Justice… Just-Not For Me
When they led me into the back storage room that had no security cameras I knew exactly what was about to happen. No it wasn’t anything you’re thinking… some may say it wasn’t so bad, but that day my life changed.
I had been working at a local bar & grill in our small town. I worked there for a couple years without ever calling off and being late once due to sleeping in on my nap between shifts. I was very dedicated to this job as I am to every job. I was there whenever needed plus some. Well this day I was shown the respect the owners had for me… the respect anyone should expect from this man. This night I was fired.
People get fired everyday so you may wonder why I’m being so dramatic. Normally I wouldn’t be, but it just so happened that at this point in my life I needed money more then ever. I was pregnant with my first child. 5 1/2 months pregnant. With no family around because my mother needs to be with her parents in Arizona which I respect. This happened the week before I would get my Christmas bonus that I had worked all year for and goes without saying… the week before Christmas.
When I went looking for other jobs I had looks at my belly at each one because I was obviously pregnant at this point. I kept looking though because I am a worker, I must work. I enjoy working. I never once blamed places for not hiring someone about to be on maternity leave… I blame the “man” who fired me from a place I had invested time into… multiple years.
Earlier that day I had spoke to one of the managers there whom I had helped decide to make her a manager when the position opened because besides two women who had been there over ten years I was next in seniority and ran the night shift. I had told this woman that I had a conversation with the boss earlier and had recorded it on a recorder in my apron that day about if he would be firing me and admitted to him I was pregnant and he had openly said “I won’t do you like I did the other girls. I’ll let you work to about 7 months” he says “other girls” because he has been known to do this. His exact words to me when he began letting me know he knew were “a pregnant woman serving you your food is disgusting”
Let me tell you… this man was never disgusted with me before. In fact I don’t believe he was ever disgusted by any of the women that worked there judging by multiple girls having the same story of him pushing them against the wall by the bathroom in the kitchen and kissing them because that is just barely out of view for the kitchen security cameras and it is dark and closed down well before the bar is. The evening he did this to me landed on a New Years Eve 15 minutes before the ball dropped when he would be kissing his wife who was right out at the table and he would also send his brother in law (wifes brother) to come kiss me. He did what he wanted because he believes he is God in his establishment when really he is just a pig with too much money.
He would send text messages such as “send me a picture of your bald beaver for my spank bank” and had a very undercover affair going with one of the women that worked there. The girl who trained me was actually having a very long term affair with the owner and she had no idea that he was having her train her replacement due to the wedding being the next month and wanting to completely separate business and pleasure. He cut her pay and her hours to push her out. It worked. Which is also what he ended up doing to the woman who told him I had recorded him. He wanted her to lie to his lawyer and she would not so he made promises to her about getting day shifts so she could be with her family in evenings then lied to her and spoke down to her infront of the guests.
He had fired another girl for being pregnant and I tried helping be her witness when she reported it to the EEOC but it went nowhere. The EEOC is also whom I went through as well. I received no help either. Two women from the same place crying for help because there was no Equal Employment Opportunity for us and we received zero help. I had years of evidence against him because he has done this to five women that I know of. I was protecting myself because none have been able to. I had multiple phones with the harassing texts, envelopes he had paid me in cash with for around three years so he wouldn’t have to pay taxes on me which he does with most of the people there. I had a half hour recording of him and I talking openly about how he does this, I had witness statements of the way I was demoted once I started showing and being transferred from the non smoking areas when it was my turn to be in the upstairs section that was full of smoke, I had a toothbrush and toothpaste under the sink in the bathroom wrapped in a paper towel hidden to brush in between puking. I would not call in sick because I did not want to nor could I lose my job. I did my research and covered my ass… or so I thought and I still got fired and he still got away with it. I was offered $5,000 to just drop it but I wanted justice for myself and the other women. I wanted people to see the sexist monster he was and to quit giving their hard earned money to him. But I didn’t get justice… I got a letter after months of fighting telling me that it had been dropped due to the business being too small with under 15 employees.
That’s odd due to the fact that I was never on payroll and had given them proof in his handwriting that he doesn’t out everyone on payroll. (Knowing I may have to pay a fee for not being on payroll, I just wanted justice) I had multiple schedules with many names on it that weren’t on the payroll, but they weren’t having it… just like that my battle was over.
I was and after 4 1/2 years still am ashamed of losing this battle. I wanted to win not just for myself and for the other women that dealt with this but for my daughter whom I hope will never deal with this and if she does… I want her to fight. With both fists up. I lost a piece of myself. Some of my pride And some of my fight. I became very to myself and almost a hermit. I was so embarrassed because it wasn’t like other people saw all my proof. I looked like I was a gold digger when really I could have taken that $5,000 but that’s not what I wanted. I wanted justice and justice is not what I got. Not at all. But I do not regret this battle at all and I encourage everyone to fight in what is right… even if you don’t win you will feel better that you fought. He was scared for a bit and also didn’t fire a girl who ended up pregnant about 3 years after I had left so to you pregnant girl that made it… you’re welcome.
I made it through with my savings and found a job right away. I got out of my emotional/physical abusive relationship. I gained my self esteem back. I began sticking up for myself again. I got out of the house and started going out when the opportunity arose. I am now busting my ass in an RV factory starting at 5 o’clock every morning and working like a man but one day it will pay off and I will be in the industry I once ruled and that is the hospitality business. I will open my own bar and grill and due to certain establishments in Indiana not wanting to cater some events due to them being too “out of the box” for their liking I will open the doors of my home away from home to everyone. The $5,000 pay off would have been helpful for a jump start on my savings but I wanted justice. Not your dirty filthy money.