According to the employer, I was discharge for violating a company rule after my complaint of harassment.
I was employed with this company for over six years. I started out as a child-care worker. After seven months I was promoted to another position with more responsibilities as well as a higher pay. Also I worked split positions which includes having to perform supervisory and other administrative duties. I was later promoted to another position as a supervisor while still maintaining a client's caseloads. According to some agencies in the field in which I worked supervisors in this role are not to carry a caseload because of the intensity of the duties required. But yet instead, I maintained a caseload and was able to carry out my supervisory duties with high rates performance for well over three years. Due to funding, the program in which I managed was shut down by our agency. Prior to the program being shut down, I was offered another position in which I accepted out of loyalty to the agency as well as my dedication to serve and help people. I have received several awards of recognitions. I have never been written up nor suspended for anything. In regards to my behaviors and professionalism, I received a great yearly performance evaluation recently and prior to that all other performance evaluation were great. There was never a problem or conflict with me, to my knowledge as it relates to the agency until I filed a complaint of harassment. I reported my concerns to my supervisor on 2/20/09. There was a meeting schedule to meet with the Executive Director and Human Resource on 3/3/09. I met with the Executive Director and Human Resource on 3/3/09, I was advise to document my complaint in writing by both. I was told by both an investigation will be done and they will get back with me. I submitted my claim in writing to Human Resource on 3/3/09. 0n 3/27/09, I was terminated by the Executive Director. The termination letter states,"During the interviewing process, it was identified that your behaviors was seriously lacking professionalism and did not meet the expectations and standards of conduct adhered to by
Agency employees. You constantly made remarks that were not only damaging to the reputation of a co-worker, but were derogatory and inappropriate. These remarks were determined to be made not only to staff and volunteers here at the Agency, but also included clients." I do not agree with that statement because what they are saying is not true. I went to the agency personnel with a complaint and for guidance. I don't feel that I conducted myself in an unprofessional manner. I have never been disrespectful toward staff, clients nor volunteers. This is why the case presented by the agency is so baffling to me as it relates to their findings claimed in the termination letter. I dedicated over six years of loyalty to this agency and I feel that i was terminated without good cause and unlawful.
I think any employer who fires someone after that person has lodged a complaint of harassment is playing a dangerous game. It don't think it would be to difficult for you to establish at an unemployment hearing that the discharge was a "retaliatory action" by the employer directly related to you complaint.
But I am not an expert in workplace harassment. For that I think it's best that a person get legal advice even prior to an unemployment hearing because depending on the state, a loss at the unemployment level can impede further legal litigation. In addition, employment lawyers can use UI hearings as a way to get "free discovery".
I think you really hit the nail on the head when you said "unlawful".
These links go to other places I think you should visit.The EEOCUndercover Lawyer
A whole lot of information here directly related to your circumstances.
Or you can ask an employment lawyer a question on the bottom of this page.
I truly think you need an attorney. HR Director's are really "compliance experts". They employ a lot of techniques and strategies and unless the person they are using those strategies on is aware of their rights .. those strategies most often work.