"Referring to my Weight is a California Labor Law Violation"


Lodi, CA Loretta started working at a childcare center early this year and loved her job until the new owner took over. She says he made a lot of changes that could jeopardize the children's safety and health such as removing a safety gate that protected them from the storage rooms where cleaning supplies are stored. And he also made changes that went against the California Labor Law.

Childcare Worker"This new owner removed the gate because 'it didn't have to be there' and he also said that if I properly supervised my children, a gate wouldn't be required," says Loretta. He created a hostile work environment for Loretta from that day forward and worse...

"I properly look after the children; they are my responsibility and I do a good job," says Loretta. "To be honest, I have never had this much trouble with a job in my life. The previous owner gave me a letter of recommendation and she gave a copy to the new owner.

He is very rude--another incident happened. I was talking to a parent and without thinking, I sat down on the table, still talking. He came into the room and yelled at me, in front of the parents. ' It is unprofessional to sit on the table and you can break it, do you have $300 to repair it? He was alluding to the fact that I am overweight. He told me that he would take $300 out of my paycheck if I break the table. I don't think he can do that.

'You are going to break the leg of the table,' he said again. I waited until the parent left, already after hours. I took aside the sight director, a co-worker in charge of staffing, and the owner. I explained to him that he was unprofessional and rude and that if he had a problem with my work, he should have taken me aside.

He then told me that he is the boss and he is the one who signs the checks. 'Aside from the fact that you are the owner, don't disrespect me in front of parents,' I said.
Again, he reiterated that he is the boss and I have to do things his way.

It's not going to work his way. He said that nothing negative should ever come out of my mouth so I walked out. I told my co-worker that I cannot work under these conditions and I quit--I am still so stressed out with this guy.

I have been working at day care centers for 14 years and I've never had a problem with anyone. I have never walked off a job. I am in contact with my co-workers and they agree that he is rude. He installed sliding locks on all the doors to prevent children from getting into the classrooms. I couldn't unlock it; I had to get a can opener to pry it up so it would unlock. What if there was a fire? What if someone got sick? We would be in trouble.

I asked one of the women who works there if that issue was ever addressed. But the new owner told her, If the door is locked, the parents need to knock on the door to be let in.' But what about getting out? What if it gets stuck again?

I'm not the only one he has shown his temper to. He has anger management issues. I just want this man to know that I have rights and he cannot talk to me this way; if you are going to continue talking to people this way, it is never going to work, especially in a childcare facility. And what about the kids? My first priority is to protect the children under my care and the second is to protect my rights.

What bothers me the most is that I had to walk away from these children not knowing what is going to happen to them. I am so emotionally distressed and can't do anything for them now. I filed for unemployment but they don' t know if they can grant it to me because I quit. I'm out every day looking for another job but the bills are piling up, which is stressing me out even more. It isn't fair that I can't get unemployment.

I have sent an email to a co-worker at the center and to the childcare licensing center, voicing my concern about this man and his new safety installations and more.

I also have a letter from one of the co-workers regarding regulations that are going on. She reiterated the same issues that I had; the fire extinguisher was removed and she found it on toddler bathroom floor. Nice! She also said she has a hard time working with him due to his short temper and he has openly chastised her in front of staff and parents.

I don't know what I can do to change things but I would hope that it doesn't continue this way. He has created a very unhealthy environment for the children and the staff. Six other workers are looking for another job that I know of. I would really like this guy to get a talking to! At least understand that creating a hostile environment and discriminating against an employee because of her weight is a violation of the California Labor Law."

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