I need some help please

I was wondering if you could tell me if I should pursue a case against my ex-employers.

I walked into an office with no staff manager etc....I was hired as the administrative assistant...hired in all staff and was only self trained.

After a couple of months of choas I was able to pretty much get everything running smoothly again but still was unsure of what I was getting into. I worked for a two surgeons who are married and was put in the middle of decisions within the company. I found another job and put in my notice but could not quit because the female surgeon was crying that she couldn't do the job so I stayed.

I was a salaried employee making $38,000 plus bonuses...I was promised 1/2% of what each doctor made per year which was "2 million" the year before. That soon changed when it came time to bonus out the money. Being a salaried employee I had to clock in and out. If I worked 50 plus hours one week and 38 the next I had to claim vacation time. Not sure if I was exempt or non-exempt because I was closely monitored as too how many hours I put in.

Last year in 2003 I missed 3 days max for me or my kids being sick. I was called at home to work after leaving because my child had poison Ivy all over her face. I was sat down and talked to that I didn't need to miss work when my kids were sick that I could hire someone for .50 per hour to watch my sick kids. Now if this was a problem and I missed tons of work due to my kids being sick I could understand the discrimination. I was again sat down and was told if she would have known that I was going to stay home with my kids when they were sick she never would have hired me. She wanted someone with no kids. I gave her a schedule in detailed writing how many days I missed because my kids were sick. About 2 weeks ago I again was sat down and told that she had found someone that wanted my job (Im guessing with no kids or grown kids). She ask if I wanted to step down so I could "Have more time with my kids". I said I could not afford to step down and that I was able to work more hours. This was dropped but could feel the pressure around the office getting worse. I took a vacation day on friday and she came into the office and took my staff in for a meeting and called me on the phone on sunday saying that all staff members were going to quit if she didn't let me go. "which I know is not true or they were faced with problems if they didn't agree". She terminated me and I have 2 children to raise with no income at this present time. She said I could file unemployment and she would not fight me and that she would pay me 2 weeks pay. I feel that I was discriminated against because of my children and wanting to be a good mother and good employee. With no training I managed to beat the profits and overhead from the previous year and create new procedures and policies.

I asked her to please put in writing why I was terminated..She refused to do that ... I ask that we had another meeting with me in there and she refused to do that. They are very very well known surgeons in our area. I will not be able to find another job in my area putting them down for a past employer.

Please give me some advise I am so lost as to what to do and how I am going to support my family.



1 answer  |  asked Mar 1, 2004 11:49 AM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Ann Lugbill
I need some help please

You need to actively search for another job and file for unemployment and do not give up trying to get unemployment benefits. Try to get the doctor's agreement to provide you with a good reference and to give you that reference in the form of a written reference letter that you can copy.

you need to contact an attorney in your area to see if the verbal/oral contract that you recite can be enforced. There are legal theories, including quasi-contract, promissory estoppel, oral contract, unjust enrichment, that could apply. You may also be protected by sex discrimination laws. If the employer is large, then the FMLA specifically allows you to take leave for your children.

You may also have some rights to payment for the overtime hours you worked, but that requires an involved examination of your pay rate, what your job duties were, etc.

You sound like a very motivated and skilled person who has been unfairly taken advantage of. Do not let that stop you from taking action, legal and practical--including getting a better job where you are treated fairly and paid adequately.

Ann Lugbill

posted by Ann Lugbill  |  Mar 1, 2004 12:02 PM [EST]

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