Employment Law/Age discrimination or wrongful termination?
My name is Glennis Smith. I was employed with a restaurant chain in 2002. My job title was server + server crew leader. My pay rate at time of hire was $3.50 hr + tips. My pay rate at time of termination was $2.13 hr. I was terminated on June 12, 2013 and management refused to provide any reason for the termination.
I'm a white female in my early 6o's. I have no physical or mental disabilities. The restaurant chain was sold to another company earlier this year. The general manager a white male has made statements to me, other managers and employees stating "wants to get rid of old ones". To my knowledge there were 3 other females over 40 who were also terminated before me.
I'd never had any write ups, customer complaints, no unexcused absenteeism and no formal employee performance reviews. After the change in ownership the manager appointed another crew leader who is under 40 closer to mid 20's (white female) with no training. Training had been a previous requirement before becoming crew leader. The new crew leader is reported to be the general manager's "girlfriend".
The general manager informed both of us the company was longer paying the crew leader rate of $3.50. However, another manager and the newly appointed crew leader both acknowledged she was receiving the $3.50 hr rate While I was reduced to the rate of $2.13 hr still with job description of crew leader.
When the general manager learned I was inquiring about the difference in pay rate he informed the new crew leader, management and other employees of his intent to terminate me. He also in the presence of witnesses referred to me as "old bitch" and "floor whore".
I've been denied a written notice of separation. A former manager whom I worked with at another restaurant has offered me a position at the current store he is managing. I'm in the process of preparing an EEOC complaint. Any guidance on the most appropriate way to move forward is greatly appreciated.
I'm very sorry to hear about this situation. You are already taking the right first step by working up an EEOC complaint. If you haven't already done this, it would also be a good idea to get advice from an experienced employment attorney in your area, who can assist you with the EEOC charge and investigation process. A good attorney will know the ins and outs of working with the EEOC and can save you time and trouble. If you don't know a lawyer in this field, you can put the name of your city or county and the words "bar association attorney referral" in your search engine and you'll find the right contacts. For example, here is the lawyer referral page of the DuPage County Bar Association:
There is no statutory requirement in Illinois that a written notice of termination of employment be given. However, if the employer had a published policy or handbook stating the conditions under which an employee can be terminated, and did not follow its own policy, Illinois courts might be inclined to uphold a claim of wrongful termination. This, of course, is something else you should explore with an employment attorney.
In the meantime, you probably don't need me to tell you this, but definitely accept that job offer!
I hope this is helpful to you