C&F Addendum

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Anonymous User
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C&F Addendum

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:56 am

Not sure if this can be posted up in this forum (I saw a few other Addendums in here) I apologize if it isn't. I removed some sensitive information and it's a bit long. Probably need to shorten it up, but not sure what information I can let go of without compromising the meaning of what is being said. Please do not quote.

On X, I was separated and let go from my position at X. X is a nonprofit organization which works with schools in inner cities for tutoring and running an after school program. Because of the context and circumstances, there are many situations which arise which utilize making judgment calls and whether or not it consists of mandated reporting. I had to make a judgment call and had to report a situation.

The situation entailed a middle school student letting me know that there were two boys, whom her family knew, that were trying to talk to her one day. One of the boys was a boy she liked. During this attempt to talk to her, she didn’t reply to them for whatever reason. She stated that they approached her and was bear hugged from behind by the boy she liked. I asked multiple times thereafter if the situation was more serious than what she was letting me know because I did not fully understand the situation. She reiterated that it was not and seemed to downplay the incident. Nevertheless, to err on the side of caution I believed this was a reporting situation.

I took steps to do so within the immediate 24 hour period. I tried to go speak immediately with a counselor whom had worked with the student previously but she was unavailable. Since I wanted to make sure that there wasn’t anything more to the story I wanted the student to directly tell the counselor. However, by this time school had been dismissed. The next morning, still within the 24 hour timeline, I talked with the student to go see the counselor regarding the matter. She agreed after much reluctance. I dropped her off with the counselor directly, let the counselor know that this was a reporting situation, and that the student would elaborate. After her meeting with the counselor, I asked her if she had told the counselor everything. She said that she didn’t. I decided to go speak with the counselor to tell her what the student had told me. However, once it was found out that I had initially known about the situation earlier (the initial conversation with the student), it was judged that I had not reported the situation within an appropriate amount of time. Therefore, I was separated from my employment because it was evaluated that I had put the student in danger by not reporting it immediately right that second once I had heard.

I believe it was a mistake in judgment based on my misunderstanding between the urgency factor versus policy factor to report the situation within the appropriate timeline. I had believed mandated reporting to entail that I should report a situation as soon as I could, however that I had within 24 hours in order to do so to the proper personnel. One may wonder why I did not report the incident to my immediate supervisors. I did not do so because there had been some issues with previous reporting getting to the proper personnel within the specified required time and until it was reported to the proper personnel, it was my understanding that I would be held responsible. Thus, I believed I had properly reported the situation when I took the student to speak directly the counselor and mentioned that it was a reporting situation. While I was disappointed with the final decision, I do understand the sensitivity to the issue and take full responsibility. Previous to this incident, I had never had any issues with any place of employment and have learned much from this experience. I’ve learned that even though someone could believe that he\she is doing everything he/she is suppose to do, it’s always better to ask to double check, clarify, and ask. If need be, I can provide more details.

hos9903
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Re: C&F Addendum

Postby hos9903 » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:39 pm

I think that you can get your message across in far fewer words. This was essentially an unfortunate communication error. I get the impression that the length and tone of this addendum is making the situation seem a lot more serious than it actually was (I could be wrong there)

Are you specifically being asked about being terminated from a position?

Anonymous User
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Re: C&F Addendum

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:52 pm

hos9903 wrote:I think that you can get your message across in far fewer words. This was essentially an unfortunate communication error. I get the impression that the length and tone of this addendum is making the situation seem a lot more serious than it actually was (I could be wrong there)

Are you specifically being asked about being terminated from a position?


On some of the applications I have come across, they ask for any discipline from a professional organization. The non profit I worked for is considered a professional organization. I would imagine disciplinary action would include termination from a position. Hope that clarifies the situation.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: C&F Addendum

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:11 pm

I think there's a difference between working at a professional organization (say, you're a secretary in a state bar association office) and getting fired, and being disciplined by a professional organization (a lawyer getting censured by the state bar association). Did the professional organization, in its role of regulating a particular profession, discipline you as a member of that profession? Or did you just have an employer/employee relationship?

(Also, I think "separated from" is a really awkward euphemism and I would just say "fired" or possibly "my employment was terminated" if you want to use something other than fired. Even if the language they used was "separated from your position," you don't need to use their particular bureaucratic language.)

