My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: California
Hello. I work for a large retailer as a pharmacist. I have been with them for a little over a year. They told me that I need to work 1,560 hours (or 30 hours a week) during the measurement period to be eligible for benefits but I ended up short 27 hours and ended up with 1,533 hours. They sent me a letter notifying me that I am no longer eligible for health benefits alongside other benefits that they offer to pharmacists considered to be full time such as vacation, etc. I estimate the amount of benefits lost to be about $40,000.
I work different amount of hours every week and have been constantly asking them if I am in compliance with the 30 hours per week requirement. The answer was "Yes, you are in compliance" in some instances and in other instances, they referred me back to my district manager whom I contacted and was unable to tell me if I complied with the 30 hour requirement. I have that documented in writing.
On the flip side, my paychecks showed the total hours worked on a bi-weekly basis but there were hours that were not counted (i.e. meals premiums erroneously paid) and in addition, the checks being on bi-weekly basis, did not show the hours worked on daily basis. Therefore, there were days in the very first biweekly payment and the last biweekly payment that did fall within the measurement period.
Based on the fact that I consistently requested information about average hours worked and based on the fact that I received misstated information stating that I have complied with the 30 hours rule or in other instances was referred to others who didn't have the answer, what legal recourse do I have against this employer for cutting my benefits off?
Also, I have taken vacation during that measurement period but did not claim the hours because I wanted to save my vacation. Can I compel the employer to retro pay me for unclaimed vacation during the measurement period and compel them to recalculate my average hours worked?