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hrpro37
hrpro37, Sr. Director, Human Resources
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 116
Experience:  10+ years of experience in human resources roles with a specialization in employment law
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I worked company that contracts staff around the country

Customer Question

Hi, I'm Julie. I worked for a company that contracts staff around the country with their home base being in Atlanta and Washington DC. I was hired to work in Texas. I was the sole employee in Texas. Nationally, they have between 25 and 30 employees.
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: I am in Texas, they are in Georgia.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: Yes, the case is currently at federal court. This has been going on since January 2013, and they are offering a pitiful settlement which my attorney has advised we should take. I need a second opinion as I am very sure I have a strong case.
JA: What advice did they give you?
Customer: To take the settlement which is less than 5% of what we were asking for.
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: I was wrongfully terminated after receiving stellar performance reviews, bonuses, and a raise due to inflammatory remarks from a disgruntled manager at the place I was assigned to work.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  hrpro37 replied 7 months ago.

Hello,

Thanks for using JustAnswer. Can you provide me with some additional details of your termination and the proposed settlement?

Thank you,

Amber

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It's complicated. After about a year and a half of employment, I received the highest performance reviews, a raise, and a bonus. I was assigned to work at a FEMA office in Texas where my direct report was a disgruntled manager on his way out. He was in trouble with his boss for not attending or sending someone to an important event. I went on my own time as a volunteer and not staff. I had received permission to do so. He called me in and tore into me for attending and told me I needed to respond on his behalf to his boss and to lie to him and tell him we never received an invitation just to cover his tracks. I told him I would write the letter but I would not lie to protect him.
I called my employer supervisor in Washington DC to explain what had happened to which he replied, "Don't worry, you did the right thing. I've got your back." The next day I received a call from HR asking me to start working from home until further notice because the "client" (FEMA) was very upset with my performance. That same manager began making up lies about my performance, attendance, presentation skills, etc.
About 3 weeks later, I was told by my employer that the only way FEMA would take me back is if I was put on a performance improvement plan which I very reluctantly signed with a caveat that I did not agree. The next day I receive another call from HR saying they were letting me go because I could not get along with the client. I was not allowed to submit proof that he was lying and just trying to cover his ass and showing me he was "boss." I was told they were not interested in my side and their job was to protect the client. I received my letter of separation with no explanation for my firing.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Two and a half years later, my attorney is saying I don't have a case because they do not have 15 employees in Texas so they are protected. They have offered in writing a settlement of $10,000. My attorney says we should take it because I would probably lose the case and risk getting nothing. Although I was the only employee in Texas, they have between 25 and 50, maybe more staff around the country. They are a federal government contractor who finds employees for their clients, but we remain employees of the contractor and not the client. The company is Teracore, Inc. I was hire to work at the FEMA office in Texas but reported directly to a Teracore supervisor in Washington DC. I had a daily report to at FEMA.
Expert:  hrpro37 replied 7 months ago.

Thanks for the additional information. I am very sorry you had to go through this and it does absolutely seem that you should not have been terminated. However, you do have the issue of Texas being an "at-will" state which means that any employer (even a federal contractor) can terminate your employment at any time for any reason. With that being said, it would probably be very difficult to prove your case in court and would end up taking at least 2 years to go through the court system.

I think a settlement of $10,000 sounds fair to me. If you do wish to have your job back I would request that on top of the settlement as well.

I hope this helps, please don't forget to rate me for answering your question (it does not cost anything additional).

Thank you,

Amber

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