Complete Labor Law Poster for $24.95
from www.LaborLawCenter.com, includes
State, Federal, & OSHA posting requirements

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Unemployment Appelate Court decides Misconduct for "Discussing Salary"? California

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Unemployment Appelate Court decides Misconduct for "Discussing Salary"? California



    I am so confused. I feel like my rights have been completely violated yet again. It feels so unfair and I feel like I've been run over by a truck.

    I just got denied unemployment benefits by the Unemployment Appelate Court of the State of California for reasons that I discussed salary with other employees - which in the court's opinion created a "uncomfortable working environment."

    Per testimony of the employer (not the actual employees), the employees supposedly complained to them directly that I made them feel uncomfortable. There was no documentation provided to support this except the employer's own testimony of what the employees supposedly told to them.

    The employer never said anything to me about it while I was employed with them. I had no idea anybody ever complained about me until after I was fired, specifically at the hearing itself, which the employer admitted. I couldn't even cross-examine the employees' statements since they were not in court as witnesses. When I asked in court who were the employee's that said it, they said that was 'privileged' information.

    FACT: The only thing that I ever talked about with other employees were my opinions and general unhappiness about my starting salary at the company, other general working conditions, as well as telling them that I hoped they were happy themselves.

    So I find it odd that they would complain about anything at all!

    I also thought it was a protected activity, per CA labor code 232 and 232.5:
    LC 232
    No employer may do any of the following:
    (a) Require, as a condition of employment, that an employee
    refrain from disclosing the amount of his or her wages.
    (b) Require an employee to sign a waiver or other document that
    purports to deny the employee the right to disclose the amount of his
    or her wages.
    (c) Discharge, formally discipline, or otherwise discriminate
    against an employee who discloses the amount of his or her wages.


    LC 232.5
    No employer may do any of the following:
    (a) Require, as a condition of employment, that an employee
    refrain from disclosing information about the employer's working
    conditions.
    (b) Require an employee to sign a waiver or other document that
    purports to deny the employee the right to disclose information about
    the employer's working conditions.
    (c) Discharge, formally discipline, or otherwise discriminate
    against an employee who discloses information about the employer's
    working conditions.

    (d) This section is not intended to permit an employee to disclose
    proprietary information, trade secret information, or information
    that is otherwise subject to a legal privilege without the consent of
    his or her employer.

    When the employer said he was terminating me, he didn't state specific reasons except that I was trouble to him. He then tried to make me sign a "separation agreement" asking me to pay him $4000 on wages I already earned (enforcing "use it or lose it" policy on my vacation time, called wages "retention bonus", etc.). I told the employer that this was not a mutually agreed separation, that I liked my job, that he was the one firing me, and that I was going to complain to the labor comissionser of California if he didn't pay me my wages (vacation time, earned wages, bonuses, etc). He then promptly fired me for that reason (which he admitted at the hearing).

    Threatening to file a claim against the company's non-compliance by other labor laws is also protected:
    LC 98.6
    "(a) No person shall discharge an employee or in any manner
    discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because
    the employee or applicant engaged in any conduct delineated in this
    chapter, including the conduct described in subdivision (k) of
    Section 96, and Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 1101) of Part 3 of
    Division 2, or because the employee or applicant for employment has
    filed a bona fide complaint or claim or instituted or caused to be
    instituted any proceeding under or relating to his or her rights,
    which are under the jurisdiction of the Labor Commissioner, or
    because the employee has initiated any action or notice pursuant to
    Section 2699,
    or has testified or is about to testify in any such
    proceeding or because of the exercise by the employee or applicant
    for employment on behalf of himself, herself, or others of any rights
    afforded him or her."

    I have no idea what to do now. This has left me completely distraught.
    Last edited by c0ntradictum; 11-09-2008, 08:56 AM.

  • #2
    I am not a UI or termination expert, so this is going to be a very soft answer. You have cited a CA law that you feel has been violated. I can say that there is a similar federal law that perhaps has also been violated (see below).

    Past this, I cannot help you. You might need to talk to local attorney who specializes in this matter. You can file claims with the agency or take a court action, but I have no feel for which matter is best. Or what specific questions you need to address to see how good your claim is.

    http://www.nlrb.gov/Workplace_Rights...ctivities.aspx

    What are protected concerted activities? ...

    c) 2 or more employees discussing pay or other work-related issues with each other.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks. I forgot about that law - which even makes this ruling more absurd.

      Where do they get these biased judges?

      Comment


      • #4
        UI judges favor employees, no matter what state. I've worked in several and in every state, if there was any question, the employee prevailed.

        I've never seen UI judges made a decision that went against the law. I'm thinking there has to be more to the story than this.
        I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
        Thomas Jefferson

        Comment


        • #5
          When I told it to him in court he said, "well maybe you didn't interpret the law correctly."

          I'm going to appeal it. If anyone else has some advice, I'd love to hear it.

          Comment

          The LaborLawTalk.com forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on LaborLawTalk.com are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of LaborLawTalk.com. LaborLawTalk.com does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.
          Working...
          X