A California ruling suggests that an employee is obligated to assist their employer during the investigation of another employee’s discrimination claim.
John McGrory was investigated, but it was determined that he had not discriminated against another employee for being a lesbian. However, he was fired for violating the company’s sexual harassment policy and being uncooperative during the investigation process. He then sued Applied Signal Technology for wrongful termination, saying that his termination violated public policy. The court, however, did not agree.
If an investigation is happening in a workplace, employees should be respectful and cooperative. It is a privilege, not a right, to have a job. If in doubt, you should see the advice of an employment lawyer, first being certain the attorney has no conflict of interest.
It’s important to know your rights as an employee.
20-year-old Anthony worked as a cook and dishwasher at a Mountain Mike Pizza franchise near Antelope, CA, for six months. Anthony also suffers from bipolar disorder. During the time he was employed at the pizza place, his disorder did not affect his work performance. On one of his days off, Anthony had a breakdown and had to be hospitalized overnight, causing him to miss his shift the next day. His boss asked him to bring in a doctor’s note, which said “Crestwood Psychiatric Clinic” at the top.
As soon as Anthony’s employer found out about his bipolar disorder, she allegedly cut his hours to zero, while still keeping him on as a technical employee. She told him that she had no hours for him. This went on for about three weeks, until Anthony sat down with her. Then, he said, she accused him of threatening her, the company, and another employee.
Anthony had the presence of mind to contact the California Labor Board after he got fired, since he felt that his former employer was violating California labor laws. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against in the workplace, make sure to use the proper legal channels to report the incident and take action.