THE LETTER THAT INVADED MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE
Since 1987, I have been working for Bank of America. I started with United Jersey Bank which now after several mergers is known as Bank of America. I performed exceptionally as teller accruing various awards, merits, recognitions, bonuses, and certifications throughout the years.
For personal reason I have to relocate in Florida which I continued my employment with the bank on February 02, 2004.Unfortunately, my experience working at this state was unpleasant. I returned to New Jersey on January 2007.
March 12, 2007 I started working for Bank of America at Ridgewood, New Jersey. I was victim of retaliation between the managers of Florida and Ridgewood. I was medical discriminated by the manager of Ridgewood due to an injure I had on my knee and required a chair to seat while working. The manager refused to accept any medical letters not permitting me to have a chair. My medical condition continued to worsen. I went to a right knee Arthroscopic medial Meniscectomy surgery then, a ligation division, and stripping, long Saphenous Veins on my left leg. After my disability time I was concerned to returning to work on October 20, 2008 I have no other option to leave the bank.
November 02, 2008, it was very hard for me to apply for unemployment benefits since the bank claimed I had voluntary terminated my job. After several interviews and appeals I was approved.
October 06, 2010 I filed a lawsuit against Bank of America at SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY PASSAIC COUNTY. I paid $ 200.00 court fees. I was on disability leave until October 19, 2008.
November 24, 2010 the lawyers of Bank of America filed Answer, Affirmative Defenses, and designation of Trial Counsel
March 07, 2011 the Superior court of New Jersey Passaic County issued a Civil Action Mediation Referral Order. The court designated as a counsel Maurice W. McLaughlin
March 16, 2011 the mediator scheduled a conference call at 5:00pm. It was cancelled and rescheduled for March 29, 2011 but this day also was unsuccessful and rescheduled for March 30, 2011. I was comfortable with the mediator; he tried to help me making sure I understand the court procedures.
March 17, 2011 I wrote a letter to Attorney Maurice W. McLaughlin. I wanted him to know the facts of this discrimination.
April 06, 2011 I was asked by the attorneys of Bank of America to sign an authorization to obtain all my medical records. Reports, notes, diagnostic, test, invoices, statements, bills, etc between May 27, 2005 and present.
A letter from Ridgewood Orthopedic Group dated March 31, 2008 stated: “Clemencia is here for follow up of her right knee pain. She has difficulty standing full time at work at the bank. PLAN: Recommended trying to work more in a seat position if possible. I gave her note to this effect for her employer.”
A letter from Ridgewood Orthopedic Group dated September 05, 2008 stated: “Right knee pain. Clemencia complaints that her job at the bank is not sympathetic to her knee pain and will not let her sit while on the job. Therefore by the end of the day she complains of severe knee pain with swelling and difficulty walking and stiffness. PHYSICAL EXAM: Patient in tears, upset while explaining her job situation.”
A letter from Ridgewood Orthopedic Group dated October 17, 2008 stated:” She is very concerned that she is going to be fired from her job. She had requested that she be allowed to sit on a stool while working as a bank teller but apparently her employer is telling her that she must stand the entire day. Also, they want her to lift and carry and bend in order to use the safe deposit boxes which she is afraid is going to aggravate her knee pain. I would recommend she try to avoid prolonged standing or significant lifting, carrying or bending as I would agree with her assessment that this most likely will aggravate her arthritis in her knee.”
April 15, 2011 the court granted a motion to admit attorney Barbara J Parker PRO HAC VICE from Massachusetts.
April 29, 2011 the law offices of EDWARDS ANGELL PALMER & DODGE at Madison, New Jersey held a deposition thru the entire day. I received a condensed copy from the Superior Court of New Jersey Law Division Passaic County showing 228 pages come up.
The deposition was a complete invasion of my life. I was asked for my son’s life, the education I had in Colombia my home country. They asked for information I could not recall such as school address, and dates. The attorneys brought issues relative to Florida employment, including the incident of my fall.
They asked for my new employment information such as the name of the manager, address, telephones numbers etc. I refused to answer in fear of they might contact them to jeopardize my job. I just said I work for TD Bank.
The lawyers were interested on my book “Antes y Después del Sueño Americano, they asked:” In that book, the main character I believe came to United States illegally through Mexico…Is that how you came to the United States? “My answer was: Okay, why it has to do that in this case? I was harassed by this topic and refused to answer their questions about my book.
Repeatedly I was asked how I came to US. My immigration status was one of their main concerns, they insisted to know if I was entered illegally to US.
I told them I am an American Citizen since February 11, 1988. Due to their harassment regarding this matter I refused to answerer their questions saying all these issues belonged to Immigration’s officers. I was threatened by the lawyers saying they will report to court my negative to answer these questions.
May 25, 2011 I received a copy of a declaration made by Robert M Drozynski Senior Vice President Project manager Pay services from Bank of America stating that I was terminated my employment with the bank on January 16, 2009 after failing to return from a leave absence on October 20, 2008. This absence was a legal medical disability.
May 26, 2011 the attorneys for Bank of America removed my case from a Civil Court to a Federal Court UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT OF NJ.
July 08, 2011 the attorneys of bank of America filed an affidavit in support of Motion to Seal the case to protect my privacy due to the personal information I have provided. It was like more to prevent a negative publicity against the bank.
December 16, 2011 the attorneys of Bank of America filed a Joint Status Report. Most of the Bank of America indications I did not agree. They have not engaged in settlement negotiations. They denied my allegations.
