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Discrimination, Supervisor Cutting hours/demoralizing California

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  • Discrimination, Supervisor Cutting hours/demoralizing California

    Hi Guys,

    I am back once again, it seems that everyone comes to me for advise on labor laws so that I can forward these questions to you all since you guys are the experts.

    About two months ago my aunt came to me in tears and told me about her supervisor. For about a year now the company cut back her hours due the recession and made her a part time employee which is understandable. But about 8 months ago the workload increased and they started hiring full time help from Temp Agencies. Well my aunts direct supervisor has been harassing her for about 8 months now, she is not granting her any more than 22 hours a week of work but allowing the temp agency staff to work 40 hours a week. She throws her time sheets at her on the floor while handing others their time sheets in their hands. She refers to her as the "B". She has never had any problems with any other supervisors and has worked for the company for the past 4 years. My aunt thinks the reason why she is cutting her hours and treating her that way is because she is an OLDER LATINA WOMAN who CAN barely speak english. However, she works in a warehouse environment and works faster than some her younger peers. She basically demoralizes her and tells everyone on the floor that she doesn't want her working with her. One time she sent her home 15 minutes after clocking in and that is after another manager had scheduled her to come in. The other staff on floor asked the supervisor why she sent her home especially since there was a lot of work. She told the Staff because she doesn't want her there. One day the supervisor was talking to a forklift driver, my aunt walked in front of them pushing a pallet jack. The Supervisor told the Forklift Driver that he should run her over. The Forklift Driver said No. The Forklift Driver then went to tell my aunt what just happened. But she did not report it at that time because she didn't want to get the forklift driver caught up in the situation since everyone fears this woman.

    Most recently, the supervisor went on vacation. A replacement was put in her place while on vacation. The backup supervisor had my aunt working 40 hours a week because there's more than enough work. Well the Supervisor came back and told my aunt to not get used to it and has already cut back her hours to 4 / day.

    One day my aunt got tired of it all and asked me to translate a letter for her. We forwarded the letter to corporate and to the facility she works at. The letter went on to explain everything from the start and how this whole situation was causing her stress and how serious the matter is because she feels she is being discriminated based on said factors,meaning age and race. This was on 12/7, she went to speak to the HR person at her facility on 1/6 and all they said to her is that the matters were under investigation and she couldn't do anything about her hours. Well we called corporate today to follow up, come to find out that the facility told HR that everything was fine and taken care of. My aunt told the HR at corporate about the Forklift incident as well as the paper throwing incidents. All of this stuff is documented because it is a Video Monitored Environment which is recorded 24/7. Well the HR lady at corporate said she needed to further investigate the matter since she thought everything was settled and that she would return her call on Monday.

    Now our question to you all is, what if Monday comes and they continue saying the matter is still under investigation and there is nothing done about the situation? Should one contact DLSE from that point on? Or what does one do?
    Last edited by mi92806; 01-08-2010, 01:00 PM. Reason: added more items

  • #2
    If she believes she is being discriminated against (ie hours cut) just because of her national origin and/or age (40 or older) & the employer does nothing about it, she can file a complaint with the Ca. Dept. Fair Employment & Housing. They will investigate. (employer only needs to have 5 employees to do so)

    Are there any other older Latina women working there being treated the same as your aunt or is she the only one?
    Last edited by Betty3; 01-08-2010, 03:31 PM.
    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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    • #3
      She is the only Older Latina woman who has the language barrier meaning she can barely speak english, everyone else can communicate in the English language just fine. And yes, she is the only one being treated that way one can only assume its the language barrier. My aunt is also 55 years old to be exact. And no one has yet to tell her why she is getting her hours cut.
      Last edited by mi92806; 01-11-2010, 11:17 AM.

