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  1. Several months ago I reported an incident of harassment I experienced in my workplace. Soon after I was interviewed by my employer's IA department, during which I disclosed that I had sent several emails to a coworker on the evening that the harassment occured. I offered this information thinking it would help verify the time in which the incident occured as well further collaborate my account. The emails were immediately retrieved, however the other parties involved (witnesses, etc) were not questioned until 3 1/2 weeks later. Ultimately (according to the investigation report) all of the involved individuals lied to the investigator so the conclusion was made that I had fabricated the ordeal. I expected this would happen therefore I was quite hesitant to make a complaint. Regardless I have since been terminated due to the content of the above mentioned emails in which I used admittedly foul language to describe my feelings regarding the event as it occured. My question is this, was my employer justified in using the information I willingly provided as evidence during my harassment investigation against me?
  2. Thank you. When I said "give," I simply meant she told him he could have it. Of course I realize she won't live forever, I suppose I should have said in the event she dies before her new husband. My son and I do intend to have a polite conversation with her regarding her will or lack thereof. The problem however lies in the fact that my grandmother feels that her husband would follow her wishes ..unfortunately I'm obviously not at all certain that would happen, so it's a delicate matter as I don't want to insult her by implying otherwise.
  3. My grandfather passed away four years ago and left a substantial amount of property to my grandmother and father. My grandmother recently remarried and moved in with her new husband leaving the home she shared with my grandpa for 58 years vacant. This home, along with the above mentioned properties are in both her and my father's names. This past week she made a verbal agreement with my father to 'give' her home to my son who is now in the process of remodeling it. Likewise I have been given permission to build a home at another location she & my father own. My grandmother is in her 80's and my father is concerned that in the event that she too would pass her new husband would have rights to a percentage of this property and my knowledge my grandmother does not have a will. Does anyone have any information regarding this type of situation? We reside in Illinois.
  4. That's a good point and given the circumstances I think it's safe to say that they did not like me.
  5. The hearing is with the Kentucky Personnel Board of Appeals. The law doesn't allow for appealing probationary dismissals unless the former employee feels the action was retaliatory. Truthfully I don't know how I look on paper although I do plan to access my personnel file via open records so perhaps that may reveal something I'm not aware of. I can tell you that my employer gave no indication of being unhappy with my performance. After I was reassigned to a different shift my supervisors seemed to really appreciate my efforts. For instance on my last shift worked I was assigned to a segregation post reserved for employees with a minimum of one year experience; the entire eight months I was there no one worked that post with less than 1 1/2 years in...so I felt like it was an indication that they knew I was competent. But yes I suppose they could come up with some random reason I'm not expecting. Then again, I can refute any of the expected unexpected so to speak. I am positive they can't logically claim attitude or failing to meet performance expectations, those are both off the table unless of course they flat out lie. I really don't expect they'd risk lying like that though, maybe I'm being naive, but I just don't see it. Poor attendance and willingness to work overtime is also off the table, those I can prove with my time statements. The only possible things I can come up with that they could say is that I took my job too serious or asked too many questions....but I can't imagine either possibly being legitimate reasons. (??)
  6. I really appreciate your help and I apologize if I'm becoming a nuisance but I've been pretty unsuccessful in my attempts to get information elsewhere. I was a few days short of completing the eight month probationary period and state law does not require probationary employees to be given a reason for their dismissal. On the day I was delivered the news I acknowledged this but asked if he (the warden) would give me some indication as to the reason and he said, "it's not that you did anything real bad, we just decided not to keep you." When I filed for unemployment they were of course given the opportunity to explain why I was terminated and still chose to basically go with, "no reason." The supervisors that gave me problems did not have the authority to terminate me, that decision had to have come from higher up; of course they could have recommended it. However, I sincerely believe that if they had a legitimate reason for firing me surely they would have stated such during the unemployment investigation, In theory they could have claimed any sort of infraction no matter how minor, and yet they chose to pay me to sit at home rather than come to work. That seems absurd to me and I feel like it is an indication that either they truly had no reason (which seems really unlikely) or the reason was something they could not legally use,
  7. I totally realize it is likely going to come down to my word against theirs and I can't prove the harassment but I can prove making the reports. I did speak to a couple attorneys who offered free consultations, both indicated I could possibly have case, although neither seemed particularly interested in my appeal...nevertheless I cannot afford either of them so I'm forced to go at it alone, I am also not a member of a union because there isn't one. Going back to the proof issue, while I likely can't prove I was fired for the reasons I suspect, I do believe I can prove the reasons it wasn't, for instance it wasn't related to performance, attitude, attendance, etc. I can also prove that I was treated differently following the cell phone incident, for instance I received a shift reassignment and was scheduled to work overtime approximately 32 more hours than anyone else on my shift (thankfully I have copies of the rosters to back it up.) So I'm wondering if the absence of legitimate reasons can serve to indicate it was likely the reason I'm claiming? I'm not sure if that makes sense, but any thoughts?
