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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20296
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I was terminated from Lowes almost a year ago. I have a personality

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I was terminated from Lowes almost a year ago. I have a personality disorder called borderline personality disorder which my immediate supervisor was aware of. The reason I was given for my termination was another employee said she was "afraid to work" with me. I contacted EEOC and Lowes ultimately offered a settlement of six months' pay. My issue is I asked to see my personnel file while I was still an employee and was denied access. The person I spoke to at EEOC said Lowes had many things in my file but I was not allowed to see what these things were. I believe I should have been able to see what these things were.

Thank you for the information. However, I am unsure of what your exact legal question is, can you tell me what it is? Also, are you still within the one year period from your termination?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am still within the one-year period. My question is should I have been allowed to see my personnel file when I asked?

Hello again and thank you for that clarification. Yes, under Illinois law, a current employee or former employee terminated within the past year, as a right to inspect their personnel records twice a year at reasonable intervals, unless a bargaining agreement says otherwise. The employer must make the records available within 7 days of the request. After reviewing their record, the employee may ask for, and the employer must make, copies of the file. The employer can charge for the actual cost of the duplication only.

In addition, the employee has a right to submit a rebuttal to any adverse information in the file and the employer must include that rebuttal in the personnel file after the submission.

You can see the law at:

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Marsha411JD and 3 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am uncertain what to do. I am still unemployed and in danger of losing my home because of the financial troubles that have come from this termination. Is Lowes offer of six-months' pay a fair offer or is this just something they did, knowing that I would probably be forced to take it because of my financial situation?

Hello again and thank you for your reply. Although this is not a follow up on your original question, I will do my best to try to assist you with this. That said, there is no way that I can say what is a fair settlement for you since I have no way of knowing all of the facts from both your's and your employer's perspective. What I can tell you is if you have been offered this money as a part of the EEOC's mediation program, then if you do not accept it, or counteroffer and reach an agreement with the employer, that you may ultimately have to file suit yourself for this alleged discriminatory act. In that case, it will be initially at your expense and could take a long time to settle or litigate.

That said, the employer knows this and they are using that information and your financial need to try to get rid of the issue without further effort. It really comes down to what you need right now. If you need the money to survive, and don't have the time or financial wherewithal to fight this out in court down the line, then you might want to consider taking the settlement offer. You can always also go back and ask for more months and see if they will offer you more. But ultimately, this is just their offer to try to get this to go away. That though it up to you. This cases though don't make employees rich, even when they are litigated, so ultimately you might not get a lot more even if you litigated, I just can't say because I don't have the facts.

In any event, you still have time to see your personnel records and also to submit a rebuttal too if you want.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I appreciate your help. You basically told me what I suspected the answer would be. This settlement was negotiated through EEOC and I was lead to believe there could be no more negotiation on it. Is this true?

You're welcome. As for where the mediation stands, I can't say. If you and the employer reached an agreement, then it would be final. On the other hand, if this is just an offer, then unless you have already gone back and forth and they have said this is our best and final offer, then you would normally be able to go back with a counteroffer until you are both in agreement.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much for your help. You have helped me make my decision. I understand the fee for the questions today and I did not select any of the offers. The fee I agreed to is just for the questions asked today. I am under no obligation for any further billing. Is that correct?

You're welcome. I do not work for the Site, so I don't have access to your payment information or arrangements. But as long as you did not select a subscription, then you will only be charged the one fee you offered. Once you provide me with a positive rating the Site will pay me from your deposit, but no other charge will be added.

If you have other payment questions, just let me know and I can forward them to customer service.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much. You were very helpful!!!

Best of luck to you!

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