Failed settlement clauses, discrimination, retailiation

This question will be somewhat lengthy because I read over many of your sample complaints and noticed a constant appeal to more information =).

I'm a hearing impaired individual and wear two hearing aids, so am under the protective class, and have been employed for a total of 5 years. In May of 2000, I was wrongfully terminated from my job. I took the case to the local civil rights commission and went through mediation with the company. The employer made disparaging remarks in front of other employees in this case so I did have plenty of pretext and smoking guns, they also had no proof whatsoever of claims made by a co-worker.

A settlement was reached (DCRC Complaint # 0320-00), back pay, job reinstatement and other clauses which the company had to abide by. These clauses included refraining from discrimination, harassment and retaliation for filing a charge under Chapter 2.58 of the Davenport Municipal Code and a Peer to Peer mediation between myself and the co-worker who made false claims.

In this mediation settlement, no statute of limitations if given. I believe it's 5 years for a written agreement? The settlement states that if the clauses are not kept, the agreement becomes null and void.

For about 6 months all went well. No peer to peer mediation took place because the co-worker refused to. I began being harassed by a "foreman" and co-workers and even the owners themselves. I was being treated in ways, nobody else was. Many times I took the cases to my employer. The only cases I did not, were the ones the owners themselves did.

In May of 2002, I began to notice the boss doing my job many times, even on Saturdays. When I was busy, he would help me hurry up and get done. He never helped anyone else. Constructive termination? Whenever I had nothing to do in my dept. they would move me to other dept's to do work there. If a job needed done somewhere else, even though I was working a job in my dept. they would move me. Hardly anyone else was moved out of their dept's. as frequently as I was due to my boss rushing me through my job or just my willingness to be flexible.

In Oct of 2002, I was harassed for taking a break, when everyone takes breaks whenever they chose like I did.
I asked the owner in question if there had been a policy change? He told me "shut up and get back to work". No one has every been confronted for taking their break.

I was also harassed by the owner on productivity work, when the company has no time studies or quotas. The owners never confronted other employees on their productivity even though they stood around on the job. I always got the work done on time. He demanded I go faster, then a week later he asked if I would mind being laid off for a week? I conceded as was laid off for a week then returned to work.

Now I've been employed there for 5 years and had seniority over 4 other employees who are not under the protective class. In Nov of 2002 I received alot of work that if left alone would take to the middle of the month to finish. An owner helped me and we got it all done in 7 days. Again, I had nothing to do.

Finally on Nov.13th I was informed that my position was being dissolved, due to "lack of work??" and the owner would be doing my job. I'm the only guy in my dept. He did lay off two other employees, but there were two guys in each of their depts. and the owner never rushed them through their work. I told the owner that in just two weeks we were getting some 1700 pcs of work to do. He said "then what will you after that?" I said I had seniority over 3-4 other guys in that shop and he said they lay off based on dept. not seniority? I said I don't have a dept. I work everywhere, he said there's just not enough work to go around??

I was harldy ever tardy and missed very few days, I even got a letter of recommendation proving this.

Then 2 weeks later this employer calls me and asks if I want to work for maybe 3 weeks with no guarantees? I just lost full time status and all my health benenfits and he wants me to work as a tempie? I've been there 5 years and deserve better.

I currenlty have the case pending with the Davenport Civil Rights Commission and it's cross filed with the EEOC (EEOC # 26AA300454) and Iowa Civil Rights Commission, they prefer mediation but this time I think I need a lawyer.

It is so complicated and stressful and I'm still out of work.

What do you think of this? I claim descrimination and retaliation based on my claim in 2000 and based on my handicap, but the civil rights folk say the former complaint is hard to prove?? I don't think so due to all the harassment which I believe was coercion to get me to quit.

I hope I have provided enough information. A bit more, the shop employs 15-17 employees, of which I have seniority over 4 and who's jobs I can clearly learn to do. If not me, then my boss can "dissolve" their jobs and keep me employed. 3 of them make more money per hour than I do. The shop is also located in Iowa, but I live in Illinois.

After the first meditation settlement my boss told me a lot of guys in that shop don't like me (I don't know why). I believe this was another reason he failed to provide me with an opportunity to bump and be promoted.

Sorry for the lengthy letter, but you need details =)

Mr.Brett McFall of Illinois

1 answer  |  asked Jan 5, 2003 7:07 PM [EST]  |  applies to Illinois

Answers (1)

John Otto
Failed settlement; retaliation

Thanks for the details. However, even though you live in Illinois, since your employer is in Iowa, you filed complaints with the Davenport and Iowa Civil Rights Commission and filed settlement agreements with them, you need an Iowa attorney. It so happens that one of the best employment lawyers in the country, Roxanne Conlon, is from your neck of the woods and I would recommend that you contact her.

posted by John Otto  |  Jan 6, 2003 3:57 PM [EST]

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