Outcome of My Employment Law Trial: Not Favorable

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In summary, the conversation was about an individual who had a negative outcome in a legal case involving employment law. The individual's former boss had fired them in retaliation for threatening to file a discrimination claim under the ADA, and the jury ultimately ruled in favor of the boss. The individual expressed disappointment and frustration with the outcome, but also mentioned that they were fortunate to have lawyers who took their case on a contingent-fee basis. They also discussed the flaws in the employment law system and the need for better protection for workers in similar situations. Overall, the individual remains optimistic and grateful for their financial stability and support from their spouse.
  • #1
turbo
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Unfortunately, the outcome was not favorable to me. Employment law is heavily weighted toward employers, and the burden of proof was on me to show that my former boss fired me in retaliation for threatening to file a discrimination claim under the ADA when he slashed my incentive pay by 50% unilaterally. The jury bought his assertion that he was going to fire me anyway, mooting the retaliation charge, leaving me with no grounds for appeal.

I don't think that the jury was too sharp. When my little two-person division makes the boss $2.5M in 2004-2005 (out-earning all the other 3 divisions combined), it's pretty evident that I've been busting my hump, so my effectiveness at the job should not have been in question. That alone should have told the jurors that the cause of my firing was my intention to file an ADA discrimination claim against him. Apparently they did not get that, despite the best efforts of my lawyers. I cannot fault my lawyers - they did a great job. At least this 3-year ordeal is over, regardless of the poor outcome. My lawyers took my case on a contingent-fee basis, so I don't have any legal bills. It would have been nice to have 3 years of back pay awarded, but I can live without it.

It's not the end of the world. An administrative law judge for the SSA has ruled that I am fully disabled, and I should start receiving checks soon, plus some back benefits.

My wife and I have each other, and (seeing economic troubles on the horizon several years ago) we have positioned ourselves well with an easy-to-maintain small house with a nice garden spot. We are far more self-sufficient for food and heat than anybody I know around here. We have never been big spenders, and have saved something from every paycheck, so unless the US falls into hyper-inflation, we'll be fine.
 
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  • #2
Sorry to hear that the justice you sought was not dispensed turbo. Like you have already stated, at least you are not completely left out to dry.
 
  • #3
I'm really sorry to hear that turbo. :frown: Usually these things are settled out of court, but I guess he wasn't willing. Two of my friends both got nearly a half million dollars each for just threatening a wrongful dismissal suit. Both companies paid without blinking an eye. But they were both huge corporations.
 
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  • #4
Awful news, Turbo and a bit incredible, what is justice in 2008? Very good that you stay optimistic.
 
  • #5
Thanks, Kurdt. It just didn't work out.

Evo said:
I'm really sorry to hear that turbo. :frown: Usually these things are settled out of court, but I guess he wasn't willing. Two of my friends both got near a half million dollars each for just threatening a wrongful dismissal suit. Both companies paid without blinking an eye. But they were both huge corporations.
I tried to settle out of court, but my former boss was determined to take it to trial, and he got lucky. The judge at mediation commended me and my lawyers for our flexibility and willingness to compromise - he was not happy with my former boss and his lawyer.
 
  • #6
Andre said:
Awful news, Turbo and a bit incredible, what is justice in 2008? Very good that you stay optimistic.
It's sad that an employee can be fired for exercising a basic right regarding anti-discrimination. That being the case, the "protected" activities under the ADA are no longer protected, and workers' rights are eroded or eliminated.
 
  • #7
I'm sorry to hear the bad news, Turbo, but good that you have anticipated so much in other ways.
 
  • #8
Sad news. I have a feeling that for some people anti discrimination laws are still something fancy.
 
  • #9
I'm really sorry to hear that Turbo, that must have been a really big disappointment. Nothing worse than being in the right and having someone that screwed you over come out on top. But I am glad to hear you are going to be ok otherwise.
 
  • #10
turbo-1 said:
Unfortunately, the outcome was not favorable to me. Employment law is heavily weighted toward employers, and the burden of proof was on me to show that my former boss fired me in retaliation for threatening to file a discrimination claim under the ADA when he slashed my incentive pay by 50% unilaterally. The jury bought his assertion that he was going to fire me anyway, mooting the retaliation charge, leaving me with no grounds for appeal.
My condolensces. Sounds like an uphill battle on your side. In such cases, it's virtually impossible to prove intent without a smoking gun.

I don't think that the jury was too sharp.
Too many times they are not. Unfortunately in an adversarial process, it seems both sides seek a bias toward their respective sides. AFAIK, scientists and engineers tend to be disqualified from jury service because they tend to be objective and deliberative.
 
  • #11
Thanks, all. It was quite disappointing to lose such an obvious case. The sad part is that someone other than myself (who had not planned, saved, etc) could easily be fired based on a medical disability and not be able to defend themselves. I was lucky in that I had lawyers who believed in my case and took it on a contingent-fee basis. I could never have afforded to pay them and still have any retirement savings left.

I would like to see employment laws (especially discrimination and unjust-termination laws) modified to make it possible for workers to get some legal assistance without impoverishing themselves. It's hard enough to lose one's job - it's another thing entirely to try to mount a legal challenge against a well-financed business. When I took over that auction division, it was doing perhaps $4m in gross sales/year with minimal profits. A couple years later, we were making over $1M/year on gross sales of $12-15M. Thanks to the incentive pay I earned in those years, I'll be OK. What about a person making a little over minimum wage who gets fired unjustly? They're screwed.
 
  • #12
turbo-1 said:
I don't think that the jury was too sharp.

That's one of the problems with this kind of system, unfortunately. You are supposed to be tried by a jury of your peers, but your peers are smart enough to get out of jury duty, so you are stuck with whoever is left. :(
 

Related to Outcome of My Employment Law Trial: Not Favorable

What is an "Employment Law Trial"?

An employment law trial is a legal proceeding that resolves disputes between an employer and employee regarding their rights and obligations in the workplace. These trials can involve issues such as discrimination, harassment, wage and hour violations, and wrongful termination.

What does it mean for the outcome of my employment law trial to be "not favorable"?

When the outcome of an employment law trial is not favorable, it means that the court or jury did not rule in your favor. This could mean that your claims were dismissed, or that the opposing party was found not liable for the alleged wrongdoing.

What are my options if the outcome of my employment law trial is not favorable?

If the outcome of your employment law trial is not favorable, you may have the option to appeal the decision or file a motion for a new trial. It is important to consult with an experienced employment law attorney to determine the best course of action for your specific case.

Can I still receive compensation if the outcome of my employment law trial is not favorable?

In some cases, you may still be able to receive some form of compensation even if the outcome of your employment law trial is not favorable. This could include back pay, lost wages, or other damages. However, the amount and type of compensation will depend on the specific details and outcome of your case.

How can I prevent an unfavorable outcome in an employment law trial?

To prevent an unfavorable outcome in an employment law trial, it is important to gather strong evidence, work with an experienced attorney, and be prepared to present your case effectively in court. It is also important to follow all legal procedures and deadlines to ensure a fair and thorough trial process.

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