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The holiday weekend was nice because I had family come visit and check on me, which was lovely.  I've been a bit stir-crazy being cooped up in the house by myself, but I have an injury that I need to take deadly seriously and relax, right?  Or so I've been told.

I was doing okay with the stress of it all until today when I got a phone call from my employer basically saying I've been fired--from the job I was not hurt at.  For attendance.

Ugh, here we go.

My Monday-Friday 40 hour a week job was with a chemical company.  I was technically employed through a staffing agency so I was a contractor at this company.  We'll call them Alpha, the place I worked at, and my staffing agency who paid my wages, we'll call them Theta.  If any of you figure out what companies I am talking about, please do not use their names--I don't want to get in trouble here.

Well I was hired on at the start of February this year to work for Alpha (through Theta).  In April, part of Alpha's company was sold off and rebranded as another company, we'll call them Beta.  In May, since my work was 100% supporting Beta, I was moved under Beta's umbrella and considered part of their company (though still a contractor working through Theta).  Beta's new owners announced they wanted to move the company to Houston, Texas from its current home in central Ohio in August.  So as a contractor, I don't get a job offer in Texas extended to me.  Welp, that kinda sucks.  Based on how things were going though, we all kind of doubted they would leave in August, they weren't ready.  I didn't expect my job to survive beyond the end of this year, though.

Well today, Theta called to tell me that Beta decided to terminate my contract early for attendance issues.  I didn't miss work, but my schedule was not set in stone--some days I'd roll in at 8:30am, some days 9am, some days 9:30am.  My bosses at both companies Alpha and Beta did not care, that was the type of workplace it was.  So now that they want to terminate me they cite this as an issue of attendance... although it was never a problem.  To me, it sounds like an excuse when the answer is in reality that they can't wait for me to return to work from my injury sustained at my other job, so they just terminated the contract early.

It's a bunch of bullshit, which doesn't piss me off as much as it devastates me--I feel so screwed over.  It wasn't ever an issue, until now?  We talked about what kind of schedule I would work in my interview, and I let them know then I would have to leave early some days for doctor's appointments, and they even told me I'd be able to go back to school and they'd work around my schedule, which is what they currently do for the other person who does what I do.  And nobody from Alpha or Beta called to talk to me while I've been off work, I just get a call from Theta saying I'm axed.  This is how you lose your job from being hurt on your other job.  Fuck.

The good news, I guess, is that I am in good standing with Theta, the staffing agency, so they will attempt to find me something else.  The problem is, I am a handful of classes away from my BS in computer science so companies who want a junior/entry-level software developer go "omg ew no she doesn't have her degree" and I get stuck in weird jobs like at Alpha/Beta where I'm doing chemical industry regulatory work.  It's frustrating.  (About school, long story short: got sick, had to leave for a bit, came back, left after completing a semester to care for elderly sick grandmother, grandmother passed away this past November, went to work locally while trying to figure out where to finish school.)

In the meantime, I am still waiting for worker's comp to approve me to go see a neurologist.  So my current time-table to return to any kind of work (and driving), this coming Tuesday, might be shortened or extended, who knows.  All I know is that I really think I need a lawyer, but I don't have any idea where to start looking.  I'm afraid of the lawyers who advertise on television because they seem like ambulance chasers, but since I don't know anyone who has dealt with worker's comp I have no idea who reputable lawyers are in my area.  Is there a website that rates them that isn't inflated with family members and employees giving favorable ratings?  Does anyone in central Ohio know any decent worker's comp lawyers?

I like my weekend job where I got hurt.  I don't want to sue them for tons of money I don't need/deserve just to be some money grubbing asshole who sees a worker's comp injury as a winning lottery ticket.  At the same time, I want to get everything taken care of and I'm kinda pissed at the situation I am in, at no fault of my own.  I also don't want to sue and get banned from the stores for life and lose my weekend job.  I really do love it and the people I work with.

I'm writing this while watching the local news at noon... and if I have to hear about the lady that stole over $100,000 in bull sperm ONE MORE TIME I am going to snap.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ouch, that sucks. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silvia Nightshade, BlackSheep1, kurt

    Here's one possibility.  If you join Working America, where I used to work, they have benefits that include a free initial legal consultation, and I think the lawyers are screened at least somewhat by Union Plus, the organization that provides Working America's benefits.

    Obviously since I used to work at WA, take it for what it's worth. But membership is free and it looks like you can at least get some quick advice.

  •  Workers' Comp Standards (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1, kurt

    Hello Silvia ~
    Sorry to hear of your situation. I work for Workers' Compensation, but not in your area. Yet there is a great deal of similarity across the nation.

    First, you mentioned:

    they can't wait for me to return to work from my injury sustained at my other job, so they just terminated the contract early.

    If you are injured at Company A, but cannot continue work there due to the injury, Company A generally isn't required to hold your job. Likewise, if you take another job, with Company B, they are not required to consider your injury situation at Company A in their hiring or termination decisions.

    Yet you wrote they "terminated the contract early." This may be the angle for you. If attendance was not an issue and you regularly "flexed" your schedule, this creates the "terms of the contract."

    Terminating you could open them to a wrongful termination lawsuit.

    Second, in many states lawyers who work in Workers' Compensation are limited in the amount they can charge for WC litigation. This helps reduce "ambulance chasers" as one might find with personal injury claims.

    My suggestion to you is to search for a workers' compensation attorney in your area ... any attorney. They generally offer an initial, free consultation. I would shop around ... not only for an attorney but also to educate yourself on workers' compensation and labor law.

    Through this process I would consider seeking an attorney for the wrongful termination - and, it is possible the workers' compensation attorney may be able to direct you or refer you to someone reputable.

    Hope this helps ... and, sorry to hear of your struggles. Keep up the good work!

  •  search under" FMLA contract employee (0+ / 0-)

    Family and Medical Leave Act

    To be protected the employer(s) must have 50 workers in a 75-mile radius.

    This can get complicated and I have a slight headache.

    The link in the linked article is broken, but 29CFR825.106 could probably be found fairly easily.

    Ohio might have medical leave laws of its own.

    You can ask a lawyer about the laws.

    I believe  the workman's comp system will reimburse for lost wages. Well, hopefully, this is post-Reagan America. A competent WC lawyer should know.

    I was worried about you. It's still important to get checked out throughly.

    •  I think it was Teddy Roosevelt (0+ / 0-)

      who said walk softly but carry a big stick.

      Hopefully walking and talking softly will work out.

      I'm rather shocked that you weren't examined by the WC comp doctor already. He should have rushed you in.

      It seems like a very bad WC system to me.

      You write wonderfully well and an employer should be very glad to have you on staff.

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