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"Laid Off" California

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  • "Laid Off" California

    Hi...I was recently laid off and I feel like my rights have been violated but I'm unsure what to do. The easiest way to explain what has happened to me is to list in chronological order what I've experienced:
    1. Hired on 2 2008 as a benefits admin (yes I worked in the HR department so this makes it even more complex)
    2. I was treated unfairly throughout my employment but kept positive and focused on my work. Types of unfair treatment include being written up for "sighing" too much during stressful times or being blamed for things I didn't do. After I would explain my side of the story it would never be investigated properly and the blame would just lie on me even if the appropriate parties wanted to take responsibility. I can deal with this type of harassment because I'm a hard worker and I would just focus on my work and try to stay out of office drama.
    3. Around early 2009 the VP of Ops told my manager who just returned from leave "to get rid of the 2 troublemakers" in our dept. meaning myself and one other. I made a complaint regarding this comment as well as other comments made during that time. A meeting was set up and everything was laid out of on the table and my manager ended up never returning because of the harassment from the VP of op.
    4. My mom was diagnosed w/ cancer early 2009. I had to take some half days off to take her in the hospital in March and April of 2009. I officially started my intermittent leave on June 09.
    5. The VP of Op hired a Sr. benefits admin at the end of april of 2009 (he is a friend of hers). This person was not qualified for this position. He did not have much benefits experience and couldn't even work excel. I tried to train him but he continuously would take 2 hour lunches and personal phone calls and his work always ended up on my desk because he could not get it done. I made a complaint about him breaking company policy to my manager (who is also a friend of the vp of ops).
    6. My intermittent leave started on june 2009. I needed to take about one day off every 2-3 weeks. The vp of ops made me take sick time on my leave, which is against my CFRA rights and I notifed them of this.
    7. After I notified them they tried to blame me for another work issue and I felt they were trying to get me to quit. I had proof that this work issue was not my fault and i informed my manager who said "thank for for bring this to my attention".
    8. A couple days later they informed me that my position is being eliminated due to financial reasons. My position was the only one eliminated.
    I feel that with my seniority (and I got paid less than the new guy) and that I was also more experienced the new guy should have been laid off, not me. And now when I get a new job I willnot have any FMLA/CFRA rights because I will not have 1 year at that job. My work has totally screwed me over.
    Last edited by wrongfullyterminated2009; 08-21-2009, 01:11 PM.

  • #2
    It does sound unfair, but unfortunately I don't see where they have done anything illegal. The only possibility I can see is if you can link your layoff to the fact that you were using protected FMLA/CFRA time. But if the employer has documentation that there were performance issues, personality issues, etc. and that even though you might have been the best worker ever that they were constantly having to deal with complaints (true or not), it will be a hard case for you to prove.

    And unfortunately, it is not illegal to terminate an employee and to replace them with an unqualified friend, which is what it sounds like this person was trying to accomplish.

    Honestly it sounds like you are better off not being in that environment anyway.


    • #3
      Thank you for your reply...

      Don't get me wrong...I am extremely relieved that I do not have to work there anymore but the reason why I was sticking it out was for the CFRA protection. My mother has a terminal diagnosis so she is not going to get any better. Any new job will not let me take time off to take care of her because I will not have the 12 months worked. The protection was the very reason I was staying.

      I do have proof that they made me take sick time and I have a copy of the email I sent them when I formally made the complaint that they made me take my sick time which is against CFRA. The email is dated 2 days prior to my lay off. They laid me off saying it was a financial reason but they continue to hire other people outside our department like payroll, even with a supposed hiring freeze. And I just heard today that they have been interviewing people but I don't know what position yet.

      They are also making it difficult for me to view my personnel file. I'm documenting all of this via email with them.

      I've basically hit rock bottom and I woke up today really stressed and upset. I can't even see my sick mom because I cannot let her know I've been laid off because she will blame herself. and when i get a new job I dont even know how I'll be able to help my mom without CFRA protection. The protection didnt' help me anyways with my last job so I guess I shouldn't even care that I lost this "right".

      I just don't think they should get away with this. They offered me a small severance in exchange for signing a severance agreement. I have not accepted yet. Yeah I need the money, but there are other people working there that I know this is going to happen to and I do not want my hands tied if they ever need me to vouch for them. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.


      • #4
        My advice is take whatever severance pay you can get. Foregoing cash on the chance that you might be helpful to someone else in the future is not a good idea. And, unless the company has done much more wrong than meets the eye, your "vouching for them" likely won't help them anyway.
        Please post questions on the forum rather than sending me a private message or email. That way others who have similar issues have access to the discussion.


        • #5
          I don't understand why we have these so called rights when it doesn't seem to protect anyone.