Thank you for your quick reply. You are welcome Alex.
I will try to follow up by answering some of your questions.
I've already started the paperwork for SSD with my doctors help. He said I could not work at the most 3-4 hours a day If you get denied, be sure to appeal timely - and probably you should get that SSD attorney on it since your doctor seems to be unaware of what opinion of his is considered acceptable medical opinion, and the attorney can develope the evidence for you that your doctor may be not legally trained in or know about.
and that if my Chron's were to flare up i would be off my feet for up to a week at a time. He may want to explain how often it is expected that you will have a flair up - ie. needing a week off once a year would not be disabling nor troubling to an employer. However, once a month would be... there is SSRs that describe this, should you end up doing the research.
Since no employer would put up with this because they could not depend on me for any kind of normal schedule. Again, if you fail to have a medical opinion on the frequency of the flare ups, this won't be very helpful. You see?
My wife is on SSD (my error). OK.
I have already started the application process for my own SSD as required by my disability insurance carrier.Great.
Workers Comp will not recognize this type of illness in Virginia AH!! Then that is the best news yet. If it is NOT a WC case, then you CAN sue your employer for injury, pain, suffering, lost wages, etc. Many people think WC is a nice law for employees. It is the worst law, in my opinion, for those that are seriously injured and become disabled as a result. It is helpful for those that sprain their pinky toe, but serious stuff - it is very destructive. It is an employer's heaven.
I already tried this with a WC lawyer here. He said any other state would but no VA.....Figures! Like I said, if it doesn't fall into WC, then it can generally be a PI case, and unlike when it involves WC where you CAN'T sue employer, here you can!
I have been to the 4th district Federal court here in Roanoke, VA and tried to file a case against my employer "Pro Se". I was told by the Federal court clerk's office that even if I paid the filing fee, Federal rules prevent me from filing and representing myself in Federal Court. Ridiculous. Just ask this Virginia law firm: http://www.virginiaemploymentattorneyblog.com/2013/03/you-can-represent-yourself-in-your-discrimination-action-but.html
I've tried this twice and even called the D.C. Federal court and there office told me the same thing. The Courts will not allow you to file Pro Se in Federal Court. You must retain the the services of an Attorney. Nope :)
if you can work a gentle job PT, that may also help you get by and/or save up for tha $2k retainer you indicate 3 lawyers want (but call more lawyers).
This would be nice to do but according to the EEOC letter I only have a 90 day window in which to file a case in Federal court. Yes, there are statutes of limitation. So get to work AND file it on your own... and in a few weeks you can hire that lawyer to take the reins.
That window is now closing....I have less than 2.5 weeks left, so I'm pretty much at the end of any options at this point. Instead of speaking to a clerk, why don't you just file your papers pro se. If they can't point you to a rule that says only rich people who can afford lawyers can have their day in court, I'd perhaps not believe them. And, as noted again, there is always state court claims as well.
I really thank you for at least trying to give me some guidance and direction. I know you have done your best to give me some options. I've even gone to our bank to obtain a equity line of credit and a loan to pay an attorney's retainer. Ouch. I can't believe you have a right to sue letter and no lawyer will take it - have you tried some others?
The bank said since I'm not working, my wife is on SSD, and I'm on LT disability they would not approve a LOC for us at this time. Get a credit card. You have reliable income, actually!
Even though we owe less then $25K on our $250K house (Which really smoked me after doing business with them for 18 years.) Really, that is nuts.
I could pay an attorney with my VISA but we can't pay 18-22% on money I do not have to cover it. it would destroy our credit rating. Apparently your great credit rating is doing nothing for you. But anyway, if you work PT, you can pay it back in a few months. 20% of $2000 is 400, 400/1/4 of a year is only $100. Not that the interest doesn't stick
We have paid off 90% of our bills out of our retirement savings so we won't owe too much under the given circumstances. Ouch. It is so tough, I know, we seem to always be month to month ourselves.
