Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program
Quickie Consult 236
“A Positive Ending to a 5 Year Battle with a Former Staff Member”
I just received a letter from the NYS Department of Labor (EEOC) formally dismissing the case against my office that I closed in 2006 stating that the plaintiff, a former employee, is entitled to $0.00 as a result of her claim that we sexually harassed her and that she was discriminated against because she was pregnant. 5 YEARS...That's how long this battle lasted and after 2 hearings and 2 trials, she got just what she deserved...NOTHING!
Her claims were based on nothing other than fabricated hand-written notes that she did well after her employment ended and an allegation that I offered to help her adjust her patients during her pregnancy if her belly or chest were too tender to tolerate the physicality of rendering care. She also claimed we fired her because she was pregnant, ignoring numerous facts and two HUGE issues; she was fully employed until well after giving birth and she signed our office policy. The office policy outlined our relationship and we, as employers, followed that policy to the letter. Without that policy, we would have been forced to give her a large sum of money as a reward for her extortion efforts.
The rule is this: If it isn't in writing, it doesn't exist. This young doctor was very quiet, very sweet and I treated her like a daughter, never realizing that she was covertly hostile. Her husband, also a chiropractor, was failing in practice and she resented everything about me, my family, my lifestyle and my successes, no matter how large or small. She thought her way out was to blackmail me through the court system by lying both to her lawyer and the courts. In the end, the truth WAS ABLE to prevail because I had the paperwork to protect my family and myself.
Do you have an office policy that every staff members signs, both professional and non-professional? If not, get one and have every staff member sign it...IT IS NON-NEGOTIABLE!!!! Either go to a local lawyer and have one crafted for you or go to http://lawyerspiprogram.com/index.php/forms-a-templates and scroll to "Office Policy." Ours is $150 and the most cost efficient way to get one. It doesn't matter where you get one, but do not procrastinate because you could be "bit in the ass" 1-2 years after the fact if you don't, just like I was.