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 Phillips Esq. Your Own Question
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18805
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
16551887
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Phillips Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am a principals secretary and work for a public school

Customer Question

I am a principals secretary and work for a public school district.
I was a victim of domestic abuse in MN had to take off two days of work regarding it, for filing for an OFP and court. I informed my employer ahead of time for court, the day of for the OFP because I was being threatened at work. My employer, a school principal new I was off due to domestic violence.
Three days after I told my employer about my domestic violence issue and that child protection was called in due to the two incidents in a short time frame, she walked in front of my desk and make a joke to another coworker in front of me about how she was worried that Child protection would be called on her because her son's special education teacher called to ask her something about her son. I was sick.
Following that, I took a 2 week medical leave under FMLA due to other medical issues and the fact that I was living in a hotel with my two kids. I completed all the proper paperwork. My work didn't have anyone fill in for me while I was out.
I came back to be told to go to an HR meeting employee regarding my employee Performance. This was a shock to me because I have worked there for 27 years and never had any issues, other than once I filed a harassment claim against a former boss, which put a target on my back for quite sometime. The Assistant Superintendent "warned" my current boss who is new this year about me due to that.
HR assured me the Employee Improvement Plan wasn't disciplinary and my union rep saw what a mess I was and talked to HR and told me to go home. I did not sign the Performance Plan, HR agreed with my union we could deal with it later.
I ended up taking more leave under FMLA, this will be my 3rd week off. I have chronic depression, anxiety, ADD, neurological issues and fybromalgia.
My employer didnt know about my health conditions until my doctor wrote it on my certification of healthcare provider for when I first took leave.
It seems like the PIP was in retaliation for my taking off time due to my time off for Domestic Abuse which I read was illegal as well as my medical time off.
The performance was clearly written so I would fail. My union rep advised me to take FMLA until the end of the school year.
I am in a union and should have bidding rights, a job at another school opened up. I am highest up on seniority and I applied but have not heard back yet. The job just closed Friday.
My employer took away my email access, which is unusual, I am aware of teachers that have been on disciplinary leave and have had access to their email. I had several emails from my boss saying "thank you this looks great", and I am worried she is deleting them.
I am at a complete loss as to what to do.
Should I file a retaliation claim?
Should I have bidding rights?
Is taking off until the end of the year, the best thing to do? I am a twelve month employee, so I work summers.
I have been harassed off and on since 2011 and did not complain other than the initial compaint I made in 2012, because that made things worse. I can prove a pattern of harassment from emails I backed up, texts and witnesses since 2012.
Any advice you could give me would be great.
I am also concerned my employer will discuss my medical conditions, she told me another person was off to due to mental health issues. She badmouths other staff to people on television phone, I have heard some of her conversations because I sit right next to her office and she is very loud. I overhead one conversation in which she badmouths the director of Human Resources. I have enough details of that conversation to prove it, but I don't know if I dare bring that up.
Submitted: 8 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 8 days ago.

Hello: This isCustomer Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 8 days ago.

I am sorry to read about your difficulties.

You should file for retaliation claim with the assistance of your Union.

Yes, you should have bidding rights.

The prudent thing to do would be to try to transfer out of the school that you are in. That seems to be a very toxic environment that you are in. Your Union should help you accomplish this transfer.

As far as reporting the employee who badmouths everyone, that is not your fight. You should concentrate on your issues.

Best wishes,

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
My union is awful, the two said he doesn't know if I have bidding rightsHe said they can look at employee performance, I didn't sign the employee performance plan but can they look at it anyway?Also, can I file a discrimination claim because of the timing of the employee performance reviewWhat about treating me different then other employees by not allowing me access to email when I am off?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 8 days ago.

My union is awful, the two said he doesn't know if I have bidding rights

Response 1: You need to have your Union review the collective bargaining agreement signed with the school to confirm whether you have bidding rights.

He said they can look at employee performance, I didn't sign the employee performance plan but can they look at it anyway?

Response 2: Yes, they can. It does not matter that you did not sign it. Not signing it only means that you disagree with the findings, but not that it cannot be used against you.

Also, can I file a discrimination claim because of the timing of the employee performance review

Response 3: Yes, you can. However, since you belong in a Union, you have to file for grievance.

What about treating me different then other employees by not allowing me access to email when I am off?

Response 4: You can file for grievance with the assistance of your Union.

Best wishes,

A 5-star rating to my response is appreciated so that I can receive proper credit for responding to your post. Kindly use the popup screen to give the rating. There is no additional cost to you for giving a 5-star rating.

Thank you for your cooperation.