I'm at a standstill and i guess i have just have to wait for my SSD to be processed. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.
What I don't understand is the fact the letter from my employer states I was terminated for "unexcused absences" under their attendance policy. Yet they processed my LT disability claim paperwork and was aware i was under a doctors care. That doesn't make it excused. If you only have, say, 5 sick days/year, then anything over is unexcused, even if truely sick. Also, was there any FMLA involvement - where the 12 weeks would be protected?
Yet the letter from the EEOC said I was terminated for "Falling Asleep" on the job.. I was never written up for this, I was given one verbal warning only and that was addressed in writing from my TWO doctors. How can they have two different conflicting points of view on the exact same issue and get away with it? They didn't get away with it - since the EEOC gave you the right to sue letter - now it is up to you to use it. Also, there can be more than one reason for a termination - the two above are not inconsistent.
It almost sounds like my employer paid off the EEOC investigator to side with them. That is what really upsets me to no end. But you got you right to sue letter, right? So you won that battle.
I was told by one young lawyer from Legal Aid that i may be able to bring charges against the EEOC in Federal court and I would have two additional years to do that from the date of their last letter. If I won that case it would overturn the previous 90 day window an my EEOC claim would be re-opened? But I think that is hog wash.......The Chances of overturning a ruling by the EEOC are slim at best and would require a HUGE law firm and a HUGE retainer so I'm back to Square one all over again.
What really hurts is that I've lost all of my beneifts.Yes.
Medical, Dental, and all of my Life insurance, Retirement account, and a lot more. I've never been written up for anything before and have a spotless work history for the past 5 years with them. That is why it is sometimes better to buy them yourself than have all the eggs in the employment basket. Or to file for Bankruptcy rather than use ones 401k.
my reviews even show pay increases and bonuses for different jobs completed ahead of time. Remember, in Virginia, employment is "at will". Both employee and employer can terminate it at any time for any reason EXCEPT those illegal ones (like discrimination). It does not matter if we are great performers - they are allowed to end it, just as we are.
It's insulting, and degrading as well. I worked very hard and even had a Heart Attack because of the stress I was under at work yet I still did my job. But you can't file a claim for a Heart Attack under WC law here in VA! Can you believe that? This state is really odd. Extremely difficult to prove that the work caused the HA, as opposed to your bad ticker, coping skills, etc.
Anyway I will release the funds for your time. You pretty much covered everything I already knew and was aware of, But you could not have known that from my emails. We have discussed trying to sell our home last night and just moving out west somewhere , where it is less expensive to live and use our equity in our house to live off of for our remaining years. Plus social security, either disability or retirement. We will likely move south for similar reasons (less of a heating bill in the winter!)
This seems to be one of those battles you just can't win.
My Dad always said pick you fights carefully. It's better to walk away with a bruised ego and a black eye rather than a broken jaw any day. Pick only those fights you know you can win... Sometimes.... but I don't agree that you have to know you will win... That means no risk taking, no reward.
I think in this case I'll take the black eye and bruised ego.
The other thing is the fact that I watched my employer do this very same kind of thing to anyone who was disabled in any way for years. I've seen people who were in Wheel Chairs with perfect records get booted out the door for nothing. That's their policy I guess. It's corporate image. Hell they fired one girl who had a baby six months previously and had returned from maternity leave just for having not lost the extra weight and her BMI was too high. I could not believe it! 18 years with them, and they just pushed her out the door. Unethical.
Welcome to the new economy of America.
Thank you for trying to at least give me some direction. Wish it were easier.
At this point I'm just pretty tired and sick from all of the stress to my system over this entire issue. Yes, I understand.
I will make sure you obtain your money for your time. I can't expect you to work for nothing and wouldn't. I think your rating on one of my answers above went through, so thank you .
God bless and thank you for at least taking the time to listen to my situation.
Alexander Watters Best regards, Alexander - I wish you the best regardless which choice you make.