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Any Help With a Wrongful Termination Hearing?

by Carol
(Tennessee )

I was forced to work 30 days straight doubles seven days a week, with no day off and this started two days after I got out of the hospital from having surgery on a bleeding ulcer.

When I did come back, my DM pulled my employee that helped me and would not let her come back.

So I called the company HR dept. on her, several times, about how she was mistreating me. They did nothing.

One day my boss came to my store and told me she had been told I had a hearing problem and asked me if it were true. I said yes. She then asked me if I wore hearing aids and I told her yes, so I can hear. She then started yelling at me so loud that even my employees and customers could hear her out on the sales floor. Another time she called me on my cell, and we lost signal 3 times and all three times she called back, screaming, she was getting so sick and tired that every time I call you, you can't hear me. My phone was on speaker and everyone heard her yelling this to me.

So, after that I decided to file suit with the EEOC.

After this she really started treating me bad.

I feel like she was doing every thing she could to make me quit, but I did't. Then we got a new DM.

I only met him once, but it was the next day he came to my store and fired me without any questions, or investigating what happened, or how and why the store looked like it did.

When I tried to explain to him that my DM had taken a key person out of my store, he said that was in the past, and I asked him if that gave the former DM the right to mistreat me as I had been.

He did not say anything, he just said the reason he was terminating me was because of how the store looked.

I applied for my unemployment and got it for 5 or 6 weeks,then he appealed and won at the first hearing.

After all of this, I lost my home, car, and have not been able to pay my bills.

I have documentation from people that saw and heard how she mistreated me. When I got a copy of everything the employer sent to unemployment, I got a copy of it.

On my term paper it said I was terminated for not protecting company assets, they said it was because of how the store looked. But anyway, I did not sign the term paper and neither one of them signed it either.

I am trying to figure out if I have a legit reason to
file suit against the company for everything they have put me through. There is still a lot of other things she has done to me but this is a start. Any help would be appreciated.

Chris's Answer to Wrongful Termination Hearing:

Hi Carol,

Although I'm not accepting new unemployment questions at this time, and I know the existing questions on this site do not lack of situations where an employee felt they were being illegally harassed, (just my thoughts because I'm not a lawyer), and then wrongfully terminated, my heart went out to you and how frustrated you must feel.

But neither harassment, nor a wrongful termination hearing would be under the jurisdiction of an unemployment hearing officer to decide.

They have jurisdiction to decide via a "preponderance" of the testimony and evidence if you were or weren't at fault for the loss of your job.

And when you represent yourself at an unemployment appeal hearing over a discharge, it becomes your exclusive responsibility to use the law to rebut the employer's burden it was due to misconduct.

So, I am not really perplexed as to how you managed to lose your benefits at a hearing where the employer may of submitted witness statements confirming what in my mind, sounds supportive that disability and possibly, age discrimination and subsequent retaliatory actions of a superior to get you out of there .. was the end result.

Representing yourself effectively is a legal endeavor most employees are not suited for due to lack of training.

You stated you filed an EEOC complaint. The EEOC would investigate any and all complaints. If they do not believe your complaint warrants investigation, they nonetheless provide a right to sue letter which frees an individual up to file suits in civil courts, against the employer for something .. usually something other than juswt wrongful termination.

In my mind (which by the way has received no legal training) wrongful termination sounds like a secondary issue following disability and/or age discrimination if not more protected classes) like maybe the employer's retaliatory treatment escalating because you filed a complaint.

So Carol, what I'm trying to tell you is that although your story rips my heart out, any help I might of personally offered, would of been before you were fired, or before you went to that first unemployment appeal hearing all alone.

Now, I can only say I think you need to start contacting employment attorneys that handle civil rights violations and other types of employee claims .. on behalf of employees vs. employers.

One that advocates on behalf of employees might see a way to get you a settlement from the employer who likely would want to avoid court costs. And if you're lucky, you might find one willing to work on contingency.



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