I've worked for a well known restaurant chain for over 18 years, with a perfect record, in two different locations.
In June 2010 my wife, who is disabled and bedridden, was admitted to the hospital for an extended stay and I had to take time off from work to help care for her. During this time I signed a Family Emergency Leave Agreement, that, I was told by my employer, would "protect" my job, meaning that I would have the same job I held when I left. Before I took the time off (2 weeks with a 3rd week forced on me) I was working, at my employers request, 6 days a week - no overtime - didn't need it. When I returned, I found that I was only working 3-4 days a week and my hours had/have been given to a younger employee. When I talked to my employers (general manager, kitchen manager, and district manager) about this I was told by GM and KM that business was so slow they had to cut everyone's hours. This is not true as the younger employee who has been given my shifts is working 5-6 days/wk. The district manager told me he did not know this was happening and he would talk to GM and KM. To date, nothing has been said or done.There are also several illegal aliens, one who happens to be the mother of the kitchen manager, who are also working 5-6 days/wk. The kitchen manager, who is Mexican has hired his mother, who I'm not sure is legal or not and also hires/rehires other friends and relatives.
Just this morning, I was called by the KM and told I had the day off and I was scheduled to work. When I asked him why was he giving my hours to someone else, he replied "I don't know." I'm still trying to figure that one out.
I know exactly the reason I'm being discriminated against is because I make more hourly than the employee who is now working in my place. As I stated above, I have been with this company for 18 years and have been given raises over the years til I make what I think is a fair hourly wage, however, that is doing me no good. I might point out that I have not had a raise in over 5 years, being told that the company no longer gives raises. This also is not true as I know of several employees who do the same job as me, have received raises as recently as the past week.
I firmly believe that they have decided to phase me out, perhaps even trying to get me mad enough to quit, so they can can pay someone who is younger, less money.
Also, my status as trainer has been taken away, being told that the company no longer requires trainers. (This is not true as the store now has a trainer who is also younger then me.) I was never re-offered the job as trainer.
This resulted in my insurance being canceled immediately. One day I had insurance - the next day I did not. I believe this is illegal also.
Today I downloaded an EEOC complaint/lawsuit form and intend to file a lawsuit for age discrimination, but would appreciate any advice you could give.
2 Answers from Attorneys
File the EEOC compliant personally in the Atlanta office (see below):
Atlanta District Office
Location: Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center
100 Alabama Street, SW, Suite 4R30
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
You must sign in at our security desk and one valid form of picture identification is required.
Director: Bernice Williams-Kimbrough
The Atlanta District Office is open Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
They will evaluate your claims (make sure you list them all, age discrimination, etc) and they will investigate same and either file suit for you or give you a right to sue letter which you must act upon with in the required time fram or all of your claims may be barred
Good luck and give me a call with any additional questions [770/985-6773]
The leave of absence you took in June 2010 may be covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If so, your employer was obligated to return you to your position when the leave ended. A cut in hours or reduction in your responsibilities may be considered retaliation for your taking of FMLA leave. This type of claim is not handled by the EEOC. Instead, to pursue it, a lawsuit would have to be filed. An attorney can assist you in attempting to negotiate an acceptable settlement out of court. I would recommend that you consult with an attorney experienced at handling FMLA claims in Georgia. If you are interested, I would be happy to offer you a free initial consultation by phone. You may reach me using my contact information below.
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