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Old 01-25-2021, 10:22 PM   #41
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*** When to sue and when to just let go? ***

i have been blessed by the trend that my new replacement is normally vastly inferior and ends up being less cost effective is such businesses ( some were actually crippled by the replacement and may be totally extinct .. )

one was a 'newspaper ' ( advertorial rag ) that is now struggling as an online-only presence ( once an influential advertising revenue generator in a global mega-corp

while my income may or may not improve with the career shift , i don't have to bother with thoughts of remorse or revenge ( the good friends i made there remain good friends just their careers have changed also )

it will be interesting to see if the recent US election put the final nail in Mega-Corp's coffin

however weigh the consequences and rewards ( some businesses hate to see unfair dismissal suits on an employees CV ) and do what you think best ( for yourself )

PS keep an ear out for attempts to smear your reputation , that might be very juicy
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Old 01-25-2021, 10:45 PM   #42
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Saying that you will litigate is a very, very long way to finding a skilled lawyer, let alone one that will take it on a contingency basis.

And it is a much longer way to the end point. Will it be worth it.

Do not let emotion get in the way of a settlement that makes sense. This is a ultimately a business issue. Do not let your emotion or sense of betrayal get in the way.

Given your emotion, have an experienced lawyer advise you and do the negotiation.

I went T&M with my the lawyer I engaged to handle my termination agreement. Not only was is far more advantageous than others who went contingency, at the final stage of the negotiation the lawyer managed to have the value of his fee to me added to the settlement.
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Old 01-26-2021, 12:17 AM   #43
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I think as well that your time is likely limited at your present employer.

So, why not be a bit bold and offer to negotiate terms of your resignation. No one likes bad PR, including among internal audiences, and you could solve a problem for them in this way.

I think you reasonably might ask for several months severance, a good letter of recommendation, and perhaps staying on the organization's healthcare (perhaps with cost sharing) for some amount of time. You lose any chance for these things, of course, once you are fired.

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Old 01-26-2021, 09:07 AM   #44
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I have to agree with Barnfellow's advice. You are as good as out now, so trying to make it easier for your employer may incentivize them to give you something in return. Consider a "work from home" for 6 months (that is, 6 month pay, stay on payroll, stay on benefits, yet have no contact with them, no objectives, etc.). That way you can job hunt while still employed.
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Old 01-26-2021, 12:21 PM   #45
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Best of luck, but having gone through similar things a couple of times (wrongful termination), I learned pretty quickly and painfully that "at will" employment is a very tough thing to beat in court. I even went so far as to consult with employment attorneys who basically told me the same thing..you REALLY need to be some protected class (and age is no longer much protection) to get anywhere..

Bottom line - as unfair as it may be, and as angry as it may make you, you have little chance of beating them. Best to look for another gig and get out while the getting is good, if the writing is on the wall as you seem to indicate it may be.
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Old 01-26-2021, 12:35 PM   #46
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I agree that a negotiated departure is better than being fired. Also, the only people who win in litigation are the lawyers. I strongly urge you to get on with your life and let go any feelings of anger, bitterness or revenge. Negative emotions cloud your judgement and make a clean break impossible. They can even screw up any new gig you land because your attention will not be 100% on being successful going forward.
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Best of luck, but having gone through similar things a couple of times (wrongful termination), I learned pretty quickly and painfully that "at will" employment is a very tough thing to beat in court. I even went so far as to consult with employment attorneys who basically told me the same thing..you REALLY need to be some protected class (and age is no longer much protection) to get anywhere..

Bottom line - as unfair as it may be, and as angry as it may make you, you have little chance of beating them. Best to look for another gig and get out while the getting is good, if the writing is on the wall as you seem to indicate it may be.
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Old 01-26-2021, 12:59 PM   #47
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Put the thought of a litigation out of your mind. It does not work the way it does on television.

Like others have said prepare yourself for a job search/job change. Get into that mode.

Get the best termination package that you possibly can by the best means you see fit given the circumstances. This is business, not retribution.

Do not let emotion get in the the way of of your job search and interview process. The absolute worst thing you can do is be down in the mouth at any job interviews or WORSE....bad mouth your current employer. As a former hiring manager the one thing that disqualified any candidate was one who made negative comments about a then current or former employer. You want to bee seen as running to a new job, new opportunity NOT running away from your current job.
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Old 01-29-2021, 05:20 PM   #48
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You might consider sitting down with the HR vP or higher. Let them know that it appears they want to eliminate you.basedon age or salary costs. See if they want to negotiate a package with 12-24 months paid health Good luck
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Old 01-29-2021, 06:02 PM   #49
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While it sounds like it might be constructive dismissal, your entity is also under “at-will” rules, and you are aware of it. Rather than fight thru another round, if it were me, I’d look for another job right now, then once you’ve found one you are comfortable doing, ask your boss why he or she couldn’t just come out and tell you to get lost, since it is apparent you are no longer valued. Then hand in your ID, keys, and computer, and just leave.
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Old 01-29-2021, 06:18 PM   #50
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First contact the State Department of Labor and see if this is considered to be a discriminatory practice.
Second, if you do face this and choose to fight it, would you really want to work at a place that has this atmosphere?
Third, do you have skills that you could use to form your own business?
Fourth, could you float your resume and see what other organizations in your area would be interested in your experience?
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Old 01-29-2021, 06:34 PM   #51
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Old 01-29-2021, 08:55 PM   #52
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Thanks, everybody, for the thoughtful replies.