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      • #4
        However, if needing to speak clear English is a bona fide job requirement, they can certainly require she meet it like everyone else.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          The language barrier has never been an issue, she has worked with them for the past 4 years only till now since this person is now her supervisor have things changed to what they are, the shortage of hours, the throwing of papers at her, calling her a "B", etc...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
            However, if needing to speak clear English is a bona fide job requirement, they can certainly require she meet it like everyone else.
            The employee has successfully worked in the warehouse and works faster then her peers, her language barrier and AGE had not been of issue until THIS particular manager started treating her in this manner. The language barrier could not NOW be held as a defense when clearly is was never in the past and they knew that upon hiring her obviously. There is clear discrimination to this employee occurring here at this establishment and the sooner these BAD SEEDS are weeded out good employees with no agenda other then to work at their jobs can do so in peace. AMEN!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mi92806 View Post
              The language barrier has never been an issue, she has worked with them for the past 4 years only till now since this person is now her supervisor have things changed to what they are, the shortage of hours, the throwing of papers at her, calling her a "B", etc...
              We posted same thing at same time. There are employment laws to protect this employee from this type of atrocious discriminating behavior and your Aunt should not have to suffer because of this. I hope you find an Attorney for her if talks with management do not bring your aunt some resolution!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by LETC View Post
                The employee has successfully worked in the warehouse and works faster then her peers, her language barrier and AGE had not been of issue until THIS particular manager started treating her in this manner. The language barrier could not NOW be held as a defense when clearly is was never in the past and they knew that upon hiring her obviously. There is clear discrimination to this employee occurring here at this establishment and the sooner these BAD SEEDS are weeded out good employees with no agenda other then to work at their jobs can do so in peace. AMEN!
                The aunt is assuming the problem is her age and nationality. It could be the supervisor doesn't like her as a person. Perhaps it is a personality conflict.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Perhaps it could be but what can one assume? It is still no justification for her actions, to tell someone to run her over with a forklift... well to be that's just bizarre. But well, the matter is resolved; upper management finally listened and granted her another 2 hours so instead of working 22-24 hours she at least has 30 hours and she is satisfied. The other employees are still putting in their 40 hours but once again my aunt is satisfied, she just wanted some type of equality. Upper Management also tried to sugar coat the situation by telling her not to repeat the Forklift Incident again, and that the supervisor was probably playing around. As far as I know in any other company that would have been grounds for dismissal. To me it's peculiar that some corporations take these types of stance and saying "Oh no she was just playing around" well that's childish.

                  The issue was never about this person not liking her on a personal level, you always get that in the work place. But when an individual that has authority over your income per se and treats you in such a manner then it's a whole other ball field. Supervisors/Management are suppose to be Ethical Professionals and if they see that their is a personal conflict (which on their end could have been their justification) then they should have taken care of it right away, still I doubt this was the case since everyone seem to over look the situation.

                  Thank you again for all of your input.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The difference is discriminating against someone for being over 40 or their race is illegal while discriminating against someone who you have a personality conflict is not.

                    Depending on the details behind the forklift incident I can see it going either as a reprimand or a termination.

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                    • #11
                      Just a suggestion: You may want to give your aunt some English-language tutoring; clearly you care about her and moving forward -- whether in this job or another -- English-language skills can only help her.

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                      • #12
                        Upper Management also tried to sugar coat the situation by telling her not to repeat the Forklift Incident again, and that the supervisor was probably playing around. As far as I know in any other company that would have been grounds for dismissal. To me it's peculiar that some corporations take these types of stance and saying "Oh no she was just playing around" well that's childish.
                        Just a thought on that--we often find ourselves post-investigation what we can share. Normally we simply say the investigation has been completed and we feel appropriate action has been taken. The Company may not want to share (and honestly should not share) disciplinary action to the supervisor with the subordinate. For all you know, the supervisor could have been given the final warning of death. Well, you know what I mean.

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                        • #13
                          I'm glad it worked out for your aunt and she is happier now but for future reference, it would be very hard to claim age and national origin discrimination if there are others of the same age and N.O. who are not treated as your aunt has been. Language ability is not in and of itself protected by any law. If the supervisor wants to give those with poor language/communication skills fewer hours, no law prohibits this. It is a fine line at times but it would be illegal to cut the hours of only those who speak a certain language, but not those who have poor language skills. It is the same as cutting the hours of those who can not whistle or perform some other task very well. If that task doesn't affect the ability to get the job done it would be an example of poor management, but not illegal.
                          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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                          • #14
                            I would definitely love to teach her some english. She spends a lot of time in our home and tries to pick up as much as she can since my husband is not bilingual at all.

                            And I can totally see where everything is a thin line these days. I try to help out my family and friends as much as I can. But I think for now I am going to slow my roll because this kind of stuff can be stressful lol.

                            Comment

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