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An employee's real rights

Discussion in 'Termination: Firing & Resignation' started by Samantha2003, Jan 31, 2003.

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  1. Samantha2003

    Samantha2003 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I was terminated in mid 2001. After announcing my pregnancy I was subjected to rude comments about my pregnancy and unwarrented disciplinary actions. Although I had been approved for intermittent FMLA for a complication I was having, it didn't stop my employer from writting me up for attendance. The reasoning was they could decide what was covered and what wasn't and they were sick and tired of paying someone overtime pay for the same job they pay me straight pay to do. I filed a formal complaint with the DOL. My employer then decided to make things more difficult. My FMLA application was "lost", I had three days to get a new one filled out and returned or I would be fired, they said they were going to deny my FMLA application anyway because of my attitude and they kept me in a room until I gave them the name and phone number of the person I spoke to at the DOL. The HR Generalist then told me if I continued with the complaint she was going to call my doctor and get me put on indefinate leave "and with the time left in my pregnancy and the eleven weeks I had left under FMLA it would run out before I ever gave birth at which time the would have no obligation to retain me as an employee", and she did just that. She had actually called my doctor earlier that day without my knowledge or consent and asked her to put me out. My doctor informed me of this call when I took the FMLA application in.

    When I returned the FMLA application the HR Generalist was very upset because it said I could continue to work on an intermittent basis. She said I was either well enough to work or so sick I could not work at all. She gave me a third application and told me to get it filled out "correctly". When I went back to my doctor with the third application she informed me she would not fill it out again for at least one month because the last one was in fact correct. She informed me at that point there was a medical problem with my unborn son. Three birth defects total, two of which would require surgery directly after his birth. My doctor asked if she could call my employer and explain about the medical problems and the FMLA application not being filled out. I agreed. I was called the next morning and told to come in early to discuss my FMLA situation. When I arrived I was given a termination notice. They claimed misconduct from three weeks earlier. There was no investigation into the misconduct (too long of a break), I was never asked if I took a long break and my company has a disciplinary policy requiring three written warnings the fourth termination. I was only on my second warning.

    They must have realized the problem after a few days because when I recieved the paperwork they filled out contesting my UC benefits it stated "gross misconduct". I was never offered COBRA because of this accusation so my son and I were left with no medical coverage. Although my complaint to the DOL was found in my favor, it didn't help. The DOL found nine violations which my employer recieved no fines for because they promised never to do it again. The EEOC is now investigating but even if they find a hundred violations it won't matter. The low down is after working for this company for five years my employer fires me because I filed a complaint, I'm left trying to figure out how to pay for my son's healthcare and there is nothing the government can do to help. I have learned what rights an employee really has.

    1.You have the right to expect unfair treatment, even in this day and age.

    2.You have the right to expect your employer to lie.

    3.You have the right to be disciplined unfairly.

    4.You have the right to be harassed.

    5.You have the right to have your employer threaten to fire you almost daily.

    6.You have the right to sit back and watch as the government says "We have all these laws to protect you but our hands are tied."

    7.You have the right to watch as your employer appeals your unemployment all the way to the Commonwealth Court, or the equivilant in your area.

    8.You have the right to wait patiently as the agency investigating your complaint actually gets around to investigating.

    9.You have the right to have your employer offer you say $5,000.00 after you have $150,000.00 in medical bills, lost your car, almost lost your house, credit is destroyed and your self esteem and reputation are ruined because nobody believes an employer would actually do this.

    10.You also have the right to hear the EEOC say that that is a fair offer.

    11.You have the right to expect this whole proccess to take a few years when you know it would only take you less than a half hour to prove it.

    12.Then you have the right to sue and start the waiting game all over again.
    :confused:
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    I have been involved in cases dealing with discrimination against pregnant women and such conduct is illegal. Your employer may have a history of dealing with others the same way. In this instance, there might be a retaliatory firing as a result of your pregnancy. Have you spoken to an attorney? An EEOC investigation is good as evidence that is uncovered could bolster your case.

     
  3. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    There are so many violations in your post that counting them is pointless. Have you notified the EEOC that you have been fired? That is a wrongful termination if I ever heard of one and they can add that to your complaint.

    You will not be able to file suit until you receive a right-to-sue letter from the EEOC, but please do talk to an attorney now. He or she can be standing by ready to file as soon as you have the go-ahead from the EEOC. It's been a while since I heard of a company that needed suing more. Go get 'em!
     

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