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CAN I STILL SUE MY OLD MANAGER?

Discussion in 'Termination: Firing & Resignation' started by Unknown Person, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. Unknown Person

    Unknown Person Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am a female and I used to work at a fast food restaurant in the early months of 2017 and I was asked to leave that store in August of 2017. During the time I was working there, I started dating one of my coworkers. My manager at the time found out that we were dating in July of 2017 and asked both of us to either transfer stores or leave the store we were at in August of 2017 after he found out about the relationship (the same sex relationship). For informational purposes I just want to mention that neither of us had any prior warnings or write ups that were working against us before he asked us to transfer/leave the store. I ended up transferring stores and my girlfriend ended up resigning. Although, even after the matter. It never really sat right with us that he asked us to do that. My girlfriend stayed in contact with one of our previous coworkers at the store we used to work at and that coworker told her that he had started dating someone at the store and that the manager knew about and didn’t care (they are a heterosexual couple). We cannot help, but to wonder if there is more there than what meets the eye. I am not sure if what he did is fair and quite frankly it doesn’t feel right to my girlfriend and I. I was wondering if there is anything we can do about it at this point. Whether it’s complaining about it to his boss or suing. Would we be able to do anything about it now?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I suppose there are MANY things you can do.



    Only YOU determine what YOU choose to do.


    Again, you or BOTH of you could do almost any thing, some legal, some illegal; ONLY you control what YOU choose to do.
     
  3. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Even if we assume that any illegal discrimination occurred, which is not at all certain from your post, if this happened during the summer of 2017 the window of opportunity to take any legal action has already expired. Even if you had the best case in the world, and you don't, you've waited too long.

    BTW, it is quite legal,, and quite common to prohibit couples, regardless of whether they are same sex or opposite sex, from working together. So I'm not at all sure there'd have been any action for you to take while the window was still open.
     
    hrforme likes this.
  4. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Active Member

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    It doesn't look like it. An employer may fire or reassign employees for having a romantic relationship as nothing in federal or California law prohibits that. Your post raises a possible inference that the employer perhaps targeted you and your girlfriend because you were in a same sex relationship since you said that the employer didn't do the same thing to employees who were straight. Under federal law an employer may discriminate against employees based on sexual orientation. But the employer cannot do that under California law. So, if you could have proved that the employer took the action it did because you two are lesbians you would have had a claim to pursue under California law, but not federal law.

    The problem though is that California law requires that you file a complaint about the alleged discrimination wit the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) within one year of the alleged discriminatory act. Failure to file the complaint with DFEH on time prevents you from filing the lawsuit against the employer. Since you say this happened in August 2017 you'd normally need to file that complaint within a year of that, so it had to be done some time in August 2018. The law does provide for extensions of time to file the complaint but none of those seem to apply here (unless you were a minor at the time):

    (d) No complaint may be filed after the expiration of one year from the date upon which the alleged unlawful practice or refusal to cooperate occurred, except that this period may be extended as follows:

    (1) For a period of time not to exceed 90 days following the expiration of that year, if a person allegedly aggrieved by an unlawful practice first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged unlawful practice after the expiration of one year from the date of their occurrence.

    (2) For a period of time not to exceed one year following a rebutted presumption of the identity of the person’s employer under Section 12928, in order to allow a person allegedly aggrieved by an unlawful practice to make a substitute identification of the actual employer.

    (3) For a period of time, not to exceed one year from the date the person aggrieved by an alleged violation of Section 51.7 of the Civil Code becomes aware of the identity of a person liable for the alleged violation, but in no case exceeding three years from the date of the alleged violation if during that period the aggrieved person is unaware of the identity of any person liable for the alleged violation.

    (4) For a period of time not to exceed one year from the date that a person allegedly aggrieved by an unlawful practice attains the age of majority.
    CA Government Code section 12960.
     
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Sure. If either of you still works for the same employer, you can complain to your former manager's supervisor.

    There are no temporal restrictions on complaining. As for suing, neither of you suffered any damages as a result of what happened and, even if you had damages, it's too late now.

    It seems that the complaint is that the OP's former manager tolerated heterosexual relationships and singled out the OP and her girlfriend for their homosexual relationship. If true, that would violate California law, but as you noted, it's too late now.
     
  6. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I missed that part - sorry, running on too little coffee, I imagine.
     

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