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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12467
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I'm not sure but I need to know if there is a pro bono

Customer Question

Hi, I'm not sure but I need to know if there is a pro bono employment lawyer in Thurston County
JA: Have you documented this or discussed it with HR?
Customer: Yes, I was told I had to sign a resignation form that says "termination" all over it and they will give me a month severence and my benefits until the end of the month, or be fired
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: full time
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Yes, I advised my employer that I am covered under the Americans with Disabilities act due to depression and high anxiety and they were supposed to make reasonable accommodations for me but they said they could not make accommodations for stress. Then suddenly I was being written up for not doing my job, employee complaints against me and customer complaints against me
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Hello and welcome. I am very sorry to hear about all this. Did you have a specific question for me? We cannot refer you to specific attorneys, but I am more than happy to answer whatever specific legal question or questions you have. Just let me know...

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Did you read everything I just typed?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
This is a nightmare. I just need someone to help me and everyone just wants money. Nevermind.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

I read your original post, but you were not asking a question there which is why I asked for clarification. I also read your new post in the separate question, thread, which I closed to avoid confusion with duplicate questions. There you stated:

" I was told to sign a resignation and agreement to terminate employment or get fired. The agreement gives me one month severence and benefits until the end of the month. I told my employer that I fall under the American's with disabilities act back in May or June of this year and then filed a complaint against a coworker. After that, I got in trouble and was told there were employee complaints against me as well as customer complaints. After multiple times of asking, I was never told what those complaints were, nor did I receive a copy of them. Since then, I have been told I do not perform my job adequately enough, even though they know I have memory problems and anxiety and could have adjusted my work flow to help with that. I was given last Thursday and Friday off to make a decision and talk to a lawyer. It has been hard to find a lawyer. It seems strange they would office such a nice severence. Why didn't they just fire me or do I have some sort of case against them?"

But now you are saying nevermind. Are you still looking for assistance? Please let me know...

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I'm looking for assistance. I'm on a time crunch now because they are saying they are going to fire me now, which means no benefit package or anything. I've been doing this all day and hitting dead ends and I'm upset and just don't know what I'm supposed to do.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Okay, no problem.

First, simply because you are being offered severance does not necessarily mean you have meritorious legal claims, let alone does it mean you have claims that are worth substantially more than the amount in severance you have been offered (obviously it makes no sense to pursue a legal claim unless you stand to recover much more than you are being offered in severance). Employers commonly offer severance for the benefit of closure and to avoid frivolous lawsuits. This is not to say you have no legal claim, but rather to explain the completely legitimate reasons why your employer might still offer you severance even if you didn't.

As to your legal options, the claim that would be most likely is a claim for failure to "reasonably accommodate" you under the ADA. To prevail on such a claim, you would have to demonstrate that your employer could have modified your job duties to accommodate your disability in such a manner that you were able to adequately perform the essential functions of your job. Note that eliminating core functions of your job or changing the performance standards for you would not be a reasonable accommodation, as the point of a reasonable accommodation is that it allows you to perform all the essential responsibilities that you were originally hired for.

If you did desire to forego the severance option and pursue a lawsuit instead, you would need to start by filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which you can do here. The EEOC will investigate and attempt to mediate a resolution with your employer. That not forthcoming, they will either file a lawsuit on your behalf or issue you a "right to sue" letter, which will enable you to sue in civil court with the assistance of an attorney.

If I can clarify anything at all for you, please do not hesitate to ask. It is my pleasure to assist you further if necessary....