Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Thank you for contacting Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you. I switched your question out of "chat" because I have a lot of trouble using "chat." I hope that you don't mind.
While we write back and forth, please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Sometimes I'm unable to read your entire question until AFTER I write back to you.
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I need the following information before I can answer your question:
Can you please tell me approximately when this occurred? (Month/year).
What is your question?
Do you need help finding an attorney/law firm to represent you? At Just Answer, we answer legal questions, but we don't represent anyone.
It sounds to me - so far - as though you have a case, and possibly a very good case.
I'll look forward to hearing from you,
Jane Doe Deer
This happened on April 1st (fool's day) 2010, 3 days before my appointment with the specialist who would have returned me back on medical leave status. On April 2nd, 2010, I received a call from the chief of security, informing me I was not permitted on the state grounds. The hospital administrator placed me on administrative leave. From April 2nd to June 30, 2010, I received several correspondence from my employeers, each stating I was being charged with one violation, then three, and then finally, a total of 5 charges. At the end of June, 2010, I received correspondence stating I would be terminated from employment effective July 1st, 2010. What makes it even more of an irony is that my employers were in fact governed by the Department of Human Services. Chester Mental Health Center is a maximum security mental health facility, housing the criminally insane. At the time of the incident, my employers were also aware that I was already under the care of a psychiatrist for treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as well as a Pain Management Specialist and a Neurosurgeon for the treatment of the back injury I sustained at home. I would have gladly signed a release of information to assure them I had no plans of hurting myself or others. I was, however, very physicaly ill and my attempt to come back to work was a mistake. Sitting for 8 hour shifts only irritated my injury further which in turn increased the pain level. My question to you is has my employer's broken the law/can they hold me after my shift, parade me around other staff and fellow coworkers, and then force me to go by ambulance (police were called to) to a institution to be evaluated without any signed/court order, etc...and then fire me when I need health protection the most, causing me to loose my house, everything? And why can't I find anyone who will represent me?
It sounds as though you have a good case, as I said before. Right off the bat, it sounds partially like a HIPAA violation, and then possibly, too, disability discrimination.
Unfortunately, however, most states and the EEOC require that you file a complaint with them for discrimination within 180 days. It doesn't hurt to check that, however. Please double-check the deadlines with the state agency at:
http://www.state.il.us/ihrc/forms/complaint.pdf for the state and
http://www.eeoc.gov/ for the federal agency.
I don't know where/how you've tried to find an attorney.
In Illinois, if you want to find an employment attorney you may want to first try through this organization:
You can find trial attorneys through here:
Another place is the bar association's web site: http://www.illinoislawyerfinder.com/
Don't actually HIRE an attorney without first checking references. And don't try to pick the attorney's brain on the phone. Schedule an appointment and visit the office, like you would for a doctor!
In your particular situation, I would try larger firms, probably in Chicago. Larger firms have more resources.
Even if it's too late to file a discrimination case with an agency, you may still be able to file in a state court. And you may have other claims too.
I suggest that you schedule consultations with at least two attorneys, maybe three, even if you have to pay a bit (if you can afford to do so). Make sure that the attorneys have at least five years experience in employment law.
One reason that an attorney hasn't taken your case may be that these types of cases, against governemtnal entities, can be very expensive for an attorney to handle. Attorneys are business people, and if someone takes a case on contingency (commission) he or she is making an investment...so attorneys prefer "easy wins" of course.
Another factor is juror pools. A person may have a great case, but if the juror pool in the area is likely to be conservative and pro-employer, it's yet another obstacle that an attorney will have to consider.
Please try to be persistent, and at least make a few appointments, go in, and see what they say.
BEFORE you go in, make sure that the attorney's office doesn't have a conflict of interest in that they haven't represented any of the potential defendants in the past.
Also, before you go, write out a chronological list starting with the date you were hired. List things such as good evaluations, your injury, etc. Don't make it a book - just a chronological list of major events in your work history with that employer. Not only will this help you prepare and refresh your recollection, but it will demonstrate to a potential attorney that you are a smart, organized person, and therefore a more desireable client.
Expect to have to pay for the costs of any lawsuit, for such things as the filing fee, depositions, etc. An attorney will want you to be an active partner. Some will let you wait until the end of the case. If you win, the "other side" will probably have to pay your costs, but if you lose, you'll have to - another thing to consider.
Again, it's really important that you check an attorney's references prior to hiring him or her.
Please don't hesitate to write back if I can be of any further help.
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