The employer’s decision was final – conferred by all the decision-makers involved in coming to such a determination; supported by any executive officer who was placed on notice. It seemingly held up under the scrutiny of outside arbitrators and investigators. Certainly, it would withstand come what other inquirers. Or, would it…?
Indianapolis, IN: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 – As it stands, the consensus was as follows:
CF was discharged for just-cause; evidenced not only by the sheer number of disciplinary actions in his employee file, but by the independent conclusions came to by others. His employee arbitration denied him a last-chance, back-to-work agreement; twice he failed at repealing his denied unemployment benefits; and, three EEOC investigations found no fault in the employer’s actions.
Despite all of this, CF has continued to hold the notion that the entirety of his case had yet to be heard. Most notably: his side.
According to him, it first starts when attempting to report suspicions of disparate and discriminatory treatment affected upon him (and presumably others) by his immediate supervisor, TK. Those suspicions are never investigated, and would ultimately only serve as expository foreshadowing. Thus, his focus shifts to the apparent actions that occurred immediately thereafter complaining to second-level management, LB: among other things, his indefinite suspension.
Again, instead of investigating – which was supposed to happen pursuant to the employer’s own EEO policy – LB decided that she’d had enough of CF and actuated the disciplinary action that would send he who was already on-the-cusp over the edge. Hence, after six weeks of uncertainty and a fifteen-minute “given only as a means of satisfying the requirement of holding [a]” review board hearing, CF’s suspension would be commuted to a termination. In large part, thanks to LB.
Despite the many unfavorable rulings from the abovementioned forums, CF strongly believed that they (most notably the EEOC investigators) had been inadvertently prejudiced based on several circumstances. Among other things: (a) LB’s apparent and active involvement therein, (b) along with their presentation of (allegedly) biased evidence, (c) in addition to CF’s (at the time) ignorance of his rights, the governing law, and, furthermore, his inability to retain counsel in order to express either of the two. Thus, the embers of his resolve wouldn’t be snuffed until exhausting all available administrative remedies.
Enter the US District Court.
Proceeding in the matter pro se, CF was faced with daunting hurdles he first needed to recognize before subsequently prevailing in order to ensure he conveyed the best and most compelling argument to the court. Days. Nights. Every possible minute of his free time was committed to attending law clinics at the local law library, and even “reading attorney’s blogs and watching their YouTube videos.”
He studied both the court’s local rules of civil procedure and the federal rules, examined all relevant statutes surrounding his claim, researched cases that were like his; not to mention rehearsing anywhere he had time to get into his own head (workouts, car rides to the store, the moments before going to sleep, etc.) proper courtroom decorum and holding mock trials; in addition to the countless drafts of pleadings he also authored before filing their final versions in the docket. His resolve doubly so, considering he was up against the savvy of two employment attorneys whose cumulative years of experience rivaled his entire existence on Earth.
So far, CF’s efforts seem to have paid off. As many a battle won in a war that is close to completion, currently, the case is in deliberation on a summary judgment motion filed (technically, for a second time) by the employer-defendant. Despite opposing counsel’s belief that “CF has pled himself out of Court,” that certainly appears not to be the case. (The foregoing was stated in their response and Federal Rule 56(f) ‘request’ to the first summary judgement attempt CF actually initiated (to which the judge obviously denied for either side).) Nevertheless, in his current response, CF holds that:
“In essence, I’ve made out a prima facie case of retaliation under Title VII. The undisputed timeline established between my complaining to LB and the suspension-pending-termination spans about seven days. Seven days. Not only is this a short enough period for a reasonable factfinder to infer one of the three elements necessary in satisfying my claim (i.e., causation; the others being the abovementioned complaining and adverse employer action (i.e., suspension/termination)), but the circumstantial evidence also bares many ‘coincidences’ that inexplicably occurred in the minutes and days immediately thereafter that date [of complaining], which undoubtedly stench of LB’s true ulterior, retaliatory animus. Furthermore, the Company’s one and only defense being that my disciplinary history (wholly administrated by TK: the very same person whose actions I initially called into question) is the basis of their nondiscriminatory justification, is nothing more than pretext.”
Obviously, only time will tell what the second round of these motions will yield. However, as it is well-known by practicing attorneys, if the moving party’s (in this case, the defendant) motion is denied and the path toward a jury trial is certain, CF’s prospect at settling these matters will be “favorable” to say the least. However, according to him, it’s not about what potential financial windfall may come of it. What matters is that he was finally given unimpeded opportunity to tell his side. “The truth, so help me God…”