Retaliation for Overtime?

I was employed by a major studio who was avoiding paying the IT personnel overtime by keeping them salaried. When they moved us (~50+ people) over to hourly in August of 2002, they passed it off as a HR processes conversion which got me curious. After some research (thank you, MEL) I found out that they were violating CA state and federal overtime laws. When I asked HR about this, they quickly and quietly paid me the back pay.

I had received a negative review in October of 2001 by a new manager- every item listed in the review I refuted, some with the managers own emails. In June of 2002 I received a much better review. The first review after the overtime issue in May of 2003, I received a final warning review with three pages of issues- again which I refuted vigorously. Most of the items I could refute as false with the managers own emails contradicting what was written in the reviews. Since there were no guidelines as to performance, I came up with a metric to gauge performance to which my manager loved. When I asked, every indication from her was that everything was going well since then.

In March of this year I was called into a meeting with the HR person who dealt with the overtime issue and my manager and was let go. No specific reason was given. The consensus with my former co-workers is that it was because I spoke up about the overtime. Is there any recourse?

2 answers  |  asked Apr 21, 2004 4:21 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (2)

kerry gough

I agree with Ms. Koehn. You have nothing to lose by consulting with her or another atty in your geographical ares. Ms. Koehn is well versed in these things. Give her a call. I am in No. Cal and cannot assist you. Kerry Gough 510 832 5800

posted by kerry gough  |  Apr 22, 2004 10:33 AM [EST]
Janet M. Koehn

you may well have a claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy. this will give you damages, and you also may have a claim under various provisions of the labor code, which will also entitle you to attorneys fees. so you see you have no reason not to consult with an attorney experienced in employment law and litigation. you may call me at the below number (i practice extensively in los angeles), or you may find an attorney experienced in employment law at the cal employment lawyers assn's website,
janet m. koehn

posted by Janet M. Koehn  |  Apr 21, 2004 5:14 PM [EST]

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