and co-workers. These are usually sexual and/or misogynistic comments, often about customers and co-workers.
    A couple weeks ago, the owner yelled at me mid-shift. In front of the entire crew. When there was still a lunch crowd. She backed me up against the register, yelled at me, gave me no chance to explain myself, then walked out the door and left for the day. This was because I mistakenly parked in the wrong spot the day before and apparently was "smart" to her husband. (But God forbid she say anything to the others who park there regularly. Or tell me what offended her husband.) This isn't the first time she's been inappropriately angry with me or another employee, just the time that made me actually afraid of her.

    What can I do? I am afraid of confronting her and my managers. I don't believe talking to our regional corporate rep will help because of the culture and policies of the company.

    I've already found a new job and started training, so I'll be giving my notice soon. However I don't want to let everything there continue how it has been (nor do I want the owner to get away with it all). Is there a state agency or group that can help? (esp with the paid sick leave)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,235

    Default Re: Harassment and Multiple State Violations in Ca. What Are My Options

    The wage and hour violations, and everything that you have listed is actually a violation, can be reported to the DLSE.

    Not all of what you have described as harassment is ILLEGAL harassment, however. Yelling at you for parking in the wrong spot, for example, was not illegal, even if it was in front of your co-workers and even if it was during the middle of the lunch crowd. It's not at all clear whether the behavior of the fellow who quit was illegal, but frankly even if it was, he's gone and there isn't an agency that's going to address a problem that is no longer there. However, the sexual comments may well be a legal issue. Those would be addressed with the DFEH.

    It might not hurt to consult with an employment attorney, many of whom give free or low cost consultations.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Unlawful Compensation Policies by an Employer

    Thank you so much!
    I knew all those things were illegal--I just had no idea what to do about it.
    The harassment issues were what I wasn't sure about. TBH I don't know much about harassment law.

    What does qualify as illegal harassment by the employer? I feel like the franchisees of my last job crossed a lot of lines, but I don't know if it's all illegal. E.g. making bigoted comments about Mexican immigrants, making insulting comments about an employee's appearance & refusing to buy a uniform in his size for several months, most delivery drivers reported being followed by a car owned by the franchise

    One Google search and I found a local employment law agency! So much simpler than I thought it'd be. They do free consultations and take most cases on a contingency fee basis. I'll be contacting them this week.

    I think I might bring the sexual harassment issue to our corporate rep. We're due for an audit any day, so he'll be in shop and might be able to actually see some of the inappropriate behavior.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,235

    Default Re: Unlawful Compensation Policies by an Employer

    If it is BASED ON a characteristic protected by law (race, religion, national origin and so forth) it's illegal. But it's also very fact specific, because it is possible for something to be addressed to someone who is a member of a so-called protected class without it being based on that characteristic. Every person on the face of the earth is a member of at least three protected classes; we all have a race, we all have a gender and we all have a national origin. So it takes more than being a member of a so-called protected group.

    Of the three examples you listed in your last post, with no facts other than you've provided only the first would appear to be based on a protected characteristic so only the first would be illegal. It's not impossible that additional facts could change that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    1,142

    Default Re: Unlawful Compensation Policies by an Employer

    Why bother with giving these nice people notice? Don't be at all surprised if you try to given notice and they say something like, "Get out of here right now!" It's not up to the employee to tell the employer exactly what date they would prefer to work up to. You simply tell them you are leaving, and they do NOT have to legally let you work out your notice. So don't anticipate the income from that two weeks after you break the news to them that you're going.

    You say you KNEW all these things were illegal. But frankly, though I am with cbg, doesn't hurt to run all this past a labor attorney, but I am not hearing a whole lot that is sounding like illegal harassment. You seem to believe, as many people do, that it would be illegal for your employer to harass you and yell at you and treat you unfairly in general. This is not true. Demanding that people work when ill, and firing them if they don't isn't illegal, though it may be mean. Employers can treat their employees pretty much any way they want to, and the biggest right that the employees have is to quit and find a better job.

    You have taken the best possible alternative, which is to find another job. Be sure you schedule it carefully so that you don't have a break between the two jobs that you do not want. If that happens, you can file for unemployment insurance, but that might not work out, and would definitely take several weeks to provide any income if it did.

    Be sure that you do not make an issue of how terrible your last employer was when filing for unemployment, or when applying for new jobs. That is something for you to take up only with the DSLE (regarding paid sick leave, breaks, etc) or the EEOC (regarding the possible sexual harassment issues). Before you leave, though, it is not a bad idea at all to discuss your issues with this workplace with someone within the company higher up than your manager, because if you just go straight to another entity with a complaint about something like this, without trying to solve the problem at all internally, all they have to say is, "We were unaware there was a problem!"

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Denial & Appeals: Denied Unemployment After Dismissal for Violating Employer's Policies
    By rubyc in forum Employment and Labor
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-21-2014, 11:20 AM
  2. Discrimination: Employer Not Consistent Enforcing Policies Upon Resignation
    By chfshcky32 in forum Employment and Labor
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-01-2011, 07:04 PM
  3. Denial & Appeals: Unemployment Denied After Failing Test of Employer's Policies
    By datruthisscary in forum Employment and Labor
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 08-06-2010, 04:36 PM
  4. Compensation and Overtime: Unfair Company Policies with Regard to Compensation
    By myrights in forum Employment and Labor
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-03-2010, 10:17 PM
  5. Restrictive Covenants: Employer Privacy Policies
    By p4l1ndr0m3 in forum Employment and Labor
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-27-2008, 01:11 PM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources