My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: NY
I have been working at my job for about 3 years. About 5 months ago my manager was promoted to another location and in came a new manager. Prior to this transition I became pregnant. When the new manager came in he asked me what I thought we should do with my position when I was out on leave because I am one of the store managers. We came up with a few different solutions and he asked me if I was going to take the full 3 months of FMLA leave. I answered honestly and said if I can do it financially I would but I was not sure. The question came up randomly at different times, but I thought nothing of it. One morning I came into work about 10 min late and I was written up. He said that I was "disrepecting" him. I explained to the manager that I live about an hour and a half ride away and that I cannot start my ride into work any earlier than 7am due to my child's caretaker. Some days I am on time some days I may be 10 minutes late. This was fine with my previous manager becuase last year we consolidated our stores and when I was asked to become the manager at the new location I discussed the issue of the extra half an hour and that I may be late on certain days. He was fine with this and there was never an issue. I was a great employee and was number one in my region often. Around 8 months into my pregnancy I strarted experiencing some cramping. After speaking with my doctor she asked me if I was able to cut back on my hours. I work about 52 plus hours a week. About 2 weeks later I went into my manager and asked him if I could cut back on my hours due to the pregnancy. He said "I knew this was coming" and said he wanted to speak with HR and see how it would affect my income since I am strictly a commision based employee. I came into work my next scheduled day and I was about 8 min late. I was called into my manager's office and "let go" due to my lateness. I left and contacted a lawyer. I felt that my release was too coincidental with me asking for a reduction in my hours. Also, there is another employee who has to bring his children to school and is about 10 min late twice a week. Plus, the said manager's brother in law is late pretty consitantly and is actually manually punced into our time clock system.
The lawyer said I had a case and was not sure if he wanted to write a "demand letter" or just file suit right away. He ended up doing a demand letter. There were no demands just that I hired a lawyer and they feel I have a case to please contact them with 10 days. They responded basically bashing me saying the termination was my own fault (about 2 pages long) and then at the end they offered me my job back. My lawyer is advising me to take the job back and that now my law suit is cut down by about 3/4 because future earnings is a non entity at this point. I really do not feel comfortable going back into the same environment and there was not even so much as an acknowledgement that I was wrongfully fired. Is this how corporations get away with these law suits. Offer your job back and all is forgiven? If I decide not to take my position back the lawyer would then want to be paid on an hourly basis if I decide to litigate. I am told that this is a very rare situation because they normally do not offer resintatement of employement. If we had gone ahead with the law suit from the get could they have used this manuver to get out of a coslty settlement as well?