I was fired for "poor performance" from my sales management position after being abruptly suspended due to a fabricated claim from my all-women sales team (I am the only male), and given no opportunity to defend myself. Upon attending a subsequent meeting with management to determine whether I would return or be fired, I stated that due to the circumstances of my suspension, if I was not taken back, I would bring an action for discrimination. I was taken back several days later, only to be fired pursuant to an early, poor annual review (the only review received in a year with the company, which included inaccuracies and created "documentation" -all minus MY signature), one week shy of my anniversary date, and paid vacation.
Employment / Labor Attorney
Generally speaking, cases are taken on a contingency fee basis when the liability aspect of a case is overwhelmingly in favor of the plaintiff and the real issue at hand is how much will the plaintiff be getting in damages. This is why rear end hit personnel injury cases are taken on contingency. In those types of cases, the law presumes that the party who hit another car in the rear is liable. Employment law cases, on the other hand, are typically much more difficult for a plaintiff to prove. For example, if an employer gives "poor performance" as a reason for terminating someone, then they are offering an alleged legitimate non-discriminatory reason for the termination. If a jury finds this reason put forth by the employer to be reasonable, then the plaintiff would lose. Consequently, unless there are really good and strong facts that fully support the plaintiff's version of the facts and easily discredit the employer's version, most experienced employment attorneys would be hesitant about taking an employment law case on a full contingency fee arrangement. The only way to find out whether the facts in your case are strong enough to warrant a contingency fee arrangement is to set up consultations with experienced employment law attorneys to go over your case.
I suggest that you go to the National Employment Law Association of New Jersey (NELA-NJ) website www.nelanj.org/ and find an attorney in the "Find Attorney" section. NELA-NJ consists of attorneys who are experienced in employment law litigators and who focus their practice representing employees. You are encouraged to call a few of them and select the best match for you.
Fred Shahrooz Scampato, Esquire
Law Office of Fred Shahrooz Scampato, PC
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Your fact pattern is Exhibit A of the dangers of employees utilizing HR in the mistaken belief that HR is an employee resource or some sort of neutral broker. It is not. HR is management's team to enable management's agenda on employment issues. Nothing else.
You showed your cards to HR -- unnecessarily -- and got outmaneuvered. You gave HR notice of the need to delay your termination and to lie in wait for a "clean" opportunity to exercise its "at will" termination powers.
You couldn't have known, but significant damage has been done. You now have a much much much more difficult case.There are SOME times when an employee must make a report to HR in order to perfect a subsequent employment claim. In virtually all of those instances, it is prudent to first consult with an employment attorney.
No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.