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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 92502
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I believe I have a wrongful termination issue here. I was

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I believe I have a wrongful termination issue here. I was part of a class action law suit for unpaid overtime wages late last year. I was involved in an auto accident in April. The company who handles our disability claims, Metlife, denied benefits after only 4 weeks even though I was out for 5 months. Metlife also provided a copy of a recorded conversation to my employer, Verizon Wireless, in which VZW alledgedly based their termination of my employment on this conversation. I believe that this call may have been illegally recorded, I live in Illinois requiring a 2 party consent, and also illegally disseminated to Verizon Wireless by Metlife since this was part of a medical claim and may have violated HIPPA. When I returned it was a very hostile work place. I continued to have a leading performance except in the eyes of quality who was sitting right behind me, evesdropping on all my calls, whereas the rest of my team was on the other side of the floor.  I also was scheduled to assist with new hire but that kept on being pushed off, even before the car accident, and I think this is because I am 52 years old and all of the promotions seem to be going to those under 40

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

You may have misunderstood the nature of our service as we are forbidden by law to provide representation to anyone from this site I am afraid. We are legally only allowed to provide information to customers of this site and if you need representation you can use one of the same sites used by other attorneys, http://www.martindale.com or http://www.lexmundi.com or http://www.hg.org
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
I don't believe I even got an answer. I was looking for an opinion on the strength of my case based on the facts I provided
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply, I apologize but your latest response was not indicated in your original question that you wanted only an opinion about the strength of your case as you stated you were looking for an attorney. Please forgive me for not knowing quite what you were looking for and as I am providing information to you for educational purposes, please use "reply" in order to communicate back and forth if you have additional information or questions you may want.

Based on the minimal facts above that you provided I see a few things. If MetLife is the insurer and this is a workers compensation accident claim, they do have the right as part of the workers compensation documents you signed to disclose information about your health information related only to the work related injury to the employer. If they have no signed release as part of all of the workers compensation documents you signed then it could be a HIPAA violation, but there is no private right to sue under HIPAA and the US Department of Health and Hospitals is the sole agency with right and power to investigate a HIPAA claim against the insurer.

IL has very strict laws about recording phone calls and if they violated those laws, you can consider trying to report this to your State's Attorney or the Attorney General's office for investigation of them violating state law. Additionally, this can be grounds for suing the company for invasion of privacy.

As far as the strength of your age discrimination claim, it worries me that you say that this conduct is "I think" because of your age. "I think" does not work in the EEOC or in court I am afraid. You are going to have to present actual evidence that the reason your work is being scrutinized and no other employee's work is being similarly scrutinized is ONLY because of your age/race/sex/disability OR in retaliation because you cooperated in that prior suit against the employer. You have to come up with some evidence though to show one of these grounds are the reasons for the conduct.

It might be that whatever comment you made on the phone to the insurer may be the reason for the conduct towards you and in that case it could be more your case against the insurer for illegally recording phone calls and also for violating your privacy in disclosing the information to the employer. If that is the case then your strongest case may be against the insurer and not your employer and that evidence has to be better evaluated in person together with your evidence showing it is only your age or retaliation for the lawsuit cooperation (which it sounds like you might have a better chance in arguing depending on your evidence) to see how far you can go with the discrimination claim.



I truly aim to please you as a customer, but 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. Please consider that I am answering the question or question that is posed in your posting based upon my reading of your post and sometimes misunderstandings can occur. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.

Kindly remember the ONLY WAY experts receive any credit at all for spending time with customers is if you click on OK, GOOD or EXCELLENT SERVICE even though you have made a deposit or are a subscription customer. YOU MUST COMPLETE THE RATING FOR THE EXPERT TO RECEIVE ANY CREDIT, if not the site keeps your money on deposit.

Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous.

This is NOT the practice of law nor is it legal advice to you, it is merely educational information for you to use to seek out a licensed attorney in your state to get actual legal advice from them. Please use sites such as http://www.martindale.com or http://www.lexmundi.com or http://www.hg.org to find a local attorney to get actual legal advice in all matters.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


This was not a W/C claim but a disability claim since the injury occurred during my commute to work. The phone call in question was a call from Metlife to me and when they had called me I was under a heavy dose of Vicotin due to the pain I was in. I do not believe that the caller stated that the conversation was being recorded and when they do indicate that the call is being recorded on inbound calls they say for quality and training purposes only not for anything about being disclosed to an employer. Being that my employer has noted that I have been disabled on my discharge papers and had a previous incident at work, having a panic attack in which I was taken by ambulance to the hospital and if I did not take a higher pressure job with the company at the same pay I would no longer be eligible for pay raises. I was also called into the HR office by security about 2 weeks prior to termination and before they spoke to me they gave me a piece of paper and part of the ""employee obligations" in participating in an internal investigation was that an no retaliation against any employee who makes a complaint or participates in the investigation of the complaint. Well, I participated and they Verizon Wireless retaliated.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.

If it was not a workers compensation claim, then that part of my answer would not apply above regarding retaliation against you for filing a workers compensation claim or about you authorizing the insurer to disclose information to the employer. The insurer cannot disclose information to the employer without having written authorization as required under HIPAA to disclose the information to the employer.

They cannot terminate you for a disability, this would be against the Americans with Disabilities Act and this would be the basis for a complaint to the EEOC for discrimination under the ADA in addition to the participation in the investigation and then being retaliated against.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 92502
Experience: 20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
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