last friday i testified in a work comp case against my employer that i was subpeona for and then yesterday at work I paid for it.... I literally have to take a vacation day today as i did not sleep at all last night. I felt like I was on the witness stand all over again yesterday and had to defend myself to my employer it has emotionally made me sick and worried over my job. I feel like I almost need to get legal representation not only to protect myself from any future conversations they may bombard at me but after assessing what was done yesterday to me I truly feel i was in a hostile situation and has caused me worry about my job.
Country relating to Question: United StatesState (if USA): MinnesotaWhat have you tried so far?: I have tried nothing at this point. there is an EEOC investigation going in addition to this case on and I was told that if i was harrassed in any way by my employer that I could turn to them but that has got me fearful as they dont know i know about the eeoc? i am afraid to TRY anything
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I'm sorry to hear that. What has your employer done that has made you sick and worried all over?
HI sorry it took me so long to respond.... botXXX XXne is i testified like i said last frid, yesterday my boss and another director call me in and sat me down and started asking me for clarification for answers I already answered under oath last friday. I told them i felt like I was being questioned all over again and that what I said under oath is what I said under oath. they were asking me questions upon my already given testimony
I just have been around enough to know how things get used against me. my boss has stepped up her demands of me which I guess is ok but I never had any trouble over the past 5 years and now this...I applied for a promotion a few weeks back, and I got my first file note 3 days later after I applied and cant help but wonder if this is why i did not get promotion as the EEOC is involved at work with this case.. but they do not know I know the EEOC is involved and so I am nervouse about reporting it to them the EEOC as perhaps that will be used against me too.
Can you tell me what you did with the EEOC or workers comp before you got the file note? You talked about testifying last Friday, but if you applied for a promotion a few weeks back, and got a file note a few weeks back, what would this file note be the result of?
the eeoc was brought in after this case had transpired, the work comp.case that is, I guess the employer (former) now... noted me on the eeoc paperwork as a possible witness to her eeoc claim as I was her former supervisor, I am not sure if my employer saw my name on this paperwork, plus in addition like i said I was supbeona so they are seeing the direct correlate i have to this case, so all while this is going on, not sure of exact timing i happened to apply for a promotion, I apply for the promotion and 3 days later i had a file note regarding that I overesee residential group homes and I had used my personal money to buy something for a c lient $25 value as it was an emergency which I knew I would get paid back, and yet it is against policy I had really no option in the situation to do so, and in five years I got my first file note. my only involvement with the work comp and EEOC was that i was named on the eeoc paperwork, and I was subpeoned which my employer knew of as i told them before all this happened, plus
Had you taken actions like this before, that was known by the employer, without getting a file note? That is, did the employer make it clear that even though there was a policy against this, that they would not enforce it?
yes, and i even said yesterday that there were similar situation in the past where I had to use my judgement and we just as weighted and i never received a file note?
they called me in and coached me prior to hearing which i told them i did not feel comfortable with, they could tell I was going to be simply a neutral player and I feel like then I became the enemy for lack of a better word
ooops i meant that were just as weighted.....
And to be clear, you were listed as a witness and subpoenaed before this file note?
i was even commended in writing from the social worker for handling the situation in question re the reason for the file note and praised by here but reprimanded by my employer...
I was subpoened before file note, but not sure of the timing of the witness notation and the file note? but fairly close
never once a negative review or file note up til this point; nothing
i was subpoened and coached by HR before file note I should say
And you told them at that time that you were uncomfortable?
I told them at the time they called me in prior to hearing that i was uncomfortable but then was told that coaching was commmon as long as they were not asking me to lie but they were telling me to give short brief answers or only say what I knew not guess, and do not have to give alot of information; and then asked me if I was freinds with my staff? I said no, I am friendly with her and I cared that she got injured but no...
they coached me also right before the hearing on friday (last) and at one point I said as my boss was interjecting information for me as both attorneys were asking I said, well do you want me to answer or her?
that is when both attorneys were debreifing me prior to hearing
I completely understand. True retaliation for filing, testifying, or assisting in a workers compensation or EEOC claim is prohibited under the law, and if you can establish evidence of retaliation, you could have a claim against them. Now that being said, it's retaliation that is against the law. Legitimate actions of the employer are not going to be determined to be retaliation. To show retaliation, you're going to have to show a real "cause/effect" relationship. That is, that the protected actions (filing a claim, assisting in an investigation, testifying, etc...) caused the retaliatory actions. So to show retaliation, you're going to first need to show a non-legitimate adverse employment action taken against you by the employer. The note in your file and subsequent passing over for a promotion would be the best "adverse employment action", and maybe the way they were treating you yesterday. Now if it was legitimate information gathering (yesterday), rather than actions taken to harass or punish you, then the EEOC would not determine that to be harassing. But if it was part of a "hostile environment" that is created in the wake of your protected actions, the EEOC could very well determine that their actions are retaliatory.
