My employee discrimination lawsuit just came up!!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I got a letter in the mail along with questions and a requested list of witnesses.

    It has been over six months (would be nice if they did it sooner, but they didn't). The emotion involved amongst my ex-coworkers is over now and I'm sure they don't want to get involved for fear of getting fired now too. Although most discrimination cases are without merit, mine has merit, but only if my coworkers step up to the plate and tell the truth.

    I don't think I want to involve them at this late date. Yes, yes, I still miss my job and it will hurt when t he kids go back to school and I see the buses with all the kids on them. I run into "my" kids all the time and hug them to pieces and will miss them, although some have graduated to kindergarten.

    I am learning toward just letting it go. It wasn't fair and it broke my heart and I do have a hard time finding a job due to my disabilities. And they made it worse by believing my co-workers lies. But I don't believe they can really give me a bad recommendation anyway if I look for a part time job.

    Do you all agree that it's best to just let it go?
     
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I don't know your system. Here, letting it go would mean losing your unemployment insurance benefits.
     
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Only you can make this call. On one hand, it can be very tough to fight these things. It is hard to ask someone to tell the courts what has happened. on the other hand, maybe if you do this it will result in a better situation for both your coworkers and the children.

    From a management perspective, many companies will wait until you respond to this step to really pay much attention to problems of this nature. If the employee doesn't follow through with paperwork, they lose very little. But if the employee sends in the paperwork the company offers a settlement regardless of the merits of the case. The company management realizes that in many cases it is far more cost effective to give the former employee some money rather than to bother to see if the charges are founded.

    While it may be something that your former employer would settle after the first round or two of paperwork, it WILL come at a cost to you. whether it is friendships, emotional pain/upheaval/upset, stress, etc.... or it is money for lawyers' fees etc..., it may be more than you want to pay or are able to pay.

    While your case very likely has great merit, it WILL keep you 'stuck' back in those days when you were so incredibly upset over the events that transpired. I do not know if it is worth dredging all that up to you. Only you can decide that and decide if you are willing and able to deal with this as you continue to have to deal with your son's behavior during his divorce. That does seem like a very heavy emotional load and we cannot tell you how to handle it.

    Whatever decision you make, once you have made it, please let yourself be at as much peace as possible over it. There is nothing to gain by beating yourself up or second guessing yourself endlessly. (((((hugs)))))
     
  4. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    If your former co-workers are retaliated against for testifying in your behalf, then THEY will have their own potential law suits. You should not let it go since you feel strongly about it. Even if you don't prevail, you will have had your day in court. If you do prevail, you could get your job back, get back pay and not have to work the awful woman who did that to you in the first place.

    Believe me, I understand that trials are not easy. I am a trial attorney by profession. I also sued for injuries done to my children at day care and lost so I know how that feels as well. Although I didn't win, my feelings were
    vindicated.

    Good luck.
     
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont know what I would do.

    I had a situation when was working where two of my supervisors actually basically sexually assaulted me. What happened was someone - I think I know who - complained to my supervisor that I was wearing clothes to work that had holes in them. The fact that this was told after I was at work pretty much gave it away as to who did it. Someone who was a brown-noser.

    I didnt wear clothes with holes in them. I had caught the pair of pants I was wearing on one of the file cabinet drawers at work but I mended it and no one could have been able to tell. They were black knit pants.

    My supervisors made me show them my pants...they went so far as to make me pull the crotch of my pants out so they could see that area. There was also the allegation that I wasnt wearing a bra so I had to lift my shirt and show that I did have a bra on. After they were satisfied that there was no hole and I was wearing a bra, they informed me that I was too fat to wear knit pants like that. When I said that plenty of other people wore the same type of pants they told me they werent as fat as me. Trust me, I didnt make enough money to buy an expensive wardrobe and I didnt even deal with the public everyday and if I did, they only saw me from the waist up because I sat behind a desk.

    By the time this was over and I was sent back to my office I was in tears. In fact I was crying so badly that my office coworker thought someone in my family had died. She was astounded at what happened. It didnt take long for what happened to me to get spread all over the agency. That was embarrassing too. The people who worked in child support said that the county attorney was scared to death I was going to sue them. I did go to a lawyer but that lawyer wanted me to pay upfront and I didnt have the money. I tried other lawyers but they wouldnt touch the case because it was against the county.

    I decided to let it drop because I knew if I did manage to find a lawyer from outside our county they would find a reason to fire me. I needed my job. I was carrying the insurance on my kids. Also my job was a salaried job and we really needed that money coming in each month because Tony's work had layoff's quite often. So I let it go. Two and a half years later I ended up having to quit that job anyway and by that time it was too late to go after them. I would have had to filed within 2 years. The agency ended up screwing me over anyway in the end. I loved what I did but the people who held the power were idiots.

