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Thread: Termination Nightmare

  1. #11
    sounds like a clasic 'user' to me. Sorry you're having so much trouble!

  2. #12
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crags View Post
    Received a notice to appear in court for allegations of sexual harassment and not giving her two weeks notice. Wants $2,600.

    I think she's probably done this before. Classic extortion.


    Were you at any point 'involved'? Why the sexual harassment?

  3. #13
    I made that mistake 17 years ago. I was still young in age and disability maturity. It was genuine caring, but nonetheless a mistake in retrospect. Never again. Once the relationship changes character, if it doesn't work out, the working part will be impossible to salvage and you open yourself up to problems as suggested.

    Fast forward. About three years ago I was looking for an aide in the morning. One of the women I interviewed was a striking replica of a woman that previously worked for me mentioned above. A very attractive woman with classic Brazilian/Portuguese features, such as great long black hair (I digress). I was so scared that I would make the same mistake again that I would not hire her because of that reason. However, when the first hire did not work out after six months, I decided to try her, as she lived close and was still available and willing.

    It has been three years now and the woman is excellent at her job and we have a wonderful working relationship. We are close in terms of sharing our life's experiences with each other, but not that close. The boundaries are there. I have never told her why I didn't hire her the first time as I would not want to risk the relationship in any way, though in a way it is a compliment to her beauty. Perhaps I'll tell her sometime in the future if she needs to move on to another job which I hope doesn't happen anytime soon. I now realize I have learned my lesson.

    In a way I feel lucky having such an attractive woman in my house every day. And I think she appreciates my interest in, and respect for her family and their activities. We always talk about her two teenage boys and I try to share with her all my mistakes that I made when I was their age. Mistakes that led to other mistakes down the road, including my SCI. I have matured in this respect because I know how damaging such an experience can be for the dependent disabled person as well as for the woman who has to deal with any fallout with a spouse, significant other, or children. This can be serious and must be avoided at all costs.

    Anyway, back to the question. No there never was that issue with the present situation. I found her so repulsive from the very beginning that such feelings were never even a remote possibility. In fact, I think I got physically ill hiding my deeply held dissatisfaction inside for a year and a half while subjecting myself to threatening behaviors and intimidation. That is another lesson I painfully learned.

    I will keep you posted on the outcome.

  4. #14
    Today was judgment day and I had to face the employee from hell in small claims court. A very discouraging experience from the point of hearing so many lies being told about me. We went before a mediator at which time the employee was told that she had no documentable proof of the damages requested and that harassment charges are not heard in small claims court. Despite this, the employee said that it was her word against mine and that she was willing to go before a judge with her claim for $2,600. I had brought my father, as well as two of my present home health aides down as witnesses, both of whom had to take time from their other jobs and lives to be there. Going before the judge would have meant staying in the court until the afternoon, as well as keeping these two witnesses/employees all day in court despite their other obligations.

    When asked if there is anything I would be willing to do I offered $450 to spare spending all day in court and be rid of her. She requested 500 and I accepted. I slapped my hand on the desk and said "deal". I know that irritated her big time. All told, I feel I got off with minimal damage considering her mental instability. She seems to have done this before, but at least I am now free of this person. Everything that I said, she said was a lie, so the mediation was going nowhere. I had good documentation for subjective credibility, but not specific enough for quasi contractual details.

    It truly was a nuisance lawsuit and she basically bought herself some going away money. God help the unsuspecting person that hires her next. I don't feel very good about appeasing her to some degree, but I know she left very angry at not having gotten what she wanted, as well as having to sign the waiving of any future claim.

    I have been employing people for 21 years and one continues to learn. The lessons I learned from this, aside from the psychological ones, that contributed to my somewhat weak position in court or the following:
    1. Have a signed understanding agreement with the employee outlining tasks, days, hours and rate of pay- I did not have this and I would have been better off with one as she was lying about the hours and rate of pay.
    2. Have the employee sign a ledger with the date and amount received-this would have undercut her position when she claimed that I had not paid her for weeks on end, also an untruth.

    Even if an employee is cash and off the books, both of these things are reasonable and anybody who will not agree to these should be considered suspect. Although I can see people who are working off the books not wanting to do it. Trust is the main thing and in the relationship I just had it was lost a long time ago. The cumulative effect was visible for all to see.

    Additionally, one should keep accurate records of all employees in terms of incidents, days off, extra compensation (time/money), difficult conversations, etc.. Do not wait to try and re-create a log of events as one does not know when it will be needed. This may not be needed for all employees to the same degree, but it should be a priority as soon as indications warrant such documentation.

    Hopefully, this will be the end and she will not be dragging me into civil court for allegations of sexual harassment. However, the standard for that case will be much higher and I don't think she will have such a ready supply of lawyers willing to take on her case pro bono, since she has no money to speak of.

    She even brought up the issue of digital simulation during my bowel routine and try to link that somehow to harassment as if I was getting sublime pleasure from such activities.

    Truly sad to witness.

  5. #15
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    I'm so sorry you had to endure this. I wish I could advise hiring through agency to avoid this kind of torment, but I've found agency owners to be no more ethical or reliable. My constant hope is that the aging of baby boomers will require the industry to shape up some. I don't mean to paint with such a broad brush, because certainly I've had also phenomenal people helping me. But my experience weighs very heavily to the other extreme.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
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    Congratulations for getting that load off your shoulders. It was probably the best $500 you've spent in the long time! Your recommendations for documentation are bang on. I'm very lax in that department, but will start keeping better documentation on incidents.

