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I am the ED at an animal shelter. I have been in that

I am the ED...

I am the ED at an animal shelter. I have been in that position for 12 years now and being the first and only ED to this point. Over the years I have repeatedly gone to the board for assistance in polices especially ones concerning the staff and volunteers. We recently had some problems with a few employees and our past president let them go under the basis that their job titles had been dissolved. Well, that started a huge war with disgruntled employees and some disgruntled volunteers who were released over the years for not following policy and procedures. Now, all of a sudden our new President is meeting with these individuals; taking everything they say into consideration not allowing myself or any of the other employees the right have a say in defense. We still have not found replacements so the two workers and worked now for 30 days+ without a day off. I received this email from the president with what I would refer to as a bunch of crap, especially from someone who has never been involved from the beginning. One insert from the email " The Board has also recently received reports from former employees and former volunteers that claim you have intimidated or yelled at staff and volunteers. This also cannot happen. The Shelter will not tolerate bullying, intimidation, or harassing behaviors of anyone by any staff or volunteers. The Board is reviewing and updating its employee handbook, volunteer manual, and other policies related to human resources—please provide us any thoughts you have related to human resources policies or needs that you believe would benefit the Shelter." During this process, I am having serious medical problems that they are aware of. Knowing I need time off (which I have due to me through vacation and sick pay) they haven't made any effort to help us at the shelter. In saying all of this, I have not been invited to one of these meetings. Everything is being done behind my back. What do you suggest I do. Is there any illegal violations in your opinion. Thank you

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?

We do not have an HR person. The shelter retained an lawyer however I am coming to learn that she is basically representing the board and not me.

Lawyer's Assistant: Are you an "at will" employee? Do you belong to a union?

Ohio is an at will state and no union.

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3/25/2018
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,989
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question. Ohio, as you know, is an employment "at will" state. That in turn means that an employer can take disciplinary action up to and including termination for any, or no, reason and with no notice or warning unless doing so would violate a written contract or is being carried out because of discriminatory intent or bias because the employee is a member of a protected class under employment discrimination laws.

Therefore, unless your situation falls within one of the exceptions I mentioned, there would be nothing unlawful in the Board making an arbitrary decision about personnel actions or counselings. In other words, there is never a right to be heard or see/provide information in a personnel action when the employee is "at will." Again, that assumes that there is no contractual right.

If your situation does fall into one of the exceptions I mentioned, then you should consider sitting down with a local employment law attorney and speak to them about the best course of action in your particular case.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could reply to this answer and let me know that I covered your question, then the Site will give me credit for assisting you today. I will be away from my computer for much of the day, but will respond as soon as I become available again. Thank you

Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,989
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