Irony: When a company teaches you how to keep employers out of legal trouble and then you use that information to sue that company.

I think this fits under pro. Guess we’ll see. Several years ago I took a job with an international company consulting its franchises around North America on matters of payroll, human resources, legal, etc. Despite my own background and education, the company spent six months training me for the job. At the end of training I felt like I should have gotten at least an associate’s degree out of it. The training was extensive and it was now my job to keep our franchises out of legal trouble, mostly by keeping them out of HR trouble. Three years into the job and I got ill and had to take about six weeks off. I filed for FMLA and did what I had to do. Upon returning it was clear that my supervisor wasn’t happy about the time I took off. She accused me of faking my illness (strike number one) and then began to make me jump through hoops to be fully reinstated to my position. One of those hoops was new training and testing. Others had taken time off due to illness/pregnancy, but none had had to undergo new training or testing (strike two). Up to this point I had been getting substantial raises and spotless reviews. In fact, before my illness, I was given what the company called “the largest raise by percentage in the company that year”. Now suddenly my supervisor was calling me a “possible liability”. I began to document everything. Working three years for this company had taught me that documentation was everything. I kept copies of emails, journaled and kept dates of conversations, and even took pictures of every test I was given. One day I took a day off work (schedule ahead of time) and, when I came back, was informed that I hadn’t scheduled the day off ahead of time and, because of that, I was fired. I immediately went to the EEOC and filed a report, bringing every shred of evidence I had. Mind you, before working for this company, I’d have had no idea that what they did was illegal nor would I have known what to document to prove it. They taught me everything I needed to know to report them to the federal government. Long story short, in three months’ time they settled out of court for a years’ worth of salary. Up until that time I’d never taken legal action against anybody and I’ve never done it again. The irony was wonderful. TL:DR Company taught me how to keep employers out of HR and legal trouble. Then they fired me illegally. I turned around and used what they taught me to sue them for a years’ worth of salary.


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Comments:

17 Apr 2018 07:09 - +977
Can you clarify what they did illegally
17 Apr 2018 07:22 - +255
I think it’s pro! “Pro” imo doesn’t need to be complex. Taking a years’ salary is absolutely huge.
17 Apr 2018 08:14 - +200
Again, I applaud the OP on the length of this post, perfect. (I have previously lauded OP's for keeping their posts succinct)
17 Apr 2018 08:57 - +83
"Oh yes, there's no way firing someone we just taught how to keep us out of legal trouble could possibly backfire..." A year's salary sounds pretty pro to me.
17 Apr 2018 07:59 - +28
I wanna know what happened to the asshat that fired you...
17 Apr 2018 07:20 - +25
Did you keep your job?
17 Apr 2018 09:45 - +14
They've got to be the stupidest people on the planet. How are you going to wrongly treat and fire the person who keeps your company from getting into legal trouble? Idiots, the lot of them!
17 Apr 2018 11:35 - +10
It was a test. You passed.
17 Apr 2018 09:15 - +9
Did you have a lawyer or just the folks from the EEOC?
17 Apr 2018 11:09 - +8
How come in every story on this subreddit the person telling the story is invariably the highest performer at the company bar none?
17 Apr 2018 11:08 - +7
Real talk: Can you request higher damages, or lower on condition that supervisor be fired? And even lower if you get to stand in the parking lot laughing during their walk of shame?
17 Apr 2018 09:51 - +5
Care to share some links or terms to Google to bone up on this information? Some of its pretty obvious what to search for but since you were a semi expert I thought you might have some insight.
17 Apr 2018 10:38 - +3
Tremendously satisfying outcome!
17 Apr 2018 11:05 - +3
The real burning questions are: did OP recover fully? and how is he/she now? And what had you knocked out of work for so long? Doesn't sound like fun.
17 Apr 2018 11:46 - +3
What happened to your supervisor/manager?
17 Apr 2018 12:06 - +2
I’ve never understood why so few people see any need to know and understand their rights as an employee. Do you really trust your life to your boss or an HR department?!?
17 Apr 2018 10:45 - +2
> they settled out of court for a years’ worth of salary Bummer, it sounds like they could have settled for 5-10 years instead. Still, a year's money is better than just a "you're fired". :D
17 Apr 2018 10:42 - +2
You got a year's worth of salary? Hell that is excellent work, although with all the possible legal work and paying the solicitors... still good work!
17 Apr 2018 08:57 - +2
Did you then get a job with their competitors? That's the only I can think of that can make your story better
17 Apr 2018 12:01 - +2
So what did you become “ill” with? I’d like to take some time off work too
17 Apr 2018 11:54 - +2
Sounds like they got the better end of the deal if all you got was a years salary!
17 Apr 2018 11:25 - +1
What category of consulting is this? I would like to work for an organization in the same field once I graduate and was wondering where a good place to look is
17 Apr 2018 12:08 - +1
While a year's salary is nice, I do wish the standard settlement for "we're firing you and we were found to be doing so illegally" would be something more like "we have to pay that person their salary for the rest of their life, and they don't have to show up." One year in a lump sum is nice. Fifty years over time would be a lot better.
17 Apr 2018 09:47 - +1
How was the amount/settlement calculated?
17 Apr 2018 12:37 - +1
So, why the EEOC? Isn't that about discrimination for some protected class? Also, if you were doing such a great job, why would they fire you or try to make your job miserable for you? In my experience they would welcome a star back with open arms. Also in my experience, people who spend a lot of time documenting are not spending a lot of time working. Just sayin'.
17 Apr 2018 09:04 - +0
!remindme 1 day
17 Apr 2018 09:06 - +-1
Can you say the "figure" amount of the settlement?
17 Apr 2018 12:13 - +-9
Sounds like petty revenge to me.... You sued your former company just cause you were a little bitch about being punished for missing work.
17 Apr 2018 07:17 - +-63
I don't think it was "illegal" of the company to fire you. I think companies can fire you for almost any reason other than gender, ethnicity, you know the protected classes stuff. The specifics just determine whether you were entitled to severance pay or not. Apparently, in this situation you were entitled to it, but because you don't have your job back, it means there was nothing illegal about the firing you. They just owed you for it. EDIT: Different laws in the US vs. Canada, and I forgot HOW different they can be sometimes, even though a lot of things in our countries are similar.

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