Employment Law

Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Employment Law
This answer was rated:

My wife was terminated for not doing her job according to hospital

policy; however she was fired...
My wife was terminated for not doing her job according to hospital policy; however she was fired after filing a hostile workplace complaint according to policy and her so-called failure to do her job was investigated by the nurse she filed the complain against. She was allowed unemployment benefits in Ohio, but later after an appeal by her former employer was then denied benefits and is now expected to pay back what she received. In addition she is unable to find work since her termination. What do we do?
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Answered in 14 minutes by:
6/13/2013
TexLaw
TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,430
Experience: Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
Verified
Hi,

Thank you for your question and I'm very sorry to hear about your wife's situation.

I think the best thing here is to start with an explanation of the law in this area and then discuss your case in particular. In Ohio, and throughout the United States, employment law heavily favors the employer in most situations. Unless the employee has a contract which provides that the employee may only be terminated for cause, the law will hold that the employee's right to work falls under the At Will Doctrine. The At Will Doctrine provides that an employer may terminate an employee for any reason whatsoever, even if it is a false reason. The only limitation on this is that an employer may not terminate an employee because of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, military status, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry of the employee.

Thus, in order to determine whether your wife has any legal rights here, we need to discuss the hostile workplace complaint. What were the grounds on which she filed the complaint?

Was the hostility shown by the nurse against whom she complained related at all to your wife's race, color, religion, sex, military status, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry?
Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago


No; the nurse had been and remained at this time confrontational with my wife (a subordinate); but this time it happened in front of patients and families. My wife reported the incident to her supervisor per hospital protocol. Two weeks later she was discharged after the nurse she reported had investigated my wife's job performance.

Thank you for your response. This is a clear case of retaliation. However, the law does not make all retaliation illegal under the at-will doctrine.

Where the hostile work environment complaint is not linked to your wife's race, color, religion, sex, military status, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry, the law does not provide any actual protection for her against retaliation.

The only plausible protection she might have is if the hospital policies under which she originally made the complaint have a promise that there shall not be any retaliation for filing such a complaint. If that language is within the hospital policies, you can argue that this forms an implied contract which was breached by the employer and thus there was a wrongful termination.

So, the first thing you will need to do is scour the hospital employee manual for any sort of promise for non-retaliation for filing a complaint. If there is, your wife can attempt to bring the case yourself in small claims court, or find a lawyer to represent you locally.

If there is no such language in the employee manual, then I'm afraid there is likely no protection for your wife in this situation.

Please let me know if you have any further questions. Please also kindly consider rating my answer positively so that I am compensated by the website for my work on your question. Rating positively does not cause an additional charge and does not prevent us from further discussing your questions.

Best Regards,
ZDN
Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago


What about the enemployment board? The original board felt that she had been wrongfully terminated; then after an appeal by the employer a higher (and single person) committee found in favor of the employer; they now want money that they had given to my wife in good faith back (about 7800.00). She is not working what do we do with that? Is there any recourse with the state?

Thank you,

I needed to look through some specific statutes to answer your question completely.

You do in fact have further options.

Your recent appeal with the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission was with a single hearing officer. You may make a written request for review of this by the full review commission. You may submit additional evidence in your request for a review in your written brief. You need to contact the Review Commission to obtain the proper forms and paper work to complete this.

The Unemployment Compensation Review Commission's determination of whether a claimant was discharged with just cause is appealable to the court of common pleas: If the court finds that the decision of the Commission was unlawful, unreasonable, or against the manifest weight of the evidence, it shall reverse, vacate, or modify the decision, or remand the matter to the Commission. Otherwise, the court shall affirm the decision of the Commission. Although not defined by statute, courts have stated that "just cause" is that which, to an ordinarily intelligent person, is a justifiable reason for doing or not doing a particular act. The determination whether there is just cause for discharge depends upon the factual circumstances of each case. What constitutes just cause must be analyzed in conjunction with the legislative purpose underlying the Unemployment Compensation Act. Essentially, the Act's purpose is to enable unfortunate employees, who become and remain involuntarily unemployed by adverse business and industrial conditions, to subsist on a reasonably decent level and is in keeping with the humanitarian and enlightened concepts of this modern day. The Act does not exist to protect employees from themselves, but to protect them from economic forces over which they have no control. When an employee is at fault, he is no longer the victim of fortune's whims, but is instead directly responsible for his own predicament. Fault on the employee's part separates him from the Act's intent and the Act's protection. Thus, fault is essential to the unique chemistry of a just cause termination. Williams v. Ohio Dep't of Job & Family Servs.,XXXXX 3d 332

After obtaining a ruling from the court of common pleas, you may then appeal all the way up to the Ohio Supreme Court.
Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago


Thank you for your help thus far; how do I prove my case though. We have nothing in writing to prove any of our case which I think is why we lost the first appeal.

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

Are they denying that your wife filed a hostile work environment claim?

Does your wife have the employee handbook?

Did she retain any copies of the written complaint forms that she submitted?
Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago


Sorry for my delay. She was required to return the handbook when she was terminated. She followed the protocols within the book which called for a verbal meeting with her supervisor with regard to the workplace issues. Unemployment stated that she was terminated for not performing her job according to policies within the handbook. It was a coincidence that the person she reported was the same one that investigated her. Her supervisor stood by this and fabricated previous "counseling sessions" to make my wife appear to be not doing her job; however she had received a performance evaluation weeks before being terminated and was given high marks for job performance.