Now to make a case for retaliation, you would need to show that you were protected (because of complying with, testifying, etc... in an EEOC claim) and that an adverse employment decision / retaliatory actions were taken against you after you did that. The burden then shifts to them to show a legitimate, non-retaliatory reason for their actions. They can say that the file note was based upon a legitimate, preexisting policy that was violated. The burden then would shift to you to show that their "legitimate reason" was pretextual, and that the real reason that they took this action was because of retaliation against you for your protected activities.
So it's possible that their actions were retaliatory, but to have a case for retaliation under the EEOC, you would still have to prove it.
And as such, you need to gather as much evidence as you can before you approach the EEOC and report their behavior.
Make a timeline of the events to the best of your knowledge and access to the information that you have.
Document everything. If you have a meeting or interaction with HR, a boss, superior, etc... regarding this situation, immediately after write down the who, what, when, where, why and how of the meeting. Get names, dates, witnesses, etc... to the meeting.
Again, the key is to show a causal connection between your actions in complying with this claim and their actions taken against you.
i really dont want to make a case just want to know how i can protect my job right now moving forward....the eeoc is coming down the pipe, i did not testify yet in that case or part of it, it is udner investigation, i testified in teh work comp they were fighting.
Both of them are protected activities.
That is, retaliation is prohibited in both the workers compensation statute and the EEOC investigation statute.
I just want to protect myself moving forward adn emotionally wise understand my rights so I can respond with my rights in tact.
Understood. And that is why you're going to want to gather as much evidence as possible, showing what has happened (in a timeline) up until this point, and document the interactions going forward.
oh ok...I see... but to prove the retaliation would be tough as they are going to say the file note is justified and I feel it is more of a hostile work environment now then clear cut retaliation?
oh ok, well is this something I give to them or just keep myself?
and do i have to continue to answer or defend my responses I already gave under oath; at what point is it clarification vs being hostile or ?
Yes, the fact that it was a violation of the policy would make retaliation more difficult to prove, but not impossible. If this is a written policy that's never enforced, and they enforce it against you only, you can show pretext (that the true reason they did this was to retaliate). As for the record, keep it to yourself. You don't want to show your hand until the best itme.
can i ask co workers who K now have had other similar sitations if they have been written up which i know they havent and record that as well?
As for answering, yes, you will need to continue to do so, if it is true information gathering. If they're berating you and clearly trying to intimidate you or change your answer, that's when it's hostile work environment.
ok so watch for intimidation in the form of?
You could, but be careful, as that might tip your hand.
they call it clarification ?
I call it berrated as they already heard me testify on the very same questions?
Yes. If this is really information gathering, then that's something they can do. Even asking the same exact questions would be fine, because if you change your story, they can go back to workers comp and show that your recollection is inconsistent, etc...
So calmly answer the questions.
last question, I thought about simply just typing up a bullet point list of my stance on the situation at hand the work comp as the higher ups only know bits and pieces so they know my perspective or just leave it?
but they are quoting me incorrectly with what they said I said on the stand and what I did say....
You can certainly type up this list, and if they continue to ask you, give them this list. That's really up to you.
or trying to say I said this and that....
And that's where you can correct them. A certain amount of clarification is allowed.
Only when it's absolutely clear that they're not really seeking clarification or confirmation, but are trying to intimidate you to change your response would that be retaliation.
ok i get it....i just know that she my boss now is going to try and catch me on every little thing as she has already started with that....
And that is why you're going to want to document everything.
Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, and good luck to you!
ok I am starting to understand....
lastly can i tape record our conversations if they ask me to meet with them if I let them know?
Absolutely. Make sure that they consent to the recording, but you can do this if they consent.
am I able to save this chat session? just for reference?
well they can refuse as well to not want to tape record correct?
i found out how to save, so got that....ok well thanks for the information it has given me some peace of mind.....
where do I rate?
oh i see
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