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Wrongful Termination? North Carolina

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  • Wrongful Termination? North Carolina

    I need to know, if this is something I should speak with an attorney about. I was with a mom and pop sign company, in Charlotte NC, called (deleted). One of the largest sign companies in Charlotte. I was with them for 2 and a half years. From the very beginning, I warned them, that I do have pre-existing health problems. And I was a single mom at the time. I was morbidly obese, with so many health issues, and I have documentation to back it up. I was open and honest from day one. I also have a mental disorder, Bipolar I. I have had this since age 15. The first year I was there, I miss work, and was not warned because, every time I was out, I would hold a meeting with my boss, and make him aware of the situation. ( when hired, they furnished me with a medical mat so that I can stand on it and not hurt my back.) The very first week I was out, my grandfather passed. Nothing was said to me. They were or seemed very concerned about me. The next year my health started getting worse. I had gained more weight than I expected and it was affecting my heart. I held another meeting with my boss. I had been hospitalized because of my heart issue. In June of 2008 I was referred to a surgeon and had weight loss surgery, "lap band."I was out almost 2 weeks for that, and since surgery, health did improve, but I was having complications from the band and was hospitalized again, for bleeding stomach. By the time 2009 came, I would say it was Jan or Feb I was given a verbal warning about all my absences. Every absence I had, I had documentation from a doctor stating that I was not to return to work. In 2009 my daughter started having problems. She had problems since she was a baby. She is 3 and a half. She was showing strange posturing movements. As if she was in pain. I spent the entire earlier part of the year having tests done, and just trying to figure out what was going on with her. To no avail, with all the tests that were done, she was sent to a neurologist. Which confirmed she was having seizures. Every time a procedure was performed, I had a meeting with my boss to get prior approval. And it was approved, with no problems. The company does not have a FMLA plan. I only had 8 days of vacation, and 5 sick days, all of which was used up for my health issues and my daughters. About October of 2009 I was given a written warning, and it was my final warning. I was told if I missed another day unti l the first of the year, I was going to be fired. Well, 11/3/2009 My entire family came down with a virus. My daughter had a persistent fever of 105 for 5 days. After work, I would take her to the emergency room, and or urgent care. She was highly contagious. And on top of that she was so stressed out, she was having seizures with the fever. I still went to work. On the 3rd, it hit me hard. The weekend prior I was completely immobilized. So I figured it was Saturday, if I go to the doctor then I would not have to miss work on Monday. So I went. I have a virus and bronchitis. Well, Monday came I went to work, I had a fever, it was mild, at 100.5 I felt faint, and had asked my boss to let me go home. He said no. The next day, I fell down my stairs, and was so dizzy I could not move. I called out of work. My fever was 104.5. I could not get it to break. And I had to get someone to take back to my doctor that day. I could not drive. I was not risking my life. So, my doctor gave me a note, as with any absence from work. I went in on the 4th and it was no more than 5 mins, I was fired. Despite my note. I was so mad, given my bipolar disorder, I blew up at my boss. I said harsh words. I could not believe this was happening to me. I felt like I was an outsider, and for a moment, I wasn't myself. I left. I got home, and was completely sick, depressed, and had stayed that way for a few weeks. I cried, my depression got the best of me. I didnt know what I Was going to do. The economy is horrible. Well I filed for unemployment, and it is taking forever, I just got notification that I was not disqualified, and that I was terminated under a wrongful cause. And that now it is going into appeal.

    Despite, all the doctors notes, everything, and every time I was out, I had a doctors note. It is not cheap to see a doctor as often I did with my problems and my daughters. They fired me for this. It was hard enough to deal with my daughters seizures. I was already stressed out with that. Now, I have no insurance, no money coming in. Well, since that I took a position in which I had to consider, I am making 6 dollars less than what I was making at (deleted). I make nearly half of what I was making. I can not survive on this income. When the ESC called (deleted) for questioning, they failed to mention the fact I had medical documentation. Or the fact that every time I was out I received clearance by my boss. If they had some sort of medical leave, I would not have spread out my days like that. I would taken a long time off, and gotten things situated. But, since they did not have this option, I had to spread out my days with doctor visits and procedures.

    Please I need advice. On another note, the girl I worked with, was out just as much as I was, she was late every day, and was given a warning about her tardies. Was told if she was late again, she would be fired. She persisted on being late even after the fact and was never fired. I miss a day and I was fired. She has also an several occasions "not showed up for work" No call no show. Still, she works there. I do not see, how this is one bit fair. She was there only 3 years longer than me, but she has missed so much work, and no doctors notes, no nothing. I need advice for all of this.. Thanks for listening.