Anonymous User
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Re: C&F Addendum

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:28 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I think there's a difference between working at a professional organization (say, you're a secretary in a state bar association office) and getting fired, and being disciplined by a professional organization (a lawyer getting censured by the state bar association). Did the professional organization, in its role of regulating a particular profession, discipline you as a member of that profession? Or did you just have an employer/employee relationship?

(Also, I think "separated from" is a really awkward euphemism and I would just say "fired" or possibly "my employment was terminated" if you want to use something other than fired. Even if the language they used was "separated from your position," you don't need to use their particular bureaucratic language.)


I was not disciplined as a member of that profession. It was an employer/employee relationship. I'm just concerned if I don't disclose when it asks me to, later on when I'm applying to the bar, if it will become an issue.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: C&F Addendum

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I think there's a difference between working at a professional organization (say, you're a secretary in a state bar association office) and getting fired, and being disciplined by a professional organization (a lawyer getting censured by the state bar association). Did the professional organization, in its role of regulating a particular profession, discipline you as a member of that profession? Or did you just have an employer/employee relationship?

(Also, I think "separated from" is a really awkward euphemism and I would just say "fired" or possibly "my employment was terminated" if you want to use something other than fired. Even if the language they used was "separated from your position," you don't need to use their particular bureaucratic language.)


I was not disciplined as a member of that profession. It was an employer/employee relationship. I'm just concerned if I don't disclose when it asks me to, later on when I'm applying to the bar, if it will become an issue.

You may well need to disclose it to schools asking if you ever got fired, but I don't think you need to disclose it as discipline by a professional organization. Also, it's not a problem when applying to the bar if you didn't disclose something to law schools that you didn't need to disclose - it's only a problem if you left something off you needed to include. The bar usually asks for more information that most law schools do, so for ex., if a law school doesn't ask if you were ever fired, you don't have to tell them that you were. The bar will almost certainly ask if you were ever fired, but they won't care that you didn't tell law schools you were fired when you weren't required to. The bar will only care if you omit stuff when asked about it.

If you're worried that this counts as discipline by a professional organization, I don't think it does, but the safest thing would be to call up the schools you're considering that ask this question, and ask them whether they'd want you to disclose this under that category.

(If you do disclose: this still seems like way too much information. Maybe something more like: "I worked at a nonprofit organization that organizes tutoring and after school programs for inner city schools. One afternoon [if this time of day is correct], a student informed me of a situation involving potentially sexual touching by another student. The organization requires reporting any such behavior within 24 hours. I took the student to a counselor and told the counselor it was a reporting situation, but did not otherwise [or officially or directly or something like that] report the behavior to [whomever besides the counselor you were supposed to report it to] until the following morning. Although this was within the 24-hour reporting period, my supervisor [or whoever] concluded that I should have reported immediately after speaking with the student and my employment was terminated. I regret that this happened and learned to be sure to understand the meaning and purpose behind work policies to be able to follow them correctly." That last sentence isn't great, but you get the general idea - you don't need to give as much detail as you provide, and there's too much justification of why you acted the way that you did.)

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Re: C&F Addendum

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:18 am

Thank you to those who have given me feedback. I really appreciate the help especially because this is such a sore spot with me personally. I made some changes and any feedback on this would be welcomed as well.

On x, I was terminated from my position at x which is a nonprofit organization that works with schools in inner cities for tutoring and runs an after school program. One afternoon shortly before school was let out, a student informed of a situation involving being bear hugged by another student. I believed mandating reporting protocol required reporting of any such behavior as soon as possible but upwards of up to 24 hours to do so. I was not sure if there was more to what the student meant so I took the student to a counselor and told the counselor it was a reporting situation; however it was not until early the following morning. Although this was within the 24 hour reporting period, it was judged that I did not follow protocol because I should have reported it immediately after speaking with the student: whether the situation was clear to me or not. Therefore, my employment was terminated.

I believe it was truly a mistake in judgment based on my misunderstanding of the mandated reporting protocol. While I was disappointed with the final decision, I do understand the sensitivity to the issue and take full responsibility. Previous to this incident, I had never had any issues with any place of employment and have learned much from this experience. I’ve learned that even though someone could believe that he\she is doing everything he/she is suppose to do, it’s always better to ask to double check, clarify, and ask. If need be, I can provide more details.




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