Friday, June 12, 2009

Keep Track of All Actions Taken Against You

As soon as you feel you are the victim of a tangible employment action (e.g., malicious suspension, malicious demotion, false and malicious performance evaluation, baseless denial of a promotion, forced transfer to a menial job or hard to reach location, a pay cut under false pretenses, etc.), you should create and maintain an employment action log.

An employment action log can help you maintain a chronological record of every negative employment action that your employer executes against you and can help show that your employer has begun targeting you. An employment action log should contain detailed information about:

--The date of the employment action;

--The specific kind of employment action taken (e.g., details about a suspension);

--Your employer’s stated reason for the employment action;

--The name of the person who informed you of the action and anyone in attendance at the meeting;

--Why the action is unjustified or how it violates company policy;

--Your official response, if any, to the employment action (e.g., a memo against the action); and

--The next steps you need to take to deal with the action (e.g., contacting HR, filing an internal complaint, etc.).

An employment action log can be helpful in proving harassment and retaliation by showing that employment actions taken against you were unjust and meant to negatively impact your position and career, to intentionally cause you emotional distress by creating a hostile and offensive work environment, were designed to set you up for future employment actions (including termination), and/or were a method of punishing you for complaining of mistreatment, misconduct, etc.

An employment action log can also demonstrate that your employer is violating its own written policies and procedures. For instance, if you are placed on probation based on false allegations, you can go to your company’s personnel manual to see how your employer is supposed to handle management or personnel issues.

If the personnel manual says that an employee should be given 1) an oral warning; 2) a written warning; and 3) be placed on probation, your employer would have to answer why they jumped to step #3 of their own process to implement the employment action of placing you on probation, with termination potentially warranted at the end of a specified number of days/months. They have to justify why your behavior was allegedly so egregious that they violated their own policies.

Remember to faithfully update your log as events happen, so that you are documenting incidences that are fresh in your mind.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am at a loss on what to do, so I wanted to ask about the 15 day time limit an individual has to file a "substantial weight review" through EEOC (I attempted to do a dual file with DFEH and EEOC). I filed with DFEH and attempted to file through EEOC (after being subjected to race based discrimination by a former employer). I was later informed by EEOC that they were not going to investigate my charge because DFEH was already investigating. After almost a year of basically being ignored by DFEH, On 4/24/2009, I was informed that my charge could not be
"substantiated" (by-the-way, I asked for the records on this case and still have not received them from DFEH... I truly believe DFEH did not investigate). On 5/18/2009 I was informed by EEOC that EEOC dismissed my charge as well because I did not appeal through them. My question is: why can't I receive a substantial weight review when: 1) I was never informed I only had 15 days to appeal (I thought I had 90 days) and 2) I thought EEOC was no longer involved with my case because I was informed early on that DFEH was handling my charge. I voiced to DFEH that I was never informed of my 15 day limit on appealing and was told by DFEH that EEOC informed me (which was a lie). I wrote to EEOC and was told they would not assist because it had been over 15 days.

Shortly after I filed with DFEH I was fired and replaced with a white employee without a college education (and I was performing my job well and have a master's degree). Any information on how I might effectively oppose this 15 day limit, since I was not informed of my rights regarding this, would be greatly appreciated. At this point, I'm really discouraged because this system seems to make it easy for discrimination and retaliation to continue.

7:22 PM  

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