    Leslie
    Last edited by Betty3; 12-18-2009, 05:27 PM. Reason: remove name of employer

  • #2
    I don't see where this was a wrongful/illegal termination. You said you had no job protected leave under FMLA. In at-will employment you can be terminated at any time for any reason except a reason prohibited by law or unless you had a binding employment contract to the contrary. You did miss a lot of work + you "blew up" at your boss. That can be a reason for termination also. A doctor's note has no legal standing except under FMLA.

    Also, all employees do not have to be treated the same as long as you aren't discriminated against due to a reason prohibited by law (ie age, religion, gender).
    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.

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    • #3
      You said the co. does not have a FMLA plan. I assume due to not having enough employees - need 50 or more employees within a 75 mi. radius of your work site.
      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.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, I am going to do what the employment security commission told me to do, seek an attorney. I blew up because of my bipolar disorder, a pre existing medical condition, which, they knew about, regardless if I did it or not. I guess, its kinda in my favor since the employment security commission is rewarding me with 700 bucks in back pay because, my job was in the wrong. They had 30 employes. Put it this way, the job I done for almost 3 years, no one in a 100 mile radius does what they do, I applied braille, and translated it. What use does that have with any other job? NONE. I wasted 3 years of my life, on a job I thought was a career. And to me the other employee being allowed to get away with far worse than me, well, that is just favoritism.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the advice anyway!! It helps me put some things into perspective.

          Comment


          • #6
            FMLA didn't apply @ there weren't enough employees.

            You're certainly welcome to run your situation by an attorney for their opinion.

            It's not illegal though for an employer to show favoritism as long as there is no illegal discrimination involved.

            add info: Also, just because you receive unemployment ins. benefits doesn't mean your termination was illegal. It just means the reason for your termination qualified you for benefits. Most people getting UI were terminated legally.
            Last edited by Betty3; 12-18-2009, 08:45 PM. Reason: add info
            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, not to be racist nor am I trying to, she's black and Im white. But, she is my friend, so the issue doesnt bother me. The owners and bosses are white. Only 4 employees are black out of 30. So honestly I dont know whats going on there.

              Comment


              • #8
                Plus, the statement the ESC sent to me stated that I was wrongfully terminated. Hopefully I can present it to an attorney. Maybe it can help.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LChappell041906 View Post
                  Plus, the statement the ESC sent to me stated that I was wrongfully terminated. Hopefully I can present it to an attorney. Maybe it can help.
                  What exactly did the letter say? The ESC only decides eligibility for benefits, not wrongful termination issues.
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                  • #10
                    The letter actually used the words wrongfully terminated?
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes it did. Which, when I talked to the lady about it, she said it would not be a bad idea to consult an attorney. Thats what prompted me to write on here to see what others think, or if someone has had similar problems, and what was the outcome. I mean even if this does go to court, what am I honestly sueing for and what could I expect to get out of it?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Then you are going to have to consult with a local attorney to see what type of case you may have. A very few attorneys MIGHT take your case on contingency IF they believe the case is pretty much a slam dunk AND the percentage of the award the lawyer would get would be worth his time. There is no way we can estimate that.
                        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                        • #13
                          By the way, a doctor's note has no legal authority over an employer.
                          Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                          I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                          Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The fact that your health is bad and you are bipolar does not excuse your absences or behavior. You get the same amount of leave as anyone else and the standards for behavior and conduct are the same. You don't get a pass because you have a medical condition.

                            If you have a bonafide disability under ADA (it isn't clear if you do or not) then medical leave can sometimes be a reasonable accommodation but not always and you would need to request this and provide documentation that it was needed. Even under ADA there are limits and this would not help you with the leave you needed for your daughter, only for yourself.

                            Tenure is one of the most common reasons to treat employees differently. Tardy is also different than not showing up at all. Why they tolerated the coworker I have no idea and I'm not sure how it is you are privvy to whatever threats they made. That info is usually confidential or on a need to know basis. The fact that your attendance was problematic from the start and she had been there several years longer are both very good reasons to treat the two cases differently.
                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              OK whoa back off!!!! I am just asking a question, I did not need to be reminded of my absences and my bipolar disorder, and I certainly DO NOT/DID NOT expect to be treated any differently. I stated my case, so just leave this be. I will deal with things on my own. People are just too **** judge mental. I suppose that is what I get for posting my issues online. Please do not respond to this. I could care less as to what people have to say furthermore.

                              Comment

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