Employees who are fired are often frustrated that employers’ stated reasons for firing the employees are not the real reasons.
“We all know you fired me because I had surgery last month, not because you really believe my form work error was an ‘intentional falsification.’ If that were the case, you would have fired the other two people who made the same error.”
When you sense you were treated unfairly, there is an immense frustration that goes along with that.
Perhaps more frustrating is the fact that it’s often hard to prove you were mistreated, and to disprove the employer’s false statements.
“Judge, the employer fired me right after my surgery. They don’t really believe I ‘intentionally falsified’ documents. Two other employees, Joe Smith and Sally Jones, made the same error and they weren’t fired…. No, I don’t have any documentation showing Joe and Sally’s errors- the employer keeps that, and they say they don’t have it…. No, Joe and Sally won’t testify on my behalf- they still work for the employer, and are scared they will lose their jobs…”
Such are the real world obstacles of pursuing employment litigation against an employer. It’s often hard to prove things. But it’s not impossible… if you stay at it. In fact, if you are in the right, it is inevitable you will find proof if you stay at it.
If you are willing to talk to all the possible witnesses out there, read all the documentation out there (sometimes thousands of pages), and work hard at working around the employer’s misstatements and barriers, you should find strong proof of the type you are looking for.
If the employer is truly acting in bad faith, they will have slipped up. Somehow, somewhere. Typically, in many places and instances.
An employer can cover-up that which is easy to be covered (e.g. discard documentation showing others’ form work errors), but an employer cannot cover up its character, or the long-term record and impressions that its values imprint on its environment over time.
If it is part of an employer’s values to treat people with medical problems unfairly, then those values will inevitably manifest themselves in many places and in many ways. More ways than can be covered or bottled up.
Initially after you are fired, you may not have much proof to go on- not much more than the strong impression that the employer is acting in bad faith.
This brings to mind a quote from William George Jordan:
Into the hands of every individual is given a marvelous power for good or evil-the silent, unconscious, unseen influence of his life. This is simply the constant radiation of what man really is, not what he pretends to be.
At the beginning of your employment dispute, you may not be aware of much, other than the strong sense that the employer “radiates” bad faith.
But if that radiation is disconcerting, you may choose to investigate further. And if you work at it hard enough, what you find may help you in litigation. Help you repair old harms, or prevent new ones.
2 responses to “Does Your Employer’s Termination Decision “Radiate” Bad Faith?”
I was terminated from my job last Friday for what the Union is alleging was Out-of Title work expectaions. The firing came as a suprise to me because I was a probationary employee just one week short of completing my probationary term for pemanent employment status.
My boss the day of the firing had signed time off slips for the next few weeks,also. I also had very positive probationary reports for the 11 months prior to this with no disciplinary problems, good work relationship and positive work reviews.
I work for NYs and I was a Civil service appointment. I am attempting to
fight this through all channels. But the issue here is this termination was
a suprise and unexpected. Is this a matter of “Bad Faith under the law?
Thanks Mary Regan
From your comment, my understanding is you work in the State of New York. I am in Wisconsin, and represent people out of WI with some types of claims (e.g. federal wage and fraud claims). However, I think the types of potential legal issues you describe would be best reviewed by an employment attorney licensed in New York.
Here is a link to a list of employee rights attorneys in New York: http://www.nela.org/NELA/index.cfm?event=showAppPage&pg=members&membersAction=membersSearchResults&configid=105&showfullpage=1
I recommend you contact an NY employee rights attorney to evaluate your matter.
Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.