December 20, 2011 I had a telephone conference with Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer. Ms Barbara Parker attorney of Bank of America wanted to dismiss my case stating I had refused to give them information they requested. I told the judge that the information they were asking has nothing to do with the discrimination I went through. The judge rescheduled a hearing, a settlement conference was set for February 16, 2012 but the lawyers of Bank of America moved to February 23, 2012 which later on, they moved to February 24, 2012. The judge did not want anymore change of dates. I had perceived some kind of support from the judge to my case.
January 25, 2012 I wrote a letter to Judge Michael Hammer telling my frustration and agony that I currently living, it goes back to 2004 while I worked at Bank of America Florida. I enclosed the letter I sent to the manager of Ridgewood on September 08, 2008 also two medical letters.
February 24, 2012 I have the opportunity to see a judge by the first time of my case. La Sra Barbara Parker attempted to dismiss my case stating I had filed the claim after two years statute of limitation. The dead line for the bank was October 05, 2010 and I did it on October 06, 2010. My last day of employment with Bank of America was October 19, 2008. They brought Mrs. Michelle Soto the assistant manager of Ridgewood as a bank representative.
Also Mrs. Barbara Parker stated that I was negligent to answer their question about my new job information. Judge Michael Hammer asked me why I have not provided the information. I told him I was afraid they would involve my new employment with the case I have with Bank of America. The judge asked Ms Barbara Parker why she wants to know the name of my current manager, address and phone numbers. Her answer was she just wanted to keep it on their records. Ms Parker said she won’t contact my employment. I did not trust the lawyer and I begged to the judge not to force me to give to her this information but he ordered me to provide it.
This day the judge issued a scheduling order. The paragraph 9 said: A final pre trial order, incorporating the written submissions of all parties, shall be filed on or after July 23, 2012. The judge had given me a hope of justice. He was concerned I understand the court rules and advised me to go to the internet and look for Federal rule 26. At the end of the conference he looked at me saying he can see I am suffering from lot of emotional damages, and the court could decide how much compensation I might be granted. By the end of February I received a copy of directory of federal court guidelines questionnaire
February 27, 2012 I sent a letter to Ms. Barbara Parker providing the name of my current manager, address and telephone numbers.
March 05, 2012 I sent to the court a certification of CONTINUE EMOTIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS. This was a chronology of my anguish since I left Bank of America.
March 06, 2012I received documentation that the attorneys of Bank of America had sent to TD Bank asking for information regarding my employment. They enclosed a Notice of Subpoena to obtain all my records. A letter dated March 8, 2012 had 9 attachments. This dirty action had impacted me tremendously.
I receive copy of Bank of America Rule 26a initial disclosures stating the manager Laura Misha and her assistant Michelle Soto will be their witness.
March 9, 2012 I had a meeting with my current manager, I feel obligated to explain the situation I have with Bank of America. My manager had forwarded the documents to the legal department of TD Bank. Ms. Barbara Parker jeopardized my position at the bank; she also caused much humiliation and put at risk my employment at TD Bank. I was in shock and sadden.
March 12, 2012 I wrote a letter to Judge Michael Hammer. This in reference the court date of February 24, 2012 that Ms. Barbara Parker attorney for Bank of America requested information about my new employment. Ms. Barbara Parker misleading explained to me and the court she needed my employment information for her records and denied any desire of contacting my current manager. Her words in court were not truthful; she deceived the court and me.
April 02, 2012 the agony of being humiliated was devastating my life. I went thru a nervous breakdown and I had to see my personal doctor. I was medicated and recommended to stay at home for three days.
April 17, 2012 I wrote a letter to Judge Michael Hammer. I informed him since my job at TD bank was involved I started having problems at work. I was requested by the manager to provide him medical letters in order to keep the chair I used to have since I started working for TD bank. I felt in disadvantage of fighting again for a chair. Repeatedly I had expressed to my manager my frustration going thru Human Resources just to beg for a chair. He knew my medical conditions since I had provided him information about the situation with Bank of America. Feeling hopeless I decided to leave my job at TD bank.
April 23, 2012 I wrote a letter to Judge Hammer enclosing documentation that TD bank sent to Bank of America. I was distraught and violated for this deep intrusion that the lawyers of Bank of America are doing to my personal, medical and professional life. This feels more like a persecution now than an investigation. I enclosed 100 pages of my employment records.
May 22, 2012 I wrote to Judge Michael Hammer informing him the electronic response I sent to the lawyers of Bank of America regarding Final judgment.
July 06, 2012 I was frightened when I received from Judge Faith S Hochberg an Opinion & Order granting Bank of America Motion for Summary Judgment and closing my case on July 02, 2012. I expected to follow the scheduling order made by Judge Michael Hammer that on July 23, 2012 a final pretrial order shall be filed. The statement that the lawyers had submitted was untrue
July 06, 2012 I wrote to Judge Michael Hammer asking for his help. I have not had an opportunity to represent myself; the Judge Hochberg has not given me the chance to see him in court. I informed him I wrote a book “Four years of a living hell at Bank of America.” On tears, I went personally to the court to give him this letter. I could not see the judge but a clerk looked up the doc number and informed me that a Superior Judge closed my case but, Judge Michael Hammer still has it opened. This has given me a piece of mind to go back home.
July 16, 2012 I haven’t received any response from Judge Michael Hammer. Feeling devastated and worried about the closing of my case I decided to go back to the court and give to him a copy of my book “Four years of a living hell at Bank of America”
Finally July 18, 2012 I received a letter from Judge Michael Hammer informing me the court has granted Bank of America Motion for Summary Judgment on July 02, 2012 and my case is closed. Accordingly the court is returning my book and will take no further action.