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Thread: disability question, fired California

  1. #1
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    Default disability question, fired California

    When I was hired I told my employer I had recently had a knee surgury and both my knees has issue. I told him and the manager in the hiring interview. I was told to walk the shop to see if it would work for me, I saw the shop had chairs. After about 5 weeks the owner demanded all the chairs be removed. I stated to him that because of my kneee injury issues I needed a place to sit when inbetween jobs. He granted me permission to bring my chair back in. When I did, the following morning when I arrived my personal chair was in the dumpster. Two days later I was fired.. I have witnesses to these actions and a reference letter from the employee that worked there the longest,10 years stating these facts. Tho I am not labled disabled I did state my issues upfront in the interview. This company I worked for is a franchise of( deleted) gas stations and I'm sure they have a policy but I was never given any hiring material. Do I have any legal rights here. Thanks
    Last edited by cbg; 05-22-2011 at 10:35 AM.

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    Are you saying you are in a union? If so, you might want to talk to your
    union rep.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

  3. #3
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    Default smogman

    No. I did not say I work for a union. What I said was this was a (deleted) gas station. This is a basic question asking if I have any rights if my employer fired me because he changed the conditions of my employment by taking away my right to care for my injury by not adding unneeded work related stress to it. If I was upfront with him in the hiring stage and he allowed me to bring in a chair. Does he have the right to fire me when he changes the terms and I contest it. Can I defend my position without being fired for it.
    Last edited by cbg; 05-22-2011 at 10:35 AM.

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    What were the nature of your job duties?
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

  5. #5
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    Default smogman

    I am a smog tech, I was hired to smog vehicles only, no repair work was required. We only had 4 hours of work a day for a 8 hour day

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    What reason were you given for being fired?

    Also need cbg's question answered.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

  7. #7
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    Your reply to cbg wasn't posted yet when I typed my post prior to this one.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    I was given no reason at all. He would not tell me even tho I asked. But it happened 4 days after we had a discussion about my knee injurys and two days after he threw my chair he had autorized into the dumpster. He did state he never tells his employees why when they are let go.

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    I don't work in your industry. I don't know what a smog tech does or how one smogs a vehicle. I don't even know what that means. I am asking this question for a reason. Please be specific.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

  10. #10
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    Default smogman

    I inspect cars and truck. Its a walking inspection and standing at a computer to input data. It takes about 20 minutes a car. I have waiting periods of up to a couple to a few hours inbetween inspections at times. Can a owner prevent one from sitting in this down time when there is no inspection available especiallly since I had stated I have knee issues in the hiring interview. Can he change our agreement that I may have a chair available when needed if it does not interfer with my job duties. Can he fire me for confronting him on this subject when he changes the conditions of employment. Considering this is a national company with many franchises or gas stations I'm sure there is a company policy in which I was never supplied any information on when hired.

  11. #11
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    The issue is not, can he change your agreement; nor is it, can you be fired for confronting him. The answer to both those questions varies with the situation. They are not black and white, yes or no questions.

    In the circumstances you have described, however, I think you *may* (not, do - may) have a reasonable shot at a claim for the violation of your ADA rights. As I am not an expert in your industry, I don't want to be any more specific than that. But I think you have good cause to contact the EEOC and see what they think.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    Or you could also contact the Ca. Dept. of Fair Employment and Housing.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

  13. #13
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    When you start dealing with California...there are numerous depts where you may have recourse..Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE)
    Retaliation Complaint Unit
    .http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/dlseDiscrimination.html

    You also must take into consideration if your condition/knees qualifies as a "disability" under the law.
    What is a "disability accommodation"?
    A: It is assistance that allows a person with a disability to have the opportunity to equally participate in the Division of Labor Standards Enforcements programs and activities and use DLSE services. Accommodations can be provided for all DLSE services and programs.

    Q: Aren't all persons with disabilities disabled?
    A: Not all are considered "disabled" under the law for accommodation purposes. To be considered disabled in California, you need to have an impairment that limits a major life activity. Generally, the impairment needs to be permanent, but some temporary impairments may qualify for accommodations.
    FAQ's for the above are here http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/ada/ada_faq.html
    Much of the info at this link covers public buildings and state employees...but is useful in your situation to help determine where you may have rights under CA law.

    I don't belive because your company is part of a franchaise makes any difference here. Your employer is bound by many requirements, but is still and independant employer, and may develop his own internal policies in hiring/firing.

    Info on ADA is here
    An individual with a disability is a person who:

    Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
    Has a record of such an impairment; or
    Is regarded as having such an impairment.
    A qualified employee or applicant with a disability is an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question. http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/fs-ada.html
    To be covered under ADA, your employer must have 15+ employees.

    EEOC home page here http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/index.cfm

    Keep in mind though, many things that appear unfair may not be illegal. Many things illegal probably are unfair...

    File for UI benefits right away...there is also sensitive timeframe to file a complaint with the Labor Board. They would invistigate for you and issue a letter to sue if violation is found.
    And if you are concerned about the legallity here...consult with a employment law atty.

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