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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 26809
Experience:  Employment Law Expert
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I have a handicap and I work at the Dpt of Corrections in FL.

Resolved Question:

I have a handicap and I work at the Dpt of Corrections in FL. A privatized company moved in and all of the handicapped spaces were gone. I began to park in between the spaces as there were no other places near to our building. The Ass't Warden confronted me and told me that I couldn't park there. He even threatened to call the police to have them give me a ticket. I told him that I had a legal right to a space but there weren't enough there. He said that they abided by ADA. I was an ADA trainer and I knew that there weren't enough parking spaces for those that needed them. I told him that not only was it difficult for me to walk, but I have had 2 heart attacks and I couldn't walk the distance. He offered to allow me to park in his space, but other officers parked there. They added 2 parking spaces, I sent 4 emails to my supervisor telling him that I had no parking space. I went to work a week ago Thursday, there was no parking space and I left for a while and then came back again to check. Still no parking places so I went home and basically emailed in at 9 am that I was "sick," because I was so stressed out. I was basically considered AWOL, though I have available leave and my pay was docked. I have since received a new supervisor, I have been harassed, having to do things that others have not been requested to do, I have emails to document this. I was also told to fill out a form the same day for Tallahassee about my licensure for counseling. No one else was required to do this. I believe that I am being set up for being fired. Prior to all of this happening, I received an excellent rating on my yearly evaluation.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

JD 1992 :

Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today.

JD 1992 :

Is there a specific question I could assist you with?

Customer:

What actions can I take to stop the harassment and insure that I don't get fired.

JD 1992 :

Unfortunately, nothing will ensure that you don't get fired. All you can do is protect yourself in the event that you do.

JD 1992 :

The best course of action is to hire a local employment lawyer to help you develop and implement a plan of action. However, short of that...

JD 1992 :

Be sure everything you do or request is done in writing.

JD 1992 :

If you feel you are being discriminated against then file the proper complaint forms with HR and if that doesn't get a response go up the chain of command. When you run out of places then you file with the EEOC.

Customer:

I have done that and I have kept all my emails and responses on my home computer. I believe that time is of the essence since it appears that they are speeding up the harassment. I believe that at this point, the EEOC is the only place to go that will stop any future actions.

JD 1992 :

While many people resist hiring a lawyer as long as possible it is much more effective to hire one early to help you write the letters, etc.

JD 1992 :

The EEOC is certainly a step you would eventually take but you need to make sure everything is documented before you go to them.

JD 1992 :

It sounds like you've done that so far.

Customer:

I have not used any lawyers in the past and I do not know any reliable ones that deal with these issues.

JD 1992 :

You can find an employment lawyer in your are at www.lawyers.com. The reason I recommend one at an early state is that essentially you are playing a game of chess. They will have their lawyer looking over their shoulder and whispering advice and you should do the same.

Customer:

I was in management in TX for the Rehabilitation Commission and I know that they call them in immediately. That is why I am in such a "panic" at this stage. I have looked up local lawyers as you have mentioned and have emailed them but I don't know when I will get a response back. I am thinking of just starting the process with EEOC so that it might essentially stop any immediate action on the part of the Dpt.

JD 1992 :

You can certainly do that. If you worked for the TRC you would have more knowledge than most people. Filing with the EEOC won't cause them to not fire you but it may very well make them think twice.

Customer:

It might also buy me some time to connect with a lawyer to step in and take over from there.

JD 1992 :

It could very well.

Customer:

Do you have the email address or contact info for the EEOC? I cannot call them during the week because I work at the prison and do not have an outside line.

JD 1992 :

Yes, where do you work in Texas?

JD 1992 :

I'm sorry, in FL?

Customer:

I am working in FL for the Dpt of Corrections now. I am in Ocala, FL

JD 1992 :

It is either going to be in Miami or Ocala

JD 1992 :

Miami is Miami Tower
100 SE 2nd Street, Suite 1500
Miami FL 33131

JD 1992 :

1-800-669-4000

JD 1992 :

Not Ocala, Tampa

JD 1992 :

Tampa information is

JD 1992 :

501 East Polk Street, Suite 1000
Tampa, FL 33602

JD 1992 :

1-800-669-4000

Customer:

Is there any way to apply on line?

JD 1992 :

The website is at http://www.eeoc.gov/

JD 1992 :

Yes

JD 1992 :

Sorry, no you can't actually file online. You can get the info online and then file it may mail.

JD 1992 :

Let me see if I can find that for you.

Customer:

That sounds time consuming.

JD 1992 :

They have an online assessment tool at https://egov.eeoc.gov/eas/ but you clearly have a case.

JD 1992 :

It is pretty time consuming.

JD 1992 :

You can file by phone at that number I gave you.

Customer:

You just answered the question that I didn't ask...if I had a case. The number in Tampa?

JD 1992 :

1-800-669-4000

Customer:

I'm sure that they are only available M-F from 8-5 pm. Thank you for the info.l

JD 1992 :

It has been my experience that the people taking the complaints are not always top of the line so be sure and review what they send you before you sign it.

Customer:

I'm not sure what you mean. If I send the info on the complaint, I have to sign something and send it back?

JD 1992 :

If you apply over the phone they will take the information and type it into a form and then send it to you to sign. I have seen several cases where they info they send is incorrect.

Customer:

How do I know if it is incorrect? I can correct info that I send, but how do I know if they send me the wrong info?

JD 1992 :

Just read through it. Sometimes it is just a date messed up, sometimes a name. You can cross it out and correct it.

Customer:

Sounds good. I just wanted to make sure that I wouldn't be wasting my time if I pursued this. I have worked for the agency for almost 5 yrs and this is the first time that I have ever gotten into "trouble" with the system.

Customer:

The sad thing is, they never gave me a warning before they docked my pay other than the day after when they told me that they were doing it.

Customer:

I'm also 65 and I think that my age is also going against me.

JD 1992 :

You can complain about the age as well but unless you have some kind of direct evidence, like you do with the disability, then focus on the disability.

Customer:

Thanks for your help. I'm not sure that there is anything else that you can do for me at this time. May I have a copy of this transcript so that I can keep the numbers and help that I have received?

JD 1992 :

You're very welcome. After you issue your positive rating (hopefully Excellent!) I can change the format of this to a Q and A and you can then print it using your browser's print command. In addition, when you rate it locks the question and it will no longer time out but will stay open for months and you can always come back to it.

Customer:

Thank you.

Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 26809
Experience: Employment Law Expert
Dwayne B. and 9 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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