former employer getting scary

I hope you dont mind.
I have a question/problem...
I was permanently laid-off by my employer om 3/1 She told me her husband wanted her to do the bkpg and didnt want to hire me in the first place. She had told me that when I was hired in Sept. Before me they had a bkpr and have many charges against her for embezzelment and unauthorized use. When I came to the company I 'befriended' the owner. She told me that some of the charges against the other woman were false. I reported my findings in the company's books to the police officer handling the case. When I was let go or permanently laid-off as the owner put it...she had me sign a paer saying that I would get my last check and reimbursement for the receipts I turned in as well as continued healthcare until I got another job. In exchange I said I wouldnt sue her. But I did qualify for unemployment.
Since then I have received neither my last paycheck, my expense reimbursement, my severance pay, and my health insurance has been cancelled. I got a letter from unemployment saying the owner tried to fight the unemployment by saying I was discharged instead of laid off. She said I was fired because I was unable to learn the job and incapable of performing the job as required. She has also been calling me telling me to watch my back. She also has given me two very poor references and had told people that my husband is a 'pothead'. She told me that she was not paying me a penny and was going to find some way to sue me to get any money they have ever paid me back. I am tempted to go to small claims court to file for my money but now I am also being harrassed and blacklisted - what should I do???

1 answer  |  asked Apr 23, 2002 10:56 AM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
You have a lot of choices

Hi E:

Your first option is to sue to enforce the settlement agreement. If the amount is less than $3,000, you can file in small claims court. Alternatively, since the employer failed to live up to its end of the bargain, you can probably avoid the release of claims and pursue any claims that you may have had before you signed the settlement agreement. In that case, however, you give up any severance benefits.

Whether you choose to pursue the settlement agreement or your underlying claims, you should also pursue your unemployment compensation benefits. If Job Services denies your claim, appeal the denial. An appeal will result in a hearing. You can explain at the hearing that the wife ran you out and that you were not discharged for performance reasons.

Finally, you (and your husband) may have claims for defamation. If the poor references occured after you signed the settlement agreement, you did not release the company from your right to sue them for the defamation.

As for the scary part, if this individual is threatening you, you can ask the Stark County Court of Common Please for a civil protection order to make her stay away.

If you would like assistance with any of these options, we offer a consultation for $200.00. Call Cheryl at 330.665.5445 if you would like to get on my calendar. Our office is in Akron.

Best regards,


posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Apr 23, 2002 11:18 AM [EST]

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