    I wish now I had found a way to file that lawsuit because I know the county attorney told other people in private that he couldnt have won it.
     
  6. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Go for it MM but stay detached and if the going gets rough, then drop it.

    I say this because donuts to dollars, their insurer will offer you a settlement right out of the gate or as soon as it becomes evident that you're not going away. Your lawyer will get a % and you can do something worthwhile with the funds. I am not a lawsuit advocate but your case is legitimate and I think they will offer to settle quickly.

    I'm about to be on the other side of this--we had a discipline issue with an employee we were about to fire & her frustrated supervisor and now I am giving it some space to avoid a harassment claim (not sexual) I know our insurer will likely offer 5k right off the bat to make it go away.
     
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    IC, this has nothing to do with unemployment insurance in the US. Mine is almost up anyway.

    Sig and everyone, I can't afford a lawyer. None of my ex-coworkers were ever my friends. They were friendly co-workers, but I never saw them outside of work and I know some will be afraid of getting fired if they say anything. Most people don't even know you can't fire somebody in retaliation and bus drivers are not the most educated of professionals. I know one lady who wanted to help me out, but was afraid that the boss would find out she wrote a letter in my behalf. She is a very nice lady. I wonder what she will do when she is called or if Disability mails something to her. I listed her as a witness because I was on her bus for a year. I listed two other drivers I rode with.

    Does this actually go to court? Not sure I want to do that. I thought Discrimination decided on this.

    On the other hand, if they may settle, can't hurt. If I don't get any money, I'm no worse off.
     
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    These kinds of cases are often taken on a "contingency basis" - if they win the case, they get a %, to a max $ figure.
     
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Boy I wish I had been a contingency case, and I think I should have been. I know for a fact that the county lawyer was afraid of a 3 figure settlement...as in at least 100,000. I think if I had known I was only going to work there another 2 and a half years, I might have fought harder.
     
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I checked for lawyers. None of them would take my case without my paying t hem to do it as we went along so a lawyer is out of the question.
     
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thats what happened to me. I think its because they would be fighting a govt agency. I truly believe I would have had to find a lawyer either in a bordering state who had the right to practice in NC or go to a county very far from where I live. Having to do that would have made things so impossible without having a job for the income and I am sure they would have fired me the minute I filed suit.
     
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You should be able to do at least the step in front of you right now. It would be worth at least sitting down and trying.

    I have known people who sued over similar situations, and people who did not. In all but one case, those who at least took the first couple of steps (even with-o an atty) had few or no regrets. Those who did not sue have many many regrets. Each of those who did not sue greatly regretted that they did not do all they could to stop the person who wronged them from wronging others.

    As for lawyers, you might look for employment attorney or even set up appts with any atty who will give you a free consultation. If they can't/won't help, ask them who can help. Also call any local university with a law school. Often they have clinics and you can get help from a student who is closely supervised by a licensed attorney.

    Whatever you choose to do, know that you have my full, total, 100% support.
     
  13. compassion

    compassion Member

    Also, legal aid.
     
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi again. If I do it, I'll just do the motions myself, knowing I"ll lose. However, maybe they'll be careful next time and realize some people will fight for their rights. My ex-co-workers are all at least going to get a phone call or a letter. I certainly can't afford to subpena them, but none of them will say anything bad about me. None of them except that batty bus driver ever did. And it was all about my disability. It was constantly thrown in my face that I was "high strung." I wasn't really, not at the job. And never once was I rude to a parent or unkind to a child.

    I am wondering what my ex-co-workers are going to do. My guess is just not answer anything because they fear the Head Start management with good reason. It is perfectly easy to get rid of somebody who blew the whistle without getting into trouble for firing the whistle blower (which is illiegal IF the person is fired for blowing the whistle on a company's illegal policy). Since in Wisconsin, as in most states, a corporation can fire anyone and doesn't even have to have a reason, all the company needs to do is make up some bogus OTHER reason why the person was fired and, unless it is due to discrimination, the fired employee can't do anything about it.

    What a screwed up country we live in. In no other free country can an employer fire you just because he had a fight with his wife that morning, is in a bad mood, sees you first and decides to make you have a bad day too. I have been told by lawyers of employment that, at least in Illinois and Wisconsin, you can be fired for no reason at all and that you it isn't illegal not to tell you why you were fired. And it is legal for them to do so. And there is NO recourse. The exception is if you are in a union which Walker and co. have done a good job of eliminating in many states. Soon the worker will lose even minimum wage, but that's off topic.
     
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