I've got to tell you. If you don't have evidence, and its your wife's word against their word, then you are going to have a very difficult time with this appeal.

You could have likely requested "discovery" during the initial stages of the unemployment claim. However, if you do not have documentary evidence to support you, I don't see how you are going to overcome the burden on you to prove that your wife was not fired for cause, especially if the employer is lying about their being pre-existing counseling sessions.

Your best bet would be to find a witness to support your wife's side of the story, an ex-co-worker who is willing to stick her neck out.

Otherwise, I think it will be very hard for you to win this.
TexLaw
TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,430
Experience: Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination
Verified
TexLaw and 87 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask TexLaw Your Own Question
TexLaw
TexLaw
TexLaw, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,430
4,430 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Contracts, Wrongful termination and discrimination

TexLaw is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care.

MildredWashington, DC

Excellent direction from Socrateaser to help me preserve and pursue my rights as a proud American who has become unemployed in this messed-up economic downfall. Thank you

Happy CustomerDenver, CO

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

8,184 satisfied customers

JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.

Allen M., Esq.

Allen M., Esq.

Employment Lawyer

12,480 satisfied customers

Employment/Labor Law Litigation

Marsha411JD

Marsha411JD

Lawyer

12,264 satisfied customers

Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Lawyer

11,887 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.

JB Umphrey

JB Umphrey

Lawyer

6,273 satisfied customers

Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.

John

John

Employment Lawyer

3,773 satisfied customers

Exclusively practice labor and employment law.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

3,007 satisfied customers

I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.

< Previous | Next >

Related Employment Law Questions
I was receiving my unemployment benefits in Oregon. My
I was receiving my unemployment benefits in Oregon. My father is 75 and needed assistance at his farm, so I decided I would try my luck at the job market back home in Iowa. I contacted The Oregon Empl… read more
AttorneyTom
AttorneyTom
Attorney at Law
Juris Doctor, BSBA
1 satisfied customers
Is there a wrongful termination or discrimination case if an
Is there a wrongful termination or discrimination case if an employee gets laid off after taking a 2 week medical leave for surgery for breast cancer? … read more
Roy Hadavi
Roy Hadavi
Attorney
Juris Doctorate
886 satisfied customers
Wrongful termination due to disability discrimination.
Wrongful termination due to disability discrimination. … read more
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Juris Doctor
28,498 satisfied customers
In a wrongful termination in retaliation complaint, all I
In a wrongful termination in retaliation complaint, all I have to do is show facts that show all elements of wrongful termination, correct? Thanks.… read more
LegalPro54
LegalPro54
Doctoral Degree
1,258 satisfied customers
I have a question about unemployment benefits in Texas.
i have a question about unemployment benefits in Texas … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
Can I collect unemployment benefits if I was fired four yrs.
Can I collect unemployment benefits if I was fired four yrs. ago do to having to call in several times being under a Dr. Care.… read more
Michael Bradley
Michael Bradley
JD
1,127 satisfied customers
What is the statue of limitations on wrongful termination or
What is the statue of limitations on wrongful termination or discrimination? … read more
LegalPro54
LegalPro54
Doctoral Degree
1,258 satisfied customers
I had a question regarding wrongful termination. I was
I had a question regarding wrongful termination. I was terminated through a text message and was not given a reason. I understand most employees are at will employees I however never signed any docume… read more
Roy Hadavi
Roy Hadavi
Attorney
Juris Doctorate
886 satisfied customers
I need to live chat an lawyer for wrongful termination.
I need to live chat an lawyer for wrongful termination … read more
LegalPro54
LegalPro54
Doctoral Degree
1,258 satisfied customers
Is a wrongful termination suit viable due to upper
Is a wrongful termination suit viable due to upper management poor business decision making? … read more
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq.
Employment Lawyer
Juris Doctor, Cum Laude
12,480 satisfied customers
Need advice on employment law/wrongful termination. At will
Need advice on employment law/wrongful termination … read more
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq
Doctoral Degree
17,072 satisfied customers
Is the time limit to file a suit for wrongful termination
is the time limit to file a suit for wrongful termination and or liabel/slander 2years in Virginia? are there any conditions or circumstances that would make the time factor 1year or less? … read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,163 satisfied customers
PA unemployment benefits. I was promised recall to my job,
PA unemployment benefits. I was promised recall to my job, was awaiting unemployment benefits, they told me I had to sign up to the job gateway. I did so but did not complete my profile 100% and compl… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I have a question related to unemployment benefits in the
I have a question related to unemployment benefits in the state of CT and then working as an independent contractor. Can you assist me? … read more
John
John
Employment Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
3,773 satisfied customers
Statute of limitations on wrongful termination in maryland,
statute of limitations on wrongful termination in maryland … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,190 satisfied customers
I recently filed for unemployment benefits and when asked
I recently filed for unemployment benefits and when asked how I lost my job which answered laid off due to slow down in business. My company told me was due to my attendance. I really feel like it was… read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
11,887 satisfied customers
I have apply for unemployment benefits. A letter was sent to
i have apply for unemployment benefits. A letter was sent to me saying that I did not earn enough in my based period to qualify for benefits.so my week benefit for this claim week is 0.00. I have been… read more
John
John
Employment Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
3,773 satisfied customers
I was denied unemployment benefits due to lack of good
I was denied unemployment benefits due to lack of good cause. I quit because I was suspended for leaving an unemployment hearing for a former team member. I was only supposed to be a witness if the re… read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
11,887 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x