Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
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Welcome to the chat
First, let me say that I am terribly sorry to hear that you are in this situation. It is a shame when an employer makes a decision without legitimacy, especially when that decision is quite frankly wrong. However, that does not necessarily mean that the decision is unlawful.
If this employer had 15 employees, you could bring a wrongful termination lawsuit against them. However, because they do not, your best option is to get unemployment by stating that you lost your job through no fault of your own.
You would not be able to seek damages, but you would be able to contest the termination as being ultimately invalid.
The way unemployment works, is that you make an argument that you lost your job through no fault of your own. You are granted benefits. The employer argues you were terminated for misconduct, and your benefits are denied. Then, an appeal is set.
At this appeal the employer has to prove that you lost your job due to misconduct.
As there were no evaluations, he cannot fire you for poor job performance. Unless he can prove that you did something horrendous your benefits should be reinstated at the appeal.
What about ADA?
The ADA and other discrimination laws require that this company have at least 15 employees. If this company had 15 employees then you could have brought a wrongful termination lawsuit based on a disability under the ADA.
Wait I should ask
Is your employer private? or is it a public entity in some way?
i.e. government run
Because if not, then they would require 15 employees to be subject to the ADA
No, it is an insurance agency that sells to customers. Independently owned.
Should an attorney be present at the hearing concerning unemployment?
That is entirely up to you. If you decide to hire an attorney a great resource is www.Martindale.com. This is a nationwide directory that is useful in finding highly qualified legal specialists in various fields of law. The lawyers in Martindale are not selected because they paid to be included, but rather because they have been rated by other attorneys as qualified experts in their field. Consider consulting with two or three different attorneys willing to take your case prior to selecting the one you feel most comfortable with. If you decide to have an attorney I can almost guarantee you that you will get benefits given the facts you have mentioned. However, if you feel comfortable arguing that you did nothing that would rise to the level of misconduct you do not actually need one.
My son is in kindergarten and goes to an after school program. At the after school institution, various employees were aware of my problems. It is believed that the only person to have knowledge of my
problem is the wife of the agency's owner.
Is this a violation of HIPPA?
HIPAA only applies to medical providers. So, if a medical provider gives out information then this would be a HIPAA violation. However, if it was the employer that divulged the information, then it would not. That being said, you may still be able to bring a claim for public disclosure of private fact if divulging it has caused you severe economic or emotional harm.
How would I proceed with that?
You would have two options. You would either 1) call an employment law attorney in your area (on martindale you would type in employment law Pennsylvania into the search window and then click on the town or county in which you live on the left hand side), or 2) file a claim for public disclosure of private fact in a court of competent jurisdiction in your area. You would draft a demand letter and serve the defendant and the proceed to a trial.
Thank you for the advice and counseling.
Not a problem. Have I fully answered your question today?
I believe so but if you have other or additional suggestions, I would appreciate them.
I have pretty much covered everything. The only other thing would be that if you want to try and file a public disclosure of private fact cause of action then start talking to attorneys as soon as possible because you may find one willing to deal with the unemployment issue as part of the other case. (usually, however, they will charge hourly) Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further. If you do not require any further assistance, please do not forget to provide my service with a positive rating, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you.
Have a wonderful rest of your evening.
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