Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Karen Howard, K.C. Attorney, Client Stories II

Here are some others.

1. Kindergarten teacher, age 60, in Nodaway county, Missouri has worked in an elementary school. She has always had excellent evaluations. In December, 2009, she found out that she had breast cancer. In January, 2010, her principal checked her status with the state as to whether she was tenured. In March, 2010, the board voted to non-renew her employment. She has filed a charge of discrimination for age and disability discrimination.

2. Kearney elementary school principal, age 54, with 14 years administrative experience. Always had excellent evaluations, very well liked in the community and with parents (very popular principal). She is a breast cancer survivor. In summer, 2009 she had a heart procedure done. In February, 2010, despite an excellent evaluation, and being tenured, her superintendent tells her she will not be renewed for the next school year. No reason is given. She believes it is because of her health condition and age. Superintendent does not deny it, but is silent. The board votes and nonrenews her contract, despite violating numerous due process protections provided to my client via the teacher tenure laws. The district then hires a 31 year old person with 1 year of administrative experience for my client’s position. She has filed a MCHR charge of discrimination for age and disability discrimination and retaliation.

3. 19 year old young woman works at Taco Bueno restaurant. She is doing a good job and has been told she is being promoted to assistant manager. The next day a philipino male co-worker gets angry, throws a tray of guacomole at her, runs after holding a large knife saying he is going to kill her. She leaves and calls the police and her mother. The manager did not want her to call the police. This is not a first incident where the male co-worker had been violent at a different restaurant. Taco Bueno was aware this had happened before. My client wants to be safe at work so she tells the manager she is afraid at work and that she working in a hostile environment. She wants to come back work and not be retaliated against for reporting what she believes is a hostile working environment. The next day she returns to work, checks in and is told that she no longer works there.

4. 55 year old accountant works at his place of employment for 25 years. No problems at all and excellent evaluations. In June, 2010, he is called into his boss’ office and is told he is being fired for having “inappropriate content” on his computer. He is given an empty box and told to clear out his work area. He has no idea what the inappropriate content is. During the unemployment hearing the employer produces a screen shot page where there is a joke on his computer, and the date it was last accessed was 1998. Client has not idea what this is. Company’s HR person believes it is “inappropriate” but has never seen it. HR person says the company has a “national incident response team” in California who searches computers and they came up with this on his computer. Company is a very large company with thousands of employees. The client is aware of two other senior employees at his location in KC where this has occurred. MO division of unemployment held there was no misconduct. In any event, the company will not take him back. Company put in a person age 25 in the position. Client has filed a charge of discrimination for age discrimination. Client cannot find a job. He has been branded for “misconduct,” plus his age.

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