Legal Question in Employment Law in California

My husband was an employee of a satellite company for 2 1/2 years. Last year his work shift was Mon -Thurs from 6pm - 4 am. He never received a meal period on this shift because he was the only one on duty, and his employer made him sign a waiver. He mentioned to his supervisor that it was hard for him to eat while at work because there was no relief. Management began to treat him unfairly afterwards and we have a file folder of emails to prove it. He also told management that he was going to contact the Labor Commission to see if their oncall practices were legal and should be considered as overtime. This year my husband's shift changed to 9:30 am - 6 pm. At 6pm the companies phone calls are automatically forwarded to the employee oncall for that evening. On Tuesday the oncall employee did not answer the phone and could not be reached. My husband called his manager at 6:15 pm and reported this to him. The manager said he would take care of it. My husband left the office and went home. 10 minutes later my husband's manager calls him on his personal cell phone and starts using foul language and asked why didn't he stay at work or take one of the oncall phones home with him. He then told my husband they would talk about the situation tomorrow. The next day they fired my husband for abandoning the phones and the oncall employee that did NOT report for duty was not fired or disciplined. Is this legal since his work shift was 9:30 AM - 6PM or is this wrongful termination?

Asked on 10/21/10, 8:22 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Aryeh Leichter Leichter Law Firm, APC

It is quite possible that your husband has grounds for a claim of wrongful termination in violation of public policy (retaliation for complaining about labor code violations). It is also possible that the waiver your husband signed is unenforceable, entitling you to additional compensation, penalties and attorney's fees. I would have to look at the agreement to know for sure. Please give me a call at (213) 381-6557 or send me an email at [email protected] if you would like to discuss the matter further. I will be in my office until 10 tonight.

All the best,

Ari Leichter

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Answered on 10/26/10, 8:39 pm
Ramin Saedi Saedi Law Corporation, P.C.

It appears that your husband may have several claims against his employer but it is best to have all information before giving an opinion on it ie. waiver he signed, emails etc. ... Please feel free to call me at 323-584-6644 for a free evaluation of your case.

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Answered on 10/26/10, 10:52 pm
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

An employee is not allowed to 'waive' his breaks or OT. Feel free to contact me to discuss legal action against the employer for unpaid compensation, OT, interest, penalties and attorney fees, and about the wrongful termination which is actionable in a lawsuit as illegal 'retaliation'.

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Answered on 10/27/10, 10:36 am

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