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EEOC and Defamation of Character

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  • EEOC and Defamation of Character

    What exactly does this cover?

    I was terminated unjustly and accused of illegal activity that absolutely
    did not occur.

    It's a long story, but here's the jist of it...

    A little background first. I was working in a nursing home as a certified
    nursing assistant when I was fired for abuse.

    On January 27, 2004, I was called into my supervisor's office and
    terminated. She said that on Jan 25th and Jan 26th someone witnessed me
    "abusing residents". I was accused of opening a window while giving a
    resident a bath. The fact is, when I first entered the bathing room, the
    window was already opened. I closed the window and turned on the heat lamp
    and gave the resident a bath.

    When my supervisor told me why I was being fired, I told her that I'd
    *closed* the window, not opened it. I also told her that I wasn't even at
    work on one of the days the "abuse" allegedly occurred. She replied that
    all the facts would come out in the "investigation". She clearly didn't
    want to hear the facts from me. She'd already made up her mind to fire me
    and no facts were going to change her mind, not even the fact that I wasn't
    at work on one of the days.

    An employer has 5 days to report acts of abuse to the state agency that
    issued my certificate. The agency then goes out to the facility and does
    their own investigation. Well, I contacted the agency in writing
    immediately, so that they would have my side of the story.

    On March 2, 2004 they went out there, did the investigation. After their
    investigation at the facility, they wrote me back and informed me that no
    allegations of abuse were substantiated. Therefore my certification would
    remain in effect. I was elated.

    Recently I discovered that the agency was never notified by my employer that
    I'd been fired for abuse. The investigation at the facility was prompted by
    *my* letter to them explaining my side of the story.

    Well, my employer got into a bit of trouble with the state licensing agency
    for not reporting it.

    It has been my belief all along that her firing me for abuse was malicious
    and down-right wrong. I was a good employee with good evals. She had only
    recently been promoted to her position of this authority and I expect she
    could hardly wait to get me out of there, no matter what she had to do to
    make it happen.

    This is Nebraska, an at-will employment state. She could have fired me
    because she didn't like the way I combed my hair. But no, she had to make
    it big and ugly.

    When asked on job application why I left that nursing home, I try to explain
    what happened, but I'm sure my application gets round-filed. Basically,
    she's blacklisted me.

    I've thought about simply not putting that job on my application/resume, but
    it's the only place I've worked as a nursing assitant.

    In my opinion, there is only one reason she would fire me and accuse me of
    abuse and *not* report it to the state agency. And that reason would be, to
    prevent me from getting a job.

    Does this sound like defamation of character?

    I spoke to an attorney right after I was fired and she said I had no case,
    because anything my employer told the state licensing agency would be
    protected, and therefore telling the judge in unemployment appeals court was
    protected also.

    But if she never reported it to the state licensing agency, but DID tell the
    judge at the unemployment appeals hearing I was found guilty by the state
    licensing agency, of abuse, that wouldn't be protected would it?

    I still can't understand why the unemployment appeals tribunal didn't charge
    her with perjury for making those false claims.

    I plan on calling the EEOC and my attorney on Monday with these new facts,
    but was wondering if anyone here in this forum could give me any advice or
    knowledge on the subject of employment law.