In Wrongful Termination Litigation, Do Not Expect Your Employer to Play Nice

Litigation between an ex-employee residing in Florida and her former place of employment is a prime example of why you need to be prepared for a battle when taking legal action against an employer for wrongful termination

The ex-employee is fighting to get access to documents and files that remain in the possession of her employer that would strengthen her wrongful termination claim.

She worked for the company for nearly two decades, according to the SaintPetersBlog. In response to the wrongful termination lawsuit, the company claims that it terminated her because of her questionable conduct in handling a conflict of interest involving her husband, who works for a vendor of the company.

The ex-employee claims the company is withholding documents that show she was not terminated for an alleged ethical issue. Rather, she was fired because she stood up and complained about repeated incidences of sexual harassment by her supervisor.

She claims she filed three complaints about sexual harassment by her supervisor. The third complaint was filed in October 2015, just two months before she was terminated.

Fight for Files

She filed a subpoena to gain possession of documents from her former company. A subpoena is a writ issued to compel production of evidence under a penalty for failure. She sought the following documents:

  • A copy of her personnel file;
  • Any documents referring to the employee’s alleged violation of the company’s conflict of interest policy; and
  • Any records of text messages between the employee and the individual who filed the ethical complaint against her with the company.
  • Computer/IT; and/or
  • Outside sales.

She suspects her personnel file will likely include evidence to support her wrongful termination claim. The company objected to the subpoena claiming that it already produced documents related to her termination.

Vague Response

The company, like many employers involved in wrongful termination litigation, ultimately responded to the subpoena but failed to provide a full response. If that was not bad enough, the employee’s subpoena was sent to her former company on May 20, 2016. A response was not provided until July 15 (nearly two months) and it redacted significant portions of information and outright ignored the request for other documents. For example, the documents produced included screenshots of text messages and an investigation report that redacted names and sections of sentences./p>

Petition for Enforcement

Due to the insufficient response, she has been forced to file a Petition for Enforcement. If granted, it will require the company to provide unaltered documents and a copy of her personnel file. She is requesting the company reimburse her for attorneys’ fees and costs accumulated as a proximate result of non-compliance with her subpoena.

Why You Need an Experienced Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Termination Lawyer

As you can see from the above case, employers routinely do not “play nice” in employment litigation and routinely attempt to stymie the resolution of a lawsuit in the hopes that the employee will simply give up. This is why you need the guidance and counsel of an experienced Fort Lauderdale wrongful termination attorney. Mark J. Berkowitz, P.A., is here to help. He has years of extensive experience and knows his way around a Florida courtroom. Contact his office today at (954) 527-0570.