How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Samuel II Your Own Question
Samuel II
Samuel II, Attorney at Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 27009
Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
10707909
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Samuel II is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am looking online counselor who has strong experience in

Customer Question

I am looking for an online counselor who has strong experience in the public sector.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Hello

This is Samuel. Please tell me what this is regard and what information I can provide for you, please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I work in the public sector (Ohio) for a board of developmental disabilities. I am one of four directors that works under a superintendent. I participated in the process of firing an employee in April 2015. I report problems to the HR director, and the HR director makes a recommendation to the superintendent. The superintendent can then terminate, which is what he did. After the termination, some employees complained about me. The superintendent, instead of getting help for this emotional time for everyone, launched an investigation against me while I was planning to be on vacation. I ended up coming in to work due to weather. He explained that an investigation was starting that day. When I asked him a couple weeks ago regarding the outcome, he said that it is attorney-client privilege. My contract is almost up, so it is very possible he has set this up to protect himself (he did the firing and perhaps wants to pin the backlash on me). I found out there are two false accusations in the report. What are your thoughts? I feel like I am the fall guy, and have no recourse.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
also, the complaints came within 2 weeks of the termination date
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no other complaints about me prior
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

You mention a contract. You are contractual? How do you feel there is backlash? Was the termination in accordance with policy and procedure? Have you been questioned by anyone in regard to an investigation? Were you expecting to have a renewal on your contact?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am on a 3 year contract, which ends in December, Backlash has come in the form of complaining about the termination. People are very upset about it. I did exactly what I was told to do, but people are complaining that it happened in the middle of the day. This really upset people. The termination was in accordance with policy and procedure. The investigator (HR consultant who works with the agency law firm), questioned me about a few things, as I asked to meet with him because I couldn't figure out why everything was so secretive. Yes, I had no reason not to be renewed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
During a tough conversation soon after the termination, one person went to the superintendent and told him that I threatened her job, which I in no way did. Another person told the investigator, I believe, that I told someone that I would sue them if I lost my job. In other words, these same people will do whatever they need to to push me out. How do I defend slander (if that is what it is?). Terminations can lead to high levels of emotion in the work environment. Why would he launch an investigation rather than calm the waters and get us help?
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Thank you

Of course, as you know, they are under no obligation to renew a contract. And additionally, even if there was no contract, you would be an "at will" employee. However, if you find that your colleagues are making up things about you and repeating it as truth and you are not renewed because of this investigation, then you can sue them for the defamation. I cannot explain his motive on the investigation. I suggest that should it come to a point where you are terminated or that your contract is not renewed, you can consider a defamation lawsuit.

However, I suggest that the investigation should reveal that you did your job properly following procedure and you might be worrying needlessly.

Please let me know what other information you need. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One last question...with public employment....what would it take to get a copy of the final report? It is not standard public record, so what processes would need to happen?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just checking to see if you will be able to answer the above question
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Hello

Thank you. As a public sector employee, you have a right to see your personnel file. You will need to make a written request to HR. That does not necessarily mean that any investigation data will be in it. And so you would need to make an Information request for any documents concerning an investigation.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Keep in mind, that defamation does not include opinions.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Here is a sample letter you can use

[Date]

[Name of Custodian of Records]
[Title]
[Company Name]
[Street Address]
[City, ST ZIP Code]

Dear [custodian of records]:

I am requesting an opportunity to inspect or obtain copies of any and all information that you have concerning any investigation that I am a party to

If there are any fees for searching or copying these records, please inform me if the cost will exceed $______.

I would request a prompt response to this request. If you expect a significant delay in responding to or in fulfilling this request, please contact me with information about when I might expect copies or the ability to inspect the requested records.

If you deny any or all of this request, please cite each specific exemption you feel justifies the refusal to release the information and notify me of the appeal procedures available to me under the law.

Thank you for considering my request.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

[Your Phone number]

I know that your personnel records are not Public Information. But you can use the letter to help formulate one for your needs.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Once you get to review your files, I suggest you will want to make any objections in writing and have your HR person put them in your file.

Related Employment Law Questions