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Zachary
Zachary, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 3926
Experience:  Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
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I live in Texas. In 2010, I was terminated due to a "dirty"

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I live in Texas. In 2010, I was terminated due to a "dirty" drug screen. It was reported to the nursing board and I was contacted in 2012, to attend a hearing in Austin.

I believe the specimen was tampered with by a disgruntled employee. Company policy was not followed regarding drug screen pick-up. Policy states that UPS be called and will pick up specimens. The employee left the building with my urine (to drop off at lab). After the results came back (a month later). It usually only takes 24-48 hours. I had several other tests done including 2 hair follicle tests. All with negative results. I have not now or ever had a problem with any drugs.

I don't know how long the statue of limitations is and I can really use some advice on what my next step should be. I realize there are a lot of holes in this brief story. I can give details if allowed to talk to someone. I hadn't really considered suing until now because I am unable to work in my field. I lost over $30,000.00 in income last year. That's a lot of money to me as I also take care of an elderly parent. I can't even keep up with my bills. I'm really struggling right now. Please advise me of what to do as soon as you can.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question.

Are you talking about suing your employer or the disgruntled employee?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I'm not sure. I'd like to sue both.


 

Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
What is it that you believe the employer did that would entitle you to sue?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have lost my livelihood due to a false accusation. I want my license cleared and be able to work in my field again.


 


I believe she was jealous of the relationship I had with other employees. I thought that she and I were OK, too. The urine couldn't have been mine unless it was tampered with. I have never had an issue with drugs. She didn't follow protocol with my specimen. I even asked her if she thought she could have labeled it wrong, maybe mixed it up with one of the patients. I really don't know what happened. All I know is that it couldn't have been my urine. She wouldn't even talk to me. She asked me, "How will you be able to take care of your Mom without a job?" And this was the day the specimen came back positive. I asked her, "What are you talking about?" No even knowing it was positive. I told her that I would submit another specimen right then, which I did.

Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
You could attempt to sue both the co-worker and the employer for fraud and defamation. You could sue the employer for wrongful termination based on the employer's failure to ensure that the policies regarding your urine sample were followed. However, for everyone of those claims you will have to prove that the urine sample was tampered with. How can you prove this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

#1. She left the facility which doesn't follow protocol. Who knows what she did in her car? If there had been a DNA test done, I would be willing to bet she switched it with one of the patients urine.


 


#2. Why did it take her so long to do the tests when I had been asking since the first of the year. Told to wait, then after April or May when she started to work there, I repeatedly asked her to do it and she kept putting it off until August. Then why did it take a month to get the results back when it usually only takes 24-48 hours?


 


All of the random tests that I had were within the same time frame. Why were they all negative? Especially the hair follicle test, it covers months?

Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
All good questions, but all circumstantial evidence. There is not any direct evidence, and there is no motive. That is what makes your claims very very difficult to prove.

So, we have established that you have two joint claims against the employer and the co-worker for fraud and defamation, and a separate claim against the employer for wrongful termination.

The next thing to think about is retaining a local attorney to take your case. I am prohibited by JustAnswer rules from directly referring you to an attorney.

As you probably know, there are two ways to retain an attorney. The first is through paying a retainer, which is cash up front and paid on an hourly basis for work performed. The next is a contingency fee, in which you do not pay anything up front and no expenses, but the attorney takes a larger percentage of your winnings, usually 40% plus expenses, which usually leaves you with a 55-40% recover.

I assume you would be forced to go the contingency route. In order to do this, you will have to search for an attorney and you may have to speak to 5-10 different law offices before you find one to take your case. You will want to look for the right attorney, and you can find one by googling "employment attorney" and the name of your city. You can also look at "Plaintiff's trial attorneys" and the name of your city. Finally, you can contact the Texas State Bar Lawyer Referral Service at:http://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Lawyer_Referral_Service_LRIS_

Please let me know if you have further questions. Please also kindly remember to rate my answer positively so that I am compensated for my time spent with you by the website.

Thanks and Good Luck!
ZDN
Zachary, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 3926
Experience: Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
Zachary and 8 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you, I got an idea about where to start. Not quite sure about how to go about getting started. Again, thank you.

Expert:  Zachary replied 1 year ago.
Good Luck!

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