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Fired Unfairly - Grounds for lawsuit? Washington

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  • Fired Unfairly - Grounds for lawsuit? Washington

    I was fired two days ago. I am puzzled with their reason for firing me. I was a supervisor in a clinic but had issues with employees because they didn't respect me. They didn't follow my orders and always challenged them. I spoke to the practice manager and CEO about the issues with these employees and they felt that the reason why they were like that was because they had been in the clinic a lot longer than me. I am 27 years old and my staff were in their 50's. I believe age played a part in their behavior. Anyway, after a year of struggling, I was demoted in my position to do accounting instead. The managers didn't want to take disciplinary action against those employees and demoted me instead because they felt that it wasn't a fit. Anyway, I had a co-worker that I vented out to regarding my frustrations with maltreatment. Apparently, she spoke of the information to other employees and eventually reached management. I was fired because instead of speaking about matters directly to management, I told others which created gossip and discomfort within the workplace. After I was terminated, the practice manager said "I just want you to know that, I love you." What is that? And then I asked the manager why they did that? I told her that I have been honest about everything and I always talked to them about issues so why is it that I am being let go instead of the other employees that created all the problems? She told me it was for the best and that God had better plans for me. She said that I'd realize down the road that their decision was for my best interest. I asked her "How about the work I did for you and the CEO? Doesnt that count?" She then told me not to every think that their decision had anything to do with my work performance because I was excellent at what I did. See? It doesn't make sense. Is this lawful? Can I go to court to sue them? Advice please!

  • #2
    Unless you were working under an employment contract that said otherwise, you were an at-will employee who could be fired at any time for any reason not specifically prohibited by law. There's no law that would prevent your termination under the circumstances you've described.
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!


    • #3
      This "may" have been unfair as per your title. However, unfair doesn't mean illegal.

      File for unemployment ins. & look for other employment.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.


      • #4

        Article on Employment At Will.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


        • #5
          Naaaa...nothing illegal here. Just a game that was played and unfortunately you are on the losing side.
          To make a long lecture short...remember those days of childhood where the "strongest" got to play on the swings, jungle jim, or whatever that was envied by the neighborhood kids? Well this is nothing different. Those were the days, and many after, where these skills were developed. And believe it or not it carries on into the workforce. While this has nothing to do with the legalities of the situation, and there are none by the way in your situation, the "strongest" just won. It's unfortunate, and will possible get banned here, but working is nothing more then a setting of the 'ol playground. Just basicially cant say one is too old, one is of color, national origin, or religion.
          Your options in the workplace are the three "L's"- Live with it, Lobby for change, or Leave. Screaming for an attorney will do no good most of the time.


          • #6
            I didn't see the playground setting at all in the Op's post. It appears he couldn't control his staff and went running to his mgr for help. He didn't like the mgrs response (no disciplinary action).

            After being demoted he complained to a coworker who told other employees which stirred everyone up so mgrs thought he was too much trouble and fired him.

            OP, you might want to remember that honesty in the workplace is not always the best policy. Sometimes you just need to shut up, say everything is ok and do your job.


            • #7
              I sympathize. I really do. I have yet to actually supervise anyone younger than me save a few short term interns. Right now, I'm one of the managers in a department of 26 and I'm the youngest by about 15 years. Everyone in my branch of the department is older than my parents. I look younger than I am to boot. I was actually happy when I turned 30 so I could tell employees who asked my age that I was in my 30's and just looked young. Still, when surrounded by people who have been working here longer than I have been alive, it is tough. No one wants to take directions from someone the same age as their grandkid.

              That said, managing an older workforce is a skill and one that can be developed. Yes it takes time to build their trust and make them realize you actually do know what you are talking about but complaining that they don't respect you isn't going to earn their respect. Part of supervising is holding folks accountable and not letting them argue back or disregard your directions. If you constantly need someone else to step in, you aren't supervising and yes, demoting you was probably for the best.

              In general, never complain about work at work. Gripe all you want to a significant other, friends, or your cat, but the minute you start taking it to coworkers, you have just undermined your whole position. Not to mention potentially setting the company up for liability if you start disparaging those over 40.
              I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


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