Unlawful Termination?

Back in January I was forced into an unpaid leave of absence when I requested modifications to my work duties. I worked in a classroom for children with emotional disabilities and could not be subjected to the physical demands of the job for the safety of me and my child. The students were physically abusive towards myself and the other adults in the room, would try to run from the school premises and we had to restrain quite frequently. When I asked for lighter duties around the school, I was told that I could have the same position in a different school (so not really accommodating the issue) or go on an unpaid leave of absence for the remainder of the school year. Apparently, doing other things around the school was a different pay scale and was not an option. My position was filled while I was on the leave of absence leaving me with no job to return to when I was able to return to work. Needless to say I have essentially been on leave since January. My unpaid leave of absence was to end today, where I was to log on and request maternity leave until I could find a job go back to work if I chose to do so.

I have been having issues with the school email not working for a few days now, and when I called in to the department of technology for assistance, they notified me that I had been terminated from the school district. I called the human resource department to find out what was going on because I was on a leave of absence that I was forced into, and wasn’t given the opportunity to switch positions – even back to part time guest teaching which was the original plan. Apparently I was “terminated from the district” a few weeks ago (while still on leave) and was never notified. There is a few calls in to the leave supervisor and the person in charge of guest teaching to see what the hell happened, but at this point was told if I want to continue to work for the district I need to re-apply for a guest teaching job and any other positions I would be interested in. This means that I would also need to re-interview for a job that I had for 4.5 years before being hired into my current former position.

I am beyond angry, but it doesn’t seem like there is much that I can do. I started to cry on the phone even. I feel like I was forced out of my job because I was pregnant, was not given fair working accommodations so that I could continue to work, don’t have a job to go back to, and just found out that I was basically fired……all because I was pregnant and physically couldn’t work with violent children. I don’t quite know what to do because I obviously don’t want to work for a district that is going to treat its’ employees that way, but at the same time can’t say for certain that I was going to actually go back to work either. The option was taken from me without my knowing.

Has anyone had a similar experience or have any advice on what I should do? 

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22 thoughts on “Unlawful Termination?

    • I keep going back and forth with the idea. We are trying to buy a house and I don’t know that it would be possible without a small second income. I was thinking of trying to pick up 1/2 day substitute teaching jobs once a week. It would be like 4 hours and my mom could watch Luke while I was working.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The substitute teaching idea sounds like a winning plan if you ask me! Hehe! After I quit being a social worker in the school system (too much stress), I went to just subbing and LOVED it! So much more relaxin and you can work it around your own schedule. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  1. First of all, congratulations on the birth of Luke! Sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve commented. Life with two kiddos is busy 🙂

    Having worked in the same school district that you’re talking about, I’d say that it’s going to be hard to get anywhere with them. They are very stubborn. However, I think you said before that you have a teaching license. You can make more per hour doing private tutoring than a day of subbing. I charge $60/hr in Denver and have 11 kids per week so I’m able to make a decent amount of money and still feel like a stay at home mom. Just a thought.

    Good luck as you figure this all out. In the meantime, enjoy all the snuggles with your new baby. He’s beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Man that is a bit yuk. Regardless of whether or not you intended to return this is poor form. If you have the energy then file a formal complaint but depends on how bothered you are when you have a newborn to focus on. It does suck though.

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  3. Sorry that happened to you friend! My wife is going through the same thing. She worked as the director of an internationally known, Ivy League daycare center for over 15 years. She was one of the top performing directors in the WHOLE company, nationwide (top 2% in 1200 schools internationally). I mean, she was even a diamond director (over a million $$ in revenue in a year AFTER bills). She had never been written up, reprimanded or anything like that. She announced her pregnancy in late August of last year. Not even 2 weeks later, her boss and her bosses boss came in to give her a write up with 3 years worth of ludicrous infractions, and gave her a PIP ( a performance improvement plan) which stated some really ridiculous goals to comply with. Needless to say, because of twins and a high risk pregnancy, she was put on bedrest in mid October, gave birth in January, took extended leave, and was able to return to work in April. Her company basically played her and replaced her with the assistant director from another neighboring school even though the woman BARELY had any experience as a director and even though Callie had an assistant director and a 3rd in charge herself. The company basically came up with a bunch of crap and tried to back it up with that BS write up. So we took it to HRC, and are currently in the process of fighting the termination. It has a lot to do with the fact that the infant/adult ration is 4/1 and we would have taken 2 spots which would have given us a 90% discount on the highest paying program at her school (about $475/week/infant) and also her bosses boss hates her, so yeah. It was a serious blow to our family. Going from a combined 6 figure income to about half of that, with 2 new babies and a foster kid in a “might as well be paying a mortgage” apartment that we had JUST moved into really screwed us over…BIG TIME! So if you truly feel like you were being discriminated again (which i think you were because it sounds similar to what happened to my wife) I would pursue it. Lots of times, all it takes is a lawyer writing a letter to the company saying, “Hey! You are gonna get sued if you don’t pay up, and you know you were wrong” to get some type of compensation. And if you can’t afford a lawyer, like we can’t at this moment, you can always take it to Human Rights, and they’ll mediate for you, which is the route we went. I hope it all works out for you…it’s a really shitty situation to be in…we know…

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  4. I am sorry you are dealing with such a situation. I can’t believe they didn’t contact you or send you some type of notification to let you know what was happening. Like “hey you need to give us an update”. Although I don’t have much insight on this issues I am sending my thoughts and prayers to you during this difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s really crappy that they did that, and I’m not certain but it doesn’t sound legal, either. You can’t fire someone because they took a medical leave, as far as I know. I hope that you’re able to talk to someone who can help you, and at least tell you what in the world happened. I think the suggestion above of tutoring would be a great option for you! Good luck with all of this.

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  6. Pingback: Termination and Other Life Updates | Eventual Momma

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