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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19682
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I have been with the company 8 years during which I have

Customer Question

I have been with the company 8 years during which I have taken on more responsibility by being able to support the General Counsel and eventually the CEO and Board of Directors. I was seen as the "go to" person within the organization, always at my desk, always willing to help out anyone within the organization. I was a stellar employee, received yearly bonuses and above and beyond performance evaluations. I was seen as responsible, dependable, trusted, a hard worker but also someone that like to have fun, someone that didn't take themselves too seriously. Since my return from approx. 6 weeks short term disability I returned to a new Executive Team; our organization now has a new CEO. The General Counsel was an internal hire that I have worked with before. The new CHRO will have been here for 4 weeks on 7/29. She is the one telling me they cannot accommodate the 4 day week that my physician is requesting for my continued positive dealing for my concussion. On 7/22 as I was discussing the accommodations I need she mentioned that she was glad I had set up the meeting because she had been meaning to talk to me because she needed to talk to me. She said she felt "we weren't meshing" (or gelling) I honestly can't remember which word she used. Some of the residue from my concussion is problems with memory so I normally write everything down. She asked me if I felt the same and I replied that after only 16 days of working together, with her at the OMA office most of that time I didn't feel I could honeslyt say I could make that judgment yet. She responded that she felt that way already. I took that as an implication that even before I came in with the note from my physician that the plan was to get ride of me.
Since my return on 7/1 from my short term disability I have been treated differently by people. Like I have been shut out. I have had the responsibility of supporting the Board of Directors taken away from me. I have been given very little work to do when typically I have enjoyed a very robust workload. I feel like any day they will come to me and walk me out because the feel my request of needing to work 4 days weeks will cause an "undue hardship to the business".
I feel that between my age, continued deficits from my concussion and other health challenges that I would like to explore receiving a package from my organization. My gut is telling me that my organization did not want me to return from short term disability and now that I have, they do not want me here.
I have been told my many that I should look into getting any attorney but am not sure that I even have a case. Any opinion in either direction would be appreciated. Debby
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 3 months ago.

Hello Debbie,

Thank you for the information and your question. Without knowing more of the facts, especially from the employer's perspective, there is no way to make an educated opinion about whether or not you might have a disability discrimination case. I can say that unless there is a pattern of adverse treatment of all workers over 40 or something said directly to you about your age, an age discrimination claim would be very difficult to pursue. That is simply because of the difference in the laws.

The key to your disability discrimination case is two-fold. One is the treatment you are receiving motivated you having taken time off under FMLA and/or STD and the other is whether or not you are being denied a reasonable accommodation in violation of the ADA. I can't answer that, but if you consult with a local attorney they may be able to gather more information that would lead to a conclusion about those issues. You do though, before you could file a complaint with the State civil rights division or the EEOC, or file suit, still have to exhaust your administrative remedies with the employer. That merely means that if you believe you are being targeted because of your disability or taking time off for it, you must file a formal complaint with your HR or EO department and allow them to investigate and try to resolve the issue. If you know that you could establish that a complaint would be fruitless (very hard to establish unless the people denying you is HR), then you can skip that step.

Again though, you can speak to a local employment law attorney about all the details and obtain their opinion about your next best step. Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to leave a positive rating in the box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 2 months ago.

Your prior work performance would only be a piece of the puzzle. In other words, if they were saying that they were making changes because you were a poor performer, and you have evidence that this isn't true, then that could support a discrimination claim. However, if this is a new team and they are saying you might not fit as a team member, then assuming they can convince the civil rights agency or a court that this was the case and not your disability, then they might prevail. There are many pieces of the puzzle and your prior performance is just part of it.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
my past history of impeccable work performance and CHRO's implication that after only 15 days of working together she feels we are not meshing does not even come into play?
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 2 months ago.

That's not really what I said. Please, if you will, reread my last answer. I said it does come into play, it just isn't the only piece of evidence that is considered. The onus would be on the employer to show a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for their decisions. I can't second guess whether or not they can do so or not, thus the advice on your options I provided.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 2 months ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any further follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 27th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit(paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I have not received your rating.

Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me even if the news is not good. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue,if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.

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