When is discrimination illegal?

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When is discrimination illegal?

My manager cut my hours from 40 to 15 because he stated that I have panic attacks and am unfit to work. I’ve never been diagnosed with panic attacks or ever had one at work. I’ve been overwhelmed but never had a panic attacks and have never given reason to show

I’m unfit to work. The panic attacks the manager is referring is related to an inncodent where I was left alone and I had no help. I asked multiple times for help and was denied so I became overwhelmed. The manager on the shift that night refused to let me leave work even though it was 45 minutes past when my shift ended and I became overwhelmed and cried. I had worked an 11 hour shift and was not allowed to leave. This was not a panic attack, this was me getting overwhelmed from lack of training and being left alone. This has only ever occurred once and after a 5 minute break I was fine and continued my shift and finished everything. I have never left work early nor have I ever called in. He is basing his claims that I have panic attacks over a single incident where I became overwhelmed due to the lack of help and extreme rudeness and unprofessional ways of the manager on duty that nice. I have multiple witnesses to back me up on this that witnessed the event take place. I feel as though he’s created a false diagnosis and is now discriminating against it.

Asked on December 26, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your employer is allowed to keep you past your shift, unless (and only if) you had a written employment contract setting your shift or hours; otherwise, without a contract, you have to work whatever hours the employer tells you to work, subject only the employer's obligation to pay you for all time worked if you are an hourly (not salaried) employee (and pay overtime as applicable). Therefore, your manager could legally make you work the extra time, and if you became "overwhelmed" and cried, your employer could legally use that as a basis to reduce your hours--for that matter, you could have been terminated for having a breakdown or crying at work. (Unless you have an employment contract protecting your employment, all employment is employment at will and you may be terminated, or have hours cut, at any time, for any reason.) This would not be discrimination even if the manager used the term "panic attack" because it was a reduction in hours based upon your behavior at work, and employers may take action based on what you do or how you act at work.


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