My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: NH
Hi, I am a military spouse stationed in Germany with my active duty husband. I have worked for a company based in NH (with an office in MA) for over a year and a half. A co-worker sent a racist joke via work email, I complained to my boss and all he did was to send out an email to remind staff of company's policy. A few days later, the co-worker along with her boss placed a complaint directly with the CEO against me. 80% of her complaint was also involving a Hispanic co-worker. I am from Eastern Europe. I was the only one "investigated" by my supervisor at the request of the CEO and HR. Even though all accusations were false, I was demoted a month later with a cut in pay. With my supervisor's verbal approval I sent a few non-confidential emails (which would have helped my appeal) to my private email address. I was subsequently terminated for "sending confidential emails to a private email address". Nothing happened to my Hispanic co-worker, other than receiving bonuses and praise. My husband was deployed at the time and the "investigation" found that I had been out of the office unauthorized (not true) and on extensive personal calls (not true). All my time out of the office had been with my boss' consent. The Hispanic co-worker would go shopping unauthorized during work hours and made international phone calls (a few to Barcelona to book hotel rooms!!!).
I filed with the EEOC and after 8 months they changed the investigator and told me they could not prove for sure it was discrimination and retaliation, and was given a Notice to Sue. In the meantime, I filed in German Labour Court and won the first time, but lost the appeal. In the meantime, the company retaliated in various ways: removed my bondability which means upon my return to the US I will be unemployable to companies covered by Fidelity Bonds. They countersued in German court asking for damages and asking I give statements (gave two already willingly) that I have destroyed all emails (now they are asking me to destroy ANY email sent to my private address by ANYONE in that company- my defense was that other employees had forwarded documents to my private address and were not disciplined). Now, after a year of litigation back and forth, the Court has proposed a settlement in which I give them the statement and I state to the NH Commission for Human Rights that I have no future claims in that investigation. Their lawyer accepted, but said the company reserves the right to sue me in the States for damages which arose from my complaint to EEOC and alleged time spent to "investigate" the emails I sent to my home address (conversations with my boss, emails I provided him in support of my defense in the work investigation).
I don't know what to do. Should I still consider legal action in the States and what would my chances be? Also, would they stand a chance in Court if they would sue me for damages? Would that not be further retaliation asking for lawyer costs incurred due to the EEOC complaint?