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Workplace Retaliation

Discussion in 'Termination: Firing & Resignation' started by M.Eddington, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. M.Eddington

    M.Eddington Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am a classified staff member (Administrative Assistant) 12+ years for a Sacramento Public Community College. Five years ago, November 2015 I was asked to relocate to a new department within the school district, which I complied.

    Though it had been required, I had not received one performance review from my employer, even after several requests were made throughout my entire time with this department. Working in this department has been a continuous struggle. The environment makes for a hostile work environment being harassed, bullied, and even cursed at from supervision.

    As stated, I made numerous attempts to communicate my concerns with my supervisor, however, the majority of my complaints went what appeared ignored. My employer made no attempts to rectify or even respond to my complaints. The majority of my issues were the lack of communication and follow through causing miscommunications and even errors with the work.

    After making no head way, I felt no choice but to submit a complaint regarding my supervisors uninterest and what appears concern in our department, and more importantly our direct problem between supervisor and administrative support. My complaint was submitted to the administrative vice president with the request to transfer me to a new department. A meeting had been scheduled in order to discuss my complaint, however, due to unforeseen circumstances, we have not been to meet. That being said, though I have not met with the vice president, I expected my complaint to follow through the protocol. Instead, I found myself looking at a performance review with all negative feedback, relating to issues of mistakes not of my own doing but my supervisor. My review ended with several pages of recorded issues..work tasks that ended in errors, again, that occurred at the direction of my employer. I have since been directed to not only begin weekly meetings, but also two weeks to draft an office procedure how to perform my duties as administrative assistant, and if I do not comply, disciplinary action will be carried out against me.

    Second, I've not mentioned that I have also been battling medical issue due to knee surgeries which has limited my prior activities. June 4, 2019, I underwent my 6th knee surgery, in which our district offers volunteer donation of staff hours to cover such times as this when extensive time away from work is necessary due to catastrophic illnesses such as this.

    The district has a committee of individuals who decided when and whether staff is allowed to utilize this benefit. This special request can be denied if the committee decides the medical procedure has been performed prior therefore coverage can be denied. My request has been denied based on this reasoning, however, once proven that my current surgery was not the same as prior surgery performed, it was still denied because it was similar to previous surgeries.

    I've stated two separate issues with my employer that have occurred simultaneously, weeks after my submitted complaint against my supervisor.

    My question, is this a case of work place retaliation, and if so, what can I do to protect myself? My union stated since we work for public community college district, there is not much we can do but accept it. Is that accurate? Can I be held accountable for mistakes of my supervisor? Can they also threaten disciplinary action not based on performance issues? What can I do to protect myself? Do I have a case against my employer?
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    The word "can" denotes one's ability to do something, not whether it's done rightly or wrongly, so the answer to all the "can" questions is obviously yes.

    You cannot "protect" yourself from people wronging you, you can only seek a remedy after it happens.

    If you haven't been fired over all this, I don't think you have any case at all. Sometimes jobs just suck and employers are aholes. You either suck it up or you find work elsewhere.

    Meantime, consult an employment attorney and get your situation reviewed incase something is revealed under thorough examination.
     
  3. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    there's no law that requires an employer/boss to do any type of performance review. The fact that you continued to press for one for 5 years (!) and then got a negative one is not really surprising. " The majority of my issues were the lack of communication and follow through causing miscommunications and even errors with the work."

    One thing i will say is that legitimate performance review is not harassment. Getting upset due to mistakes is not harassment. And it sounds like they have built a performance case against you even if you believe it was due to their lack of communications skills. I do wonder why you stayed for 5 years in a bad environment and didn't ask to transfer out sooner?

    As for the donated leave....You had 6 surgeries -- how many times did you utilize donation of staff hours for the other 5? at some point, they can say no, you've utilized it too much compared to others (i.e, your 6th knee surgery even if not the exact same one was still the same overarching reason). Realize that there again is no law that requires that the employer even have this program much less that they give it to you every time you have a need. That's why they have a committee to decide .... i really doubt the committee knows anything about your supervisor complaint...but rather that you are on your 6th surgery.

    In the end, if they have a legitimate reason to terminate your employment, they can regardless of your medical needs or your original complaints.
     
    shadowbunny likes this.
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    M. Eddington, please keep all your discussion to this thread and don't open new threads on the same topic. Your duplicate thread has been removed.
     
    Zigner and justblue like this.
  5. M.Eddington

    M.Eddington Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for your feedback.
     
  6. M.Eddington

    M.Eddington Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for your feedback.
    In reference to whether performance evaluations are required, the public school district in which I work, performance evaluations are required. This has been confirmed via our Human Resources department, in addition our administrative department had been requesting evaluations from this particular department for some time. It was just not done. Also, employees attempting transfers or promotions will not be considered without having current evalyations on file, this too Human Resources has advised. This particular supervisor just does not respond, and staff is told we have no recourse.
    To be told to "suck it up or quit" can't be my only options.
     
  7. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Please cite the law that requires such evaluations? Even a regulation would help? Is it in your contract?
     
  8. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    That is a policy of the district, not a law. You can report the policy violation up the ladder and maybe someone will address it. However, employers are legally allowed to violate their own policies.
     
    army judge likes this.

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