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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