Employment Lawyers Can Answer Your Employment Law Questions
Thank you very much for your response.
One more question:
I disclosed verbally (during my training period )to my direct supervisor what the nature of the disability was, and what accommodations I needed. I printed up a booklet on my condition and gave it to my supervisor (which she later said she never read). I asked for a training module via computer, but was refused. This was all 3 weeks prior to recieving a conduct warning. I feel this was retaliation for pursuing misconduct on their part for a separate issue...they circled back around and penalized me for mistakes they had earlier excused.
Although I requested a note from my doctor to have on file with them, she was out of town and I did not have it in my possession until days prior to termination. I intended to get it to them but simply was fired before I could do it. I DID complete requested paperwork AFTER I received a written warning and a PIP (they asked me to put in writing my limitations, a description of the condition, and include my doc's contact information.
My Question: was my verbal disclosure and request for accommodation sufficient, or can they say that disclosure occurred only when I put those things in writing at their request.
It appears that the law does not prevent an employer from removing a disciplinary action if the disclosure occurs during or after the process, but in my case, the verbal disclosure was well before that.
Two last questions (you have been quite helpful).
1. They will certainly try to demonstrate that the reason I was terminated was performance related (insubordination, lost revenues, etc.) I believe I can easily argue this, of course, but is it relevant to their lack of appropriate accommodation? It would help my case that I am incredibly overqualified for the job I had.
2. What sorts of compensation for damages could I seek in a lawsuit?
Hello again. Thank you for your help previously.
I have some follow up questions pertaining to this same issue. I have sought legal counsel locally, but am having much difficulty securing an appointment over the holidays.
In summary, my case revolves around the following points:
1. I disclosed a disability twice, and received NO accommodation.
2. Weeks later, my supervisor threatened to withhold my paycheck if I had any unresolved contracts (I understood this to be monies earned, not pending monies). I learned that this had been done already to another employee. I felt this was an in- appropriate and illegal thing to do. I sent an email asking about the policy on this to the Director of HR (good friend of my boss). She copied my boss on her response, and 4 days later I was put on a PIP and given a written warning for "sig contract mistakes", "poor attitude", and 2 other actions that I had actually been given permission by management to engage in.
3. 2 weeks later, I was taken off the PIP. However, another 3 weeks later I was terminated for additional "performance" reasons that were frankly, flimsy and rediculous (I have documentation that supports the rediculousness).
4. I was told "this might not be the right job for someone with your disability", "you seem like you have a lot of problems", and "when you go to HR, you go over everyone's heads!"
5. I am very overqualified for this position. With proper accommodation, I feel like I could have done extremely well much sooner. However, I believe my immediate supervisor felt threatened by my experience and has taken every opportunity available to remove me.
I do not feel that I have recourse through the chain, as my supervisor, boss, boss's boss, and HR director are all close friends. I believe I was the victim of discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment.
1. I apparently have 5 days to meet with the Director of HR. Does failure to follow that protocol weaken any case I might want to bring forth? Could it be a leveraging point somehow? Would it be to my advantage to try to go to HER boss, or just leave them out entirely at this point and seek legal counsel?
2. If I were to somehow get my job back, how could I be protected from retaliation?
3. If I didn't choose to return to work, could I pursue damages?
4. Objective opinion: you obviously do not have all the facts, but based on what I've told you...as a lawyer would you consider this a compelling case to pursue, and if so, what would you seek as reasonable damages?
5. Does it matter that I was taken off the PIP (i.e., could my employer potentially argue that I was not terminated because of this?) I think it's important to note that the written warning was not withdrawn despite ADA rule, and was part of the 3-step process of termination. Also interesting...I was given a verbal warning...then a written warning for the same thing days later-despite no repetition of the behavior!
I am most concerned about the advantages/disadvantages of going through HR.
Thank you in advance!
I don't expect the company to have my best interest at all, which is why I wonder if it's an advantage to even show my cards. I have filed a complaint with the EEOC, and wonder if I should just step back and let them conduct their investigation in a few weeks vs. going in and allowing the company time to prepare for it in advance.
My concern is that the Director of HR may cue my former managers to circle back and destroy documents...or suppress evidence in some way. She is friends with all involved.
What do you know about the EEOC and what they can do? Do they act as lawyers?
Would it be most prudent to skip the meeting with HR and simply wait for them to handle it?
We do have a Vice President of HR. I can attempt a meeting with that person.
You mentioned that these are not cases to "get rich" off of...too bad (ha ha), but I'd settle for just giving them a hard enough time that they'll think twice about treating
anyone else this way.
This is an email I am preparing to send to my managers regarding my issue.
I have an appointment with an employment lawyer this Saturday.
Would you review and let me know if there is anything in here that could be damaging to my case?
I greatly appreciate it and will choose to "accept" at this point. Thank you for all your feedback.
Hope, Thank you for calling me yesterday to follow up on my request for an appeal process regarding my recent termination on December 17th, 2009. I believe I have a strong case for misconduct and wrongful termination on the part of my managers. As you are well aware, Virginia is an "at will" state, but with some exceptions. I think it may be of interest to Riverside to know that my former managers are in violation of a Federal ADA law, an additional state law, and most certainly Riverside policy. I have documentation to support this, and have sought legal counsel. I have also filed a charge with the EEOC on December 23rd, and would like to offer Riverside an opportunity to resolve this prior to that investigation taking place. I had been a successful and loyal RWFC employee for nearly 9 years prior to my reemployment. I was highly qualified for this position, and was very excited about using my skills to drive membership sales. However, the lack of professionalism and courtesy I have experienced over the last two months has been deeply disappointing. Respectfully, XXXXX XXXXX our previous association and your involvement in my complaint, I would prefer to meet with a more neutral party. Larry Boyles, Sally Hartman, or Bob Bryant would be my preference. If this cannot be arranged, I will defer to the EEOC. I will be available to meet with someone as early as Monday, January 4th.
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