What can I say about this case except it should be a lesson to employees to sign for the receipt of a disciplinary action when required to do so by your employer, or face the wrath of a disingenuous and biased court of appeals like Mr. Medeiros did in Paratransit, Inc. v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals (Medeiros) (June 15, 2012) __ Cal.App.4th__.
Let’s do what the court did not do, which is look at the facts. Mr. Medeiros was presented with a disciplinary action document by his employer. His employer demanded that he sign the document in the meeting with his employer representatives. He refused to sign it and cited a number of reasons.
Paratransit and Mr. Medeiros’ union had negotiated a memorandum of understanding that required that employees sign disciplinary notices when presented to the employees but explicitly required that “the notice states that by signing, the Vehicle Operator is only acknowledging receipt of said notice and is not admitting to any fault or to the truth of any statement in the notice.” Fair enough! However, the notice presented to Mr. Medeiros did not include this required language. It stated “Employee signature as to receipt”. Perhaps this meant the same thing as required by the union contract, but it sure wasn’t clear and it should have been reason enough for Mr. Medeiros to wait to sign the agreement.