Legal Question in Employment Law in California

I work as a manager for a mid-size company and have 4 employees. Two of them went to HR and accused me of being unapproachable, not allowing input, being moody, and raising my voice in one occasion. These allegations were made AFTER I told the group I would hold them accountable for repeated mistakes and told them to look up answers on material I had distributed before coming to me for questions. I have stacks of emails proving that I have been a caring, flexible, and fair manager to them. All my emails reveal the completely opposite of what I'm being accused of.

I met with HR and they had no evidence to present to back up the employees' claims. I told HR I had not committed misconduct or broken any Company regulation. I asked them to show me which regulation I broke on the Employee Handbook. HR was not able to do so. I told them I wanted due process and that they had no evidence to back up their claims whereas I had stacks of emails and witnesses. I told HR I feared this was a plot on the part of those employees to get me fired. That I felt the company was providing no protection against this sort of thing because they're taking the employees' word over mine even though I have evidence and the employees have provided none other than than their vague claims that I'm unapproachable. Yet, to this date, every one of my employees keeps coming to me for work and non-work related conversations. One of the employees referred to another manager as "retarded" in a conversation with me. I emailed and told HR right away. Yet they seemed focus on my being "unapproachable."

I've been with the company for 1.5 years. During the entire time, I have worked insane number of hours, turned the department around, and passed all audits for my department. I have emails I sent to my boss at 2 AM and on weekends. I don't get paid overtime, since I'm salaried. I had a glowing performance review last year and now my boss is backing HR and not standing up for me. As a result of the stress, I'm now bleeding whenever I use the toilet. I emailed HR and told them this situation is taking an emotional and physical toll on me. Please advice. I live in the Irvine area and work in Los Angeles.

Asked on 6/05/13, 5:56 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Not only are there no laws against poor management, 'unfair treatment', or rude, obnoxious or harassing behavior by management or other employees, but in general, unless an employee is civil service, in a union, or has a written employment contract, they are an 'at will' employee that can be disciplined or terminated any time for any reason, with or without ‘cause’, explanation or notice. That is, UNLESS the conduct is based upon discrimination, harassment or retaliation as defined as actually ‘illegal’ under the ADA [disability], Civil Rights [age, race, sex, ethnic, religion, pregnancy, etc], FMLA [medical leave], Whistle-blower, or similar statutes.

It doesn't sound like any of those apply.

Any employee's goal should be to keep their supervisors happy and make them look good to the company, and make the company money. That’s how the company pays employee wages. If you don't, then don't be surprised to be replaced. Now if the conduct was illegal under the above definitions, feel free to contact me for the legal help you’ll need.

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Answered on 6/08/13, 6:12 pm

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