    I've recently hired a stunning Filipina. And since I now realize I don't have to own every beautiful woman who comes into my life, I expect a long, healthy working relationship. She's very much like the worker you described above, although single. She's made me realize how I've allowed the rest of my gang to slack off.

    Thanks for sharing your nightmare. Peers learning from peers; that's what it's all about.

  7. #17
    Van Quad-Be careful as other caregivers can sense when you're somewhat preferential to other caregivers, if even only in conversation only. And be very careful to keep the boundaries clear with topics of conversation, expectations, etc. Once boundaries are blurred or crossed it can be very hard to re-establish.

    Most key is the sign in sheet for pay per period. Establishes "evidence" of payment.

    My dad, who is a type A aggressive person and one of my aides thought I should have gone to the judge to fight to the end. Others thought like I did, though appeasing persons like her condones bad behavior.

    She wanted 2,600, got 500 and I got rid of her. She was enraged, like a Linda Blair exorcist transformation.

    Hopefully this will be the end with no civil suits next for sexual harassment or pregnancy discrimination, as I found out after termination that she was pregnant again (last time was last year).

  8. #18
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    I would suggest an employee code of conduct that they sign upon hiring.

    Then firing will be much easier for you based on violations of the code of conduct.

    I am really sorry you had to go through this but at least it was a learning experience for you.

    I wish you luck with your other caregivers.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  9. #19
    Senior Member bigtop1's Avatar
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    This episode has been a real cliff hanger. Good to see you feel vindicated and, rid of the problem. All things considered, you did the right thing. Best wishes on your future endeavers.
    I refuse to tip toe through life, only to arrive safely at death.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by crags View Post
    Her principal grievance was that she was not paid until the end of a period that she thought was "agreed" upon (she doesn't know what "at will" employment means). Nothing legal, just the time when my other aide was returning from vacation. So, I paid her the extra five days but accompanied it with a certified letter and statement on the back of the check that this amount represents the amount requested as agreed upon for her termination and that by signing the check she will forgo any claim on past or future monies. Her antenna went up when she read this and she call, screaming that she will not cash the check and that now the grievance is discrimination. So far no more phone calls and we will just have to wait to see if they need for money overrides her anger and she signs the check. That signature is going to burn her up I am sure.

    If need be I can pay the back Social Security taxes (it amounts to about1,000), but she will have to pay her Social Security taxes, federal withholding and state withholding. And you can be sure that I will be doing everything I can (I will let her know) to make sure that every agency that may be giving her assistance, from Medicaid, school lunch to SCHIP, knows about her unreported income. Hopefully she won't be claiming workplace injury as I didn't carry workers comp or disability on her. I have another employee fully on the books and it is a big relief to know you are covered from such extortion.

    We're just going to have to wait this one out and see.

    It is a most frightening episode. Frightening in the respect that my dependency got in the way of what deep inside I felt was a problem very early on in the relationship. I've always felt that conflicts will arise and that it is possible to move on. But, there are some conflicts, especially when they are regular occurrence, and the way certain things are said that fundamental lines have been crossed and you need to act quickly. For if you don't, you can find yourself in a potentially very dangerous situation, be it physical, financial, or otherwise, such as identity theft or assault/vandalism for hire. There are lots of gangs that will vandalize or assault for hire. It simply one of their lines of business.

    The warning signs were there. It is truly disappointing to have waited this long.

    I pray she just fades away. I don't think she will be using me for reference any time soon. I truly took good care of her (paid for two months rest while having a child) and to her last breath, she continued to scream that I needed to take better care of her and show her more respect. This woman is the type of person whom we all know that wherever she goes there is conflict. As soon as you observe this about a person and experience it for yourself do not assume that you can change this type of person and have a different type of relationship. The odds are heavily against you.

    Will keep you all posted.

    Thanks for the feedback.
    Sooooooo right; I'm living with one now and the only effective behavior modifier has been threats from the house manager to throw her out on her ass with the first violation of the rules she's had laid on her.

    Vignette from ten days ago:

    Juke is sitting at kitchen table reading when TS (The Screamer) enters and ruffles his hair and rubs his shoulder in a superficial way. He comments that she'll be up all night and she asks what he means. Juke explains in an even tone that he noticed her heading for bed around 1700 and, since she'd just gotten up (at 2300 hrs.) she'll likely be up all night. After two beats TS begins to scream that it's none of Juke's business when she goes to sleep or rises and he should mind his god dammed, fucking business, etc., etc.. She storms offstage and Juke moves into the livingroom and turns on the TV. Elizabeth enters the livingroom and continues in the same vein as before at simular volume - which Juke stoically endures while trying to explain his relative disinterest in what TS does regarding sleeping/waking. After ten minutes Juke takes bait and critques TS's logic, behavior, etc. including certain aspects of her character. Durring exchange TS says repeatedly: "I'm not your wife!" Juke finally rejoins, "No, thankfully. Nor anyones; nor will you ever be. Who would have you?" Elizabeth goes away and comes back ten minutes later to grab the TV remote and take it into her room - where she holds it hostage for an hour.

    I feel for you; I really do.
    "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."
    J.B.S.Haldane

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