Nightmare of employment
On 09/10/09, I was discharged from my job of six years for misconduct. The employer claims that during the entire time of my employment, I had been unprofessional, insubordinate and completely disruptive to the team. The final incident was that I had slammed paperwork down on a table and yelled in a caustic angry tone “I’m out of here”, walking off my job which forced the supervisor and one other employee to complete my assigned job duties for the night. The employer also claims that once I had realized what I had done and how much trouble I was in, I came in the following morning to write out a complaint about my supervisor in the attempt to divert attention of my disruptive behavior. The employer also claimed the supervisor had written a report regarding my behavior at 6:40am.
In what I perceived to have been a hostile working environment, I emailed the manager regarding the conduct and actions of the night supervisor, which a mediation meeting had been scheduled. The manager and supervisor had the meeting, and after their meeting I was approached and informed that the manager would uphold and support the supervisor. At a later time, I was informed by another supervisor that the manager was bragging that she will have me gone within one year. Although they had nothing to fire me for, they were going to force me to quit. Months later, another meeting with the manager, where I addressed the same issues and was told by the manager “You damn well better be careful of what issues you chose to address.” For the following year, I endured my schedule being messed with and being informed by the manager my co-worker made more money than I did, since I did not react they took it one step further. Knowing that I was in school full time and caring for my grandson while my daughter was fulfilling her military duties, they added additional hours to my shift, where on one day I worked four hours, had to leave and then come back for additional 8 hours. My supervisor would order me to “fetch” paperwork for my coworker. I would be forced to stay up to two hours past my assigned time off, waiting only to put paperwork in a basket for the supervisor, doing this as the supervisor laughing. During one month, the supervisor had schedule me for only 14-21 hours a week, which was jeopardizing my health insurance, in order to get my full forty hours, I had to used my PTO which eliminated any chance of taking a vacation. Still, no reaction so taking it one step further, my supervisor ordered me to work in an area where I was completely alone, and not having the necessary equipment to perform my job. I had to rely on the supervisor to complete one function in order to do my job.
The evening of 09/09/2009, my supervisor delayed the work flow for 3 hours. However this night, instead of sitting and waiting, I took the paperwork to another department for the employees to complete their part of the work, and informed them that I would be in another part of the building to do another job assignment. Once I had returned, I completed the necessary work and still sat waiting on the supervisor. However because of not sitting there, I along with two other
employees was able to leave within 15 minutes of our scheduled time. Due to breaking out in hives, I sent the manager an email explaining the conduct and actions of the supervisor, and informed the manager at that times it was my desire to file a formal complaint. I was contacted by the director of HR two hours later, informed that they had received the email and assured me they take this seriously and please contact her to set up a meeting. I attempted to access my email so I could copy the email I had sent, and the access had been denied. The meeting consisted of being told that everything I had complained about the supervisor, I in fact was the one guilty of, so I was being discharged. One ironic thing, this was one year to the date of the mediation meeting.
I filed my appeal, the appeal referee had told me several times I had nothing to worry about, I did not need to request documents to prove I did my work; the employer had the burden of proof to show the misconduct. The referee also informed me that the employer had not submitted any documents into evidence. I was also advised by the referee to request a subpoena for the email sent, for the testimony of two employees who had firsthand knowledge of the events and what I had said. The employer informed me that I was not allowed on the property to serve the subpoena, and they would not comply with the subpoena for the email. The referee told me not to worry about it, enter that email where the employer was refusing to comply as evidence.
The employer had three witnesses, the referee asked what their testimony would be and decided only one would be allowed. After the testimony of the supervisor, then my testimony, the referee stated that the other two employees would need to testify. All three gave conflicting testimony, the supervisor and the manager testified they did not recall the contents of the email nor the report the supervisor wrote. The supervisor testified the coworker was a witness to my action of throwing paperwork in another office, and what I had said. The coworker testified that I tossed paperwork in a tray and stormed out of the office. When asked where the tray was located, she stated on a cart. When asked where the cart was located, she stated in her office. It was clarified her office was not the same office as what the supervisor had testified too. It was asked if anything was said, and she stated no, that I had just stormed out of the office. The referee asked ‘Are you sure she did not say anything”, and she then stated “yeah, she said I’m out of here” The rest of her testimony consisted of “I don’t recall or I don’t remember”
After all three of the employers witness had given testimony, the referee closed the hearing. I asked if my witness would be given an opportunity to testify, and was told no since the witness did not call in. According to my witness, she did call and report her number to be reached at. I don’t know what to make of this.
I think the only tip I can give, just make sure you keep documentation of everything. And hopefully, the truth will come out.