A quick update: In the last 48 hours, I have found out that the top official at the organization in question has been sued for gender and age discrimination before, at a previous job in another state. Best I can tell, the allegations against the employer were dismissed but the allegations against the individual in question were not. The case might still be active -- I need to check. The allegations are concerning -- that the official encouraged employees to make complaints about the employee in question, which ultimately led to his firing. He, like me, is a male in his 50s.

It was at another nonprofit. This is my first nonprofit experience. I have nearly 30 years of prior experience in for-profit and government. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd encounter the worst behavior in the nonprofit sector. Live and learn.
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Old 01-31-2021, 12:00 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by SAinMinn View Post
Thanks, everybody, for the thoughtful replies.

A quick update: In the last 48 hours, I have found out that the top official at the organization in question has been sued for gender and age discrimination before, at a previous job in another state. Best I can tell, the allegations against the employer were dismissed but the allegations against the individual in question were not. The case might still be active -- I need to check. The allegations are concerning -- that the official encouraged employees to make complaints about the employee in question, which ultimately led to his firing. He, like me, is a male in his 50s.

It was at another nonprofit. This is my first nonprofit experience. I have nearly 30 years of prior experience in for-profit and government. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd encounter the worst behavior in the nonprofit sector. Live and learn.
Sounds like something to use in leveraging a good walk away package. Also, an employment lawyer could advise you whether such information could be introduced in your case were you to go down that path.

My own experience with non-profit organizations is that many of their employees fail to live up to the ideals they espouse when asking for donations. This is borne out by the occasional news headline.
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Old 01-31-2021, 01:57 PM   #54
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When to sue and when to just let go?

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Originally Posted by G8tr View Post
Sounds like something to use in leveraging a good walk away package. Also, an employment lawyer could advise you whether such information could be introduced in your case were you to go down that path.

My own experience with non-profit organizations is that many of their employees fail to live up to the ideals they espouse when asking for donations. This is borne out by the occasional news headline.


That’s kind of implying guilt by association of a giant, important sector of society. We see endless headlines about Mega Church leaders and abusive priests who fail to live up to their ideals but we probably shouldn’t imply that whole sector’s guilt by association with them.

In my own direct experience of 28 years working for many different nonprofits, these are difficult organizations to run. Peter Drucker even wrote a book about it. A lot of managers are thrust into their roles due to strong front line experience but most organizations on shoe strings don’t prioritize management training. Computer systems and databases absorb endless resources yet almost never work all that well, hampering communication and coordination. Boards of corporate types prefer to hire corporate types as CEOs who have no clue about the culture of the nonprofit below them. These CEOs then bring in corporate executives who want to run their underpaid, under resourced and threadbare teams like a 24/7 machine. Those overburdened staff flee and then, after about 5-7 years, the CEO leaves and the whole cycle starts again.

Still, there are endless, legitimate needs in our society that the market fails to address, so our choice is more government or nonprofits. We’ve chosen the balance we have while other countries choose a different balance.
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Old 01-31-2021, 02:31 PM   #55
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Such interesting perspectives ... thanks.

Markola, I've been on two (non-church) nonprofit boards and have been associated with nonprofits as a volunteer for pretty much my whole life, so I have a sense of the difficulty for sure. But this is my first experience really inside the organization. Thanks for your perspective.

Finding evidence of the previous lawsuit has made me look at my situation more closely.

By my count, out of the last 10 hires or promotions for full-time non-contract positions, one has been a white male. He is around 50. One other male has been hired, an early 30s African-American man.

Eight women have been hired or promoted. Two of them are persons of color. Best I can tell, three of the women are in their 40s. None is in her 50s, 60s, etc., best I can tell of course.

Among those 10 positions, the nonprofit has added three new FTEs. I interviewed for the first two new FTE positions and was not selected for an interview for the third FTE position. So this is not a situation of an organization cutting costs. The organization is adding positions, and they are taking steps to oust me -- without giving me a performance evaluation in the 3.5 years I've been there.