  8. Thank you! Yes, I believe I understand. Kentucky C.P.P. 3.5 defines retaliation as, "verbal or physical threats against the complainant or a witness or denial of an employment benefit to which the employee is entitled." However, I can only assume that keeping my job would be a benefit for which I would be theoretically entitled. Regardless, section G of this policy goes on to say, "retaliation by or against any party involved in a complaint shall be strictly prohibited." (This is in reference to complaints of harassment which is defined as, "verbal or non-verbal conduct of one (1) or more employees which directly results in the inability of another employee to perform his job duties or otherwise adversely affects another employee’s employment opportunities." The Commonwealth of Kentucky Personnel Cabinet Employee Handbook also refers to harassment and retaliation in a similar manner and states,"complaints of harassment will be promptly and carefully investigated. All employees are assured that they will be free from any and all reprisal or retaliation from filing such complaints." As for the 'tattling,' C.P.P. 3.1 states, "All staff shall report violations of policy, procedures, and law. Failure to report such violations shall result in disciplinary action for staff and restriction from department grounds for volunteers and contractors. Criminal prosecution may result in some cases." In regard to the violation I reported, C.P.P. 9.6 subsection II.A 6 defines dangerous contraband as, "Any device capable of storing data for review to include personal messages, movies, correspondence concerning illegal activity, or other security risk items (e.g., DVD’s, cellphones, advanced calculators, unsupervised flash drives)." I don't think I have mentioned this previously, if I have please forgive me, but my coworker knew I was aware of the presence of the cell phone because I overheard a ringtone type sound in the background while making a security check call to his post and inquired about it. He told me it was his watch however the phone was ultimately confiscated during a search that occurred later following my report. Upon returning to our institution he claimed that he did not know he'd brought his phone until the battery began to die which was coincidentally the exact same time I heard the sound. Our immediate supervisors were not privy to information such as the fact that after his phone was taken it had been confirmed that he'd sent/received dozens of text messages while on shift, so in the meantime for whatever reason they chose to believe his story hence their animosity toward me.
  9. I apologize for my frustration however whether or not I win my appeal has nothing to do with whether I was justified in reporting my coworker or whether my supervisors were justified in hating me for doing so or whether I simply imagined the whole thing all together. The issue is whether I was fired in retaliation for reporting that I felt I was being harassed.
  10. Either I am looking at this is in a totally unrealistic manner or I'm doing a horrible job of explaining the situation. It's a learning experience either way...I just want to be sure which it is. I did not cry because my supervisors were opening drawers, I cried because I realized that I was being punished for doing what was right. I was crying because my supervisors were more concerned about whether the son of a former employee got fired than the fact he potentially put lives in jeopardy. I cried because I wanted to scream that neither of them would last a week at the men's prison and couldn't. But I did not, I repeat did not cry because I am weak or whiny or can't hack it in corrections. I was employed at the women's prison for 3 days short of making the 8 month probationary period. Prior to that I worked at the men's prison for 3 years. Think Orange is the New Black vs MSNBC's Lockup. (There was actually an episode of Lockup filmed at the former) No escapes do not occur often but the last escape that occurred resulted in the murder of an innocent elderly couple and the route the escapees took was approximately 50 feet from where my coworker sat texting. The fact he was in the wrong was never a questioned, his phone was confiscated and he was fired within a couple days.
  11. LOL I sincerely don't think that was the case (as far as not being tough enough) since it was a minimum security female institution where our main objective was d**** hunting and nary a use of force team was assembled in the eight months I was there. I'm positive that my ability (or lack thereof) wasn't called into question, in fact I had substantially more corrections experience than the majority of my coworkers. I worked at a max security male prison previously, and it was while at the penitentiary that the phone incident took place (staff from the ladies prison were being utilized to assist in the staff shortage there.) I wasn't surprised (OK maybe a little) at my coworkers and supervisors negative opinions toward my decision to 'tattle' about the phone since they had very little knowledge of the seriousness of his actions. The same is likely true for everyone here so let me put it in perspective. My coworker and I were posted in wallstands (gun towers.) We were essentially the last line of defense standing between the bad guys and the public. Our sole job was to watch the wall armed with rifles posed and ready for the worse case scenario, however instead my coworker was texting on a phone that he smuggled onto his post. So yeah it may seem trivial, but would you be willing to risk the safety and security of the town you lived in? I apologize if I seem argumentative or defensive but having integrity ultimately cost me my job and to out it simply, that sucks.
  12. I truly do not believe I was harassed based on my gender or any other factor covered by the EEOC. I can tell you that the DOC has a zero tolerance policy regarding harassment of any kind. Also, the investigation into the harassment was not pursuant to Kentucky C.P.P., for instance I was never informed of the findings, etc. Not sure if any of that makes a difference where a court of law might be concerned, but perhaps it would in regard to my appeal??
  13. I understand. However, in the event that retaliation (legal or illegal) were grounds to overturn the termination, do I have a case in your opinion? Please keep in mind I am not taking them to court, this is simply to appeal the decision to fire me.
  14. I reported their actions to the internal affairs office. I do not feel that I was fired for "tattling," I believe I was fired for reporting the harassment for the tattling. Incidentally my primary reason for reporting the harassment was that one of the supervisors was my evaluator and I feared his feelings toward me would negatively affect my performance assessment. As for the timeline of the day in question, the opening/closing of drawers lasted approximately 15 minutes; I didn't ask what they were looking for since the drawers in question were (and always have been) empty, plus I was crying and felt that if I opened my mouth things would surely escalate. Although this did for the most part take place during one day, I felt a great deal of animosity towards me throughout the following days up until I made my complaint of the harassment. Regardless, following my harassment report I was immediately reassigned to a different shift so I assume internal affairs as well as the administration felt my complaint was based on more than misinterpreted comments.
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