Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Legalities... and Bastard Employers

My mother was informed today that she has until the end of this month to either resign or go on disability through the retirement system.

I'm not going to lay out all the grisly details, but the basis of it is that, starting back mid-schoolyear LAST year already, she was pinpointed and punished, after 30+ years of teaching AND supervisory positions with the SAME SCHOOL DISTRICT, for grossly unfounded accusations, loosely based on her physical limitations due to 3 summers of consecutive foot reconstruction and also the stressors of having a newly cross-categorical special education classroom with a FULL range of students from ADD to BD to TMH rolled into one.

Oh, and the fact that she "called out" the principal on the fact that there were violations of certain guidelines in the contracts for certain employees.

So, fast forward to THIS school year, a NEW building and teacher (since last year's debacle made it OUT of the question to remain in the same position)... and *THAT* principal takes it upon herself to address my mom with the statement, "This isn't going to work" - 3.5 days into the year!!! 

And then... sent her home with paid suspension pending full-scale evalutions.  The same road she traveled not too long before.  The same people, the same procedures, all with the same results... she is MENTALLY fit to perform her duties with simple adjustments for her physical heath.  Should be an easy fix, right?

BIG. FAT. WRONG.  She was bombarded today with snippets of supposed quotations from the evaluations in a report that the asshole "Big Man in Charge" never even let her see.  In fact, she came home with NO DOCUMENTATION whatsoever - including the initial explanation as to WHY this occurred in the first place.  Didn't get it at the start, still doesn't have it.

She has been harassed for almost the entire last calendar year now.  She not only has her teaching certificate, but her Master's.  She spent years as a coordinator for a LARGE load of children & programs in this same district.  In fact, she has worked for them since she graduated college - at age *20*.

We *all* have history with this district... and have ALL experienced degrees of discrimination during employment.  My dad worked in the district - until his job was "eliminated" while he fought with his most recent spinal fusion (his second one, mind you), and wound up having to fight the big fight for Federal Disability.  I have ALSO worked for the district in a number of positions, from Peer Mentor to substitute paraprofessional, to Computer Lab Aide.  Mostly, I got my ass kissed to some degree, because as a coordinator, my mom was NOT one to be crossed, and apparently that was felt all OVER the place.

Of course, now that she is only a few years from retirement, and back to teaching - but still entitled to pay on a scale of having a graduate degree AND so much time vested in the same employer - they have apparently chosen HER as their latest and greatest victim.

Let's see... no documentation that she has seen NOR possesed, an odd change of "convenient" wording that differs between what was told HER during evals and what The Powers That Be report, and now a forced resignation.  Hmm.  Sounds like our legal status has just been bumped up a notch from *possible* case to *You Bet Your Sorry Ass You'll Be Hearing From Our Lawyer*.

In the meantime, good thoughts are needed.  As you know (if you read here frequently), there are 6 bodies in this house... with one disability income, my mom's now teetering income, and a yet-to-be seen unemployment income.  We are NOT in good times.  Not. At. All.

Also, if you happen to have any *fantabulous* law advice, it would be MUCH appreciated... as with all the 'wrongful termination' and 'ADA discrimination' info out there, it's a bit hard to digest, especially while dealing with the raw wound of it all...


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