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Thorough investigations win discharge lawsuits

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

While you can fire an at-will employee for any legal reason or no reason at all, your best bet is to conduct a thorough and fair investigation. It’s much easier to persuade a judge that a discrimination complaint is meritless if you can point to records showing exactly why you fired the worker.

Recent case: Tammy Valdes was a part-time criminal justice instructor at a college. Students complained to college officials that Valdes disrupted their exam periods by speaking loudly on her cell phone and using profanity.

Valdes was warned, and yet the complaints kept coming. An investigator then interviewed an entire class and got their written accounts. The administration fired Valdes and she sued, alleging discrimination.

But the administration showed it had conducted a thorough investigation, speeding dismissal of the lawsuit. Valdes couldn’t cast doubt on the investigator’s conclusions. (Valdes v. Miami-Dade College, No. 11-14977, 11th Cir., 2012)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue Happy December 16, 2012 at 11:53 am

Come now. Just admit you are sue happy already. Your past proves that you have sued just about everyone that you’ve worked for for discrimination. It just caught up with you. Bad cops SHOULD be in prison and now that you’ve been caught red-handed, with your husband, for selling illegal firearms maybe you’ll have some quality time in prison to think about all the monies you’ve received from your bogus lawsuits and that you have nothing to show for it. No money, no career and no credibility.

http://cops.heraldtribune.com/Officer/Details/65350

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Tammy June 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm

As a good journalist or writer of an article, It would seem you would reach out to the individual or parties that you are writing about for their comments for important information regarding what you are reporting to the general public, as their is always two sides to every story. Although the “opinion” of Judge Ungaro was not allowing The Valdes vs Miami-Dade College to proceed forward so that a Jury of my peers could hear the documented and truthful facts as to the allegations which were brought against me after I had filed a complaint through the proper admininstrative channels. The administration of Miami Dade College chose to retaliate by fabricating and conducting an illegal investigation against me, this is far from a “fair investgation” as you stated in your article. Although Judge Ursula Ungaro chose to ignore all of the doucumented facts supporting this claim however,she did choose to accept the “The Investigator” Donalad Diecidue (former employee of Miami Dade College) illegal investigation which was conducted and fail to provide source notes which he testified to “destroying” in his deposition.None of the “trainees” were ever deposed or recorded as apart of the litigation or claim from the defense. No evidence was EVER provided as Mr.Diecidue testified he destroyed his source notes and documents. It is illegal for any investigator of any Law Enforcment agency conducting “Internal Investigation” to destroy any investigative or “source notes”,that is the law.The notes must be retained for a period of four years. It is a disgrace that the totality of the supporting facts in this case were simply ignored.The general public will never be afforded the opportunity to hear an unbias factual version of this case. The Attorney in this case Karen Brimmer (Hinshaw and Culbertson) was self serving when writing her summary judgment statement and was less than truthful as all the documentation which was provided will support as well as my testimony. Many employees that have brought claims against large goverments or corporate companys fail due to the fact they cannot meet summary judgment which does not allow their claim to be heard at trial in front of a jury of their peers.Instead one Juge who may have a personnal “opinion” in the case may throw the case out at this juncture of the litigation. I ask myself every day why was my right to a trial stolen away from me, Especially when I was able to prove the illegal investigation and retaliatory acts that were conducted against me. As far as my initial complaint of retaliation filed with Miami Dade College as of this date it had never been investigated and gone un answered.Further more I was employed by The Miami Dade College since 1996 with an outstanding record I trained thousands of trainees from Dade and Broward counties and received several awards from the trainees themselves. I worked in excess of forty hours weekly removing me from the “At will” status you speak of.Miami Dade College has abused the “At Will” language to avoid having to compensate those who should have a diffrent classification for the amount of hours worked.
Any individual who has been victimized by any organization should not be afraid to express their right to be heard.No one should be harassed,retaliated by any individual(s) who abuse their authority.

Any person intersted in a comment from me or view any of the supporting documents in this case I would be availble for comment and reached at my email.

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