It's getting harder to say "just move on."
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Old 01-31-2021, 02:59 PM   #56
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Litigation after being terminated is difficult on many levels. The best solution is, while still employed, seeking another job. If you land one, great. If not, and they ultimately terminate you, they might offer you a severance package.
You can then decide whether to take the package or see an attorney. No doubt you'll pay a fee just to meet with the attorney. If your case is less than ideal, the attorney may not even take you on as a client. Make sure you look at this objectively to decide your best course of action and weigh your options accordingly. I can't help but get a sense that your anger is coloring your viewpoint, especially regarding your odds of a successful legal action.
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Old 01-31-2021, 03:11 PM   #57
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SAinMinn, A few things to keep in mind:

1. Typically age discrimination laws protect people over the age of 40. Your posts mention that several hires have been of people in that age range or higher, so proving age discrimination on that basis may be difficult.

2. Federal age discrimination laws for the most part apply to nonprofit firms with >20 employees working >20 hours/week. Your organization may well meet that threshold, but if it is smaller, then the laws may not apply. (there are exceptions).

3. You may be better served by speaking with an attorney about how to negotiate a severance package.

4. If you choose to go forward with some sort of mediation or legal action, make sure you have a print file of any emails from management indicating strong performance. If you exit the job, you will not have access to those records.

5. Pursuing a legal claim can be expensive, time-consuming and draining. Sometimes it is well worth just leaving a toxic work environment with a decent severance package than trying to win a battle. Remember that you can use COBRA for 18 months, and in some states longer, to cover health insurance.

Given your savings, expenses and your wife's income, in my opinion you are more than capable of retiring now. In the alternative, you may wish to take a sabbatical year and decide what, if anything you are drawn to do next. Good luck to you!
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Old 01-31-2021, 05:11 PM   #58
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Hi all,



So ... do I fight a firing or just move on? I'd really appreciate thoughts from those who have been in similar situations.

Thanks.
I saw one of the top labor attorneys in Atl and my thoughts are it is real tough to win discrimination cases.

The other concept I realized was you now are going to live in your past for the next few yrs. at least that was my feelings . I was ready to let the past
go and move on. JMHO
Good luck sometimes getting let go turns out to be a blessing
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Old 01-31-2021, 05:31 PM   #59
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Say nothing. Offer nothing. Get everything in writing. Move any jpr's off your work computer and on to your home system. Same for any other personal data that you may need. If you are terminated your access will most likely be terminated.

Start a job search.

Start getting some recommendations for a good lawyer tell you what you are entitled to and to negotiate you package on a fee for service basis.

Forget about litigation. It is a rabbit hole which you do not wish to go down.

Who on earth do you think will hire you if they find out that you are suing your previous employer

Look at the upside....getting terminated with a nice package can be a very good thing. It was for me.
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Old 01-31-2021, 05:56 PM   #60
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By my count, out of the last 10 hires or promotions for full-time non-contract positions, one has been a white male. He is around 50. One other male has been hired, an early 30s African-American man.

Eight women have been hired or promoted. Two of them are persons of color. Best I can tell, three of the women are in their 40s. None is in her 50s, 60s, etc., best I can tell of course."

You are viewing the situation through a prism of your age, gender and race, because that’s who you are and it doesn’t feel fair for any aspect of yourself to be factored in except your individual performance. However understandable from the individual perspective, that is not the moment society or your service organization exists in. I promise you, because this is the case in every non profit, lots of historic wrongs are being righted, very aggressively, right now:

The board is looking around at itself and realizing, “Hey, we’re a bunch lilly white, educated professionals who have been recruiting others just like us to this board. We need to change, and fast.

They are turning to management to say, “What are the diversity, equity and inclusion metrics of our staff, which is also overwhelmingly white (especially in Minnesota)? Those metrics do not reflect society, because they aren’t balanced in hardly any organization, so they are pressuring the CEO to make change in hiring practices, diversity training, etc.

Millennials and Gen Z employees do not at all accept the white-dominated professional world they inherited. They have formed all kinds of interest groups and committees to shake up hiring, on boarding and retention that white dominated managers have been oblivious to.

The CEO is readily embracing those directives from the board and the demands for culture change bubbling up from junior staff and is directing his/her executive team to make changes to improve the DEI metrics aggressively. That is what you are experiencing with hires going forward all around you but without you.

These changes are real and are happening because modern society is simply demanding a multicultural future. More specifically, they are also being done by those who manage you because every foundation and government grant maker that funds you is asking your development staff for your org’s DEI metrics and its plans to improve them, which they will consider in their funding decisions. That means every single other organization competing for those crucial dollars is scrambling to correct course and is trying to outdo your organization.

Like it or not, this is what you are up against. You can choose fight the powerful tide of this historic societal trend and say “But what about my performance review?” and you can spend money and metabolize cortisol, if you wish. However, I hate to break it to you, but you have likely already lost.

I take this strong stance, because I lived it as a senior manager, I left it when I could afford to retire and I got on to the next thing for myself while still applauding the healthy trend. I hope you can find a peaceful resolution for yourself. Good luck and YMMV.
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