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  • Violent end to my job

    During a general meeting at my office with 13 employees and members of management, my employer declared out loud that he was "...going to kick my a$$", walked directly to where I was sitting, and as I attempted to stand up, he rammed his chest into my forehead, toppling me over my chair and fell, knocking me out to the floor where I remained for less than a minute. I suffered whiplash according to my doctor.

    The dispute started when I complained that a service tech undersold me to one of my sales customers--eliminating my sale (he gets 5% and I would have received 20% commission). The employer said that the service tech submitted the contract and that I would have needed a contract to claim the sale. I then produced my contract, which was submitted months earlier and actually in the office sales folder. The employer still refused to grant me the sale. I commented that I was hoping he would support the sales team a little more on these on-going issues. It was then that he said: " You what I think, I think I am going to kick your a$$." He is 6'5" and I am 5'8".

    This was not the first incident of a service tech grabbing sales away from the sales team. The service tech broke at least 5 company rules in doing this.

    It was a violent act in front of all my colleagues and managers. My neck and back still ache now four weeks later. All employees were immediately required to write an incident report by his wife, the CFO/VP and submit to company records--I have no info on these reports.

    No assault charges were filed because the office manager and the sales manager filed false police reports as did the employer. All employees were then warned to have no communication with me. I believe all employees are very much afraid to be honest and supportive and with obvious reason.

    After I stood up, I went out to the parking lot where I collapsed and called 911 for an EMS. The police also came whereby I filled out a report. The police automatically filed charges of assault and battery.

    By the time I drove home, I received an email from the sales manager saying I was terminated but without any reason given. I went to the hospital for x-ray and CT scan. I also received muscle relaxants and pain killers.

    I have never received a negative evaluation, was lead salesman, and the highest certified member (WQA-II) of the company. Days later, I received a registered mail from the CFO/VP restating that I was terminated--again, with no reason given.

    No salaries, commissions, and bonus have yet been paid and no reply for requests and commission sheets submitted. All company insurance has been terminated.

    I have returned all property, including a company car which I earned through accomplishing sales goals. I did not return the car to the office (55 miles away) because I was no longer an insured driver, so I took it to the police station, had an office inspect and locked the car. I told my employer where to pick it up.

    The unemployment office has granted me unemployment benefits declaring I was dismissed without cause and that the argument was initiated by the 'supervisor'.

    My predicament is that all witnesses are under pressure not to reveal anything in my favor and it is clear that direct action would be taken if even found out that i am talking to anyone there. Can they be ordered to give witness? The police said that the police cannot require anyone to give testimony.

    Thank you for attention.

  • #2
    I'm not sure what you're looking for here.

    If to sue your former employer, then no, you don't have a wrongful termination case. A wrongful termination is where you're fired for a reason specifically prohibited by law, such as your race, gender, religion and so on. Nothing in your post indicates that you were let go for any of these or similar reasons.

    If to ensure your boss is declared guilty of assault, that's up to the DA's office. They may supoeana your former coworkers and command them to tell the truth in court, and if they lie, they will have committed perjury (and can be charged with that). Whether or not any of this will or won't happen is not within your control.

    If to get UI benefits, well you have them.

    If to get overdue pay etc., contact your state or federal DOL. We can help you decide which if you tell us what state you're in.

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    • #3
      Did you file a worker's comp claim?
      I am not an attorney, and don't play one on TV. Any information given is a description only and should be verified by your attorney.

      Comment


      • #4
        First, when faced with the prospect of possible perjury or obstruction of justice charges, most individuals will not “fall on their sword” for their job or their work colleagues. If actually questioned by the police as part of an investigation, it would not surprise me if some of these currently silent employees do not begin to talk.

        Second, you need to consult immediately with knowledgeable local counsel regarding your situation. Based on what you posted, you may have (1) a claim for workers compensation for the injuries you suffered at work; (2) a civil claim for assault against the boss and possibly the company for his attack against you; and (3) a wage collection claim for any owed commissions or other remuneration. You and your putative counsel should discuss all of your possible civil remedies as well as the efficacy of pushing a criminal complaint.
        Last edited by ESteele; 11-07-2011, 07:04 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you for you quick reply.

          Two points:

          --Violation of Public Policy in that after filing a police report on a violent act, I was terminated.
          --Breach of good faith and fair dealing: discharged in such a way that the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing was violated.

          I live in Ohio.

          thank you,

          Comment


          • #6
            You and your putative counsel should certainly explore a breach of public policy claim, a good faith and fair dealing claim or all other applicable employment at-will exception when you weigh your potential civil remedies.

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            • #7
              I haven't filed a workers comp claim, yet.

              This is going to be a slow process and I need to get the ducks in order for sure.
              getting current employees to testify the truth can be challenging. I did noticed that the ones who made written statements were quite different in details. I suppose it is hard to get people to make the same lie.

              Comment


              • #8
                Do not let the fact the staffers at your former employer are apparently “circling the wagon” paralyze you. As a general matter, you need to advance your interests as expeditiously as possible.

                With respect to workers’ compensation, you should probably commence the filing process. Again, you will probably want to enlist private counsel as soon as possible. You will need your own attorney especially if your coworkers claim you initiated the altercation (a contention which could potentially disqualify you for workers compensation benefits).

                You also need to determine with counsel whether filing the workers compensation claim will foreclose you from pursuing civil action against your boss and/or possibly the company with respect to the assault. (While it probably will preclude your assault claim against the company, you still appear to have other potential civil remedies to consider.)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Agreed with the other answers. Just to be clear, your situation is too complicated to be messing around on an Internet board. You need to talk to a local attorney ASAP. You should have done it within a few days of the incident. This is not a DIY situation. And the longer you wait to talk to an attorney, the weaker your chances get.

                  If this was WC only, or unpaid wages only, we could probably give you a pretty good answer. But the assault and possible tort action means that you need to talk to attorney who specializes in this stuff who needs to put serious time into it. There is no quick answer other then file the WC claim back when the injury happened. All other issues require a local attorney (not just advice on an Internet board) to resolve.

                  This is the legal equivalent of a broken arm. You do not need general advice on how to set the arm. You need someone to actually set the arm, and that cannot be done other then by a face to face meeting with someone trained to handle this.
                  "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                  Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with ESteele that you need to file the worker's comp case immediately.

                    The longer you wait the more difficult is gets to have an approved claim. Also if you have been treated, how are those doctors being paid? You should have told them it was workers' comp which would have triggered paperwork to get the employee's carrier information.

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