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giantguy99

I think I was discriminated against?

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What I am about to tell you is most unpleasant so please bear with me as I explain. I believe that I was in fact discriminated against by a public employee. Before I begin to tell you what happened I believe it's appropriate to tell you about the rules and regulations of public transportation systems(specifically the bus system in the U.S). According to those rules as long as I am not otherwise violating the rules I am allowed to stand on a Bus without the consent of anyone including the driver. I have confirmed this fact independently from multiple authority figures within the Bus system I use. The reason why I usually stand on a bus is because I recently became IC and have yet to find a diaper that would handle my 250 pounds of weight when I sit down on it without leaking. I stand because if I have a accident on the bus the seat I was never sitting in would be ruined and according to the rules ruining a seat like that happens to be grounds for permanent ban from being allowed to use the bus ever again. That is the reason why I stand on the bus. I.E it's impossible for me to make a bio-hazard out of the seat when I was not sitting in it in the first place.

Last month a driver became increasingly agitated with me when I refused to sit down after telling her that I had a medical condition that made it necessary for me to stand (there where other passengers who ordered me to sit down and I ignored them outright) Keep in mind that I did not explain that I was IC to anyone on that bus. Well instead of calling her dispatcher again (she had called her supervisor on her radio in the past for roughly the same reason except no incident occurred in the past) The Bus driver decided to lie to federal police officers in order to remove me from the bus.(this particular driver had been told by immediate supervisor in the past that I did not even need a reason to stand on the bus and she is playing ignorant about this right now) I got off the bus without incident of course because I did in fact receive a lawful order from that cop to do so. I told the cops in a pre-written message intended for the driver (who refused to see the message) why I had to stand and the cops just said I needed a written doctors notice that I allegedly (not really) needed.

I filed charges against the Union that represents the driver as well as the bus company for failing to reasonably accommodate my handicap. we are in negotiations now. Now your probably wondering why file charges against the Union correct? Because the driver is still working for the system because the Union protected the driver even though she did in fact lie to a police officer and there's video taped evidence of this fact. The Union currently operates on a seniority based system in regards to their wages, benefits, perks, etc. I want to set up a merit based system where the employee in question gets their wages, benefits, perks, etc. based upon a performance assessment test instead. Your probably wondering why then how does this help what was done to me correct? Well you see most of the bad drivers we have happen to be individuals who have a lot of seniority and abuse the current system and because of the way the current seniority based system is set up the Union is rewarding this unprofessional behavior for the drivers own selfish and petty reasons. I have witnessed this for the 12 years that I have taken public transit.

I just want to know one thing is it wrong of me to have to threaten legal action in order to fix this problem? I really don't like doing this but it is necessary it seems and I am hoping that negotiations go well. Please tell me what if anything I might be doing wrong because whatever happens this is going to effect me for the rest of my natural life as I require the public transportation system to go anywhere.
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  1. Maxx's Avatar
    You're shooting in a lot of different directions here that may tend to hurt your cause by diluting your effort. I don't know a thing about transit regulations except that there are some differences depending on system and jurisdiction (school bus, city bus, greyhound, etc.)

    Assuming all the regulations are as you say, you probably have a cause of action with the bus company, and possibly the city, if its a city transit system. You might also be able to sue the offending driver, but in most cases the bus operator would be obliged to defend him as an employee operating within the scope of his employment. You're not going to get anything out suing an individual low-level employee. No attorney in his right mind would bother.

    I don't see how the union and its work rules would enter into it. Work rules, seniority, and pay scales are negotiated between the union and the bus operator. You don't have standing to challenge them based on what they did or didn't do to you.
  2. Trevor's Avatar
    If it is as you describe, it's cause for complaint and possibly some action but the union has nothing to do legally with your grievance. How they resolve that functionally is an internal matter. The best you get is correction of the problem and perhaps some punative damages.
    Updated 06-Jun-2014 at 19:44 by Trevor (word order)
  3. giantguy99's Avatar
    I talked about this more because it's not going to court. I would normally control information about this better but since it's being resolved in a tolerable manner I will not sue and use less control over the information then usual. I have video-tapes corroborating my story and the driver is most likely no longer working because of this I suspect(I have not confirmed this yet). I just wanted to know was I somehow wrong to do this? I almost feel ashamed (not quite but really close) for doing this but I saw no other way to fix the issue except to make a example of the driver in question instead of seeking punitive damages. I always use the bare minimum force necessary to resolve issues when force is called for. I just don't feel comfortable with the idea of me being complicit with ruining someone's career.
  4. Trevor's Avatar
    I'm still surprised that an outside party has any standing to file charges of any kind against the union, particularly when you say the driver was not following procedure. If the union had pushed for unfair treatment standards, perhaps but it's still the company or agency that is ultimately responsible. Whatever works, though.
  5. ade's Avatar
    i'd say that given Accepted's feelings about pursuing an official complaint, that he is justified in doing so.
    normal, right-minded people don't usually want anything to do with officialdom; and the driver's behaviour in their pedantry, and it's wrongness, show what kind of person they are (certainly not normal nor right-minded).
    alas, Accepted's hand was forced by the driver's behaviour.
  6. giantguy99's Avatar
    The wrongness of the driver in this case was based upon 12 years of observations seems to have been encouraged by the Union itself rather then the company. That's the reason why I am coming down on both the Union and the company. You see I have observed that drivers who have worked for the Bus system that give me the most problems (not all the same problems as mentioned here) almost exclusively happen to be employees with higher amounts of seniority. Apparently I have also witnessed this mentality when I have personally worked with Union employees in my general area.

    The pattern is always the same, some employee who has worked for 20 years or large amounts of seniority is somehow always right despite me receiving contradictory orders and information from a supervisor. I respect wisdom and most drivers who have a lot of seniority appear to think that just because they have a lot of experience that they are somehow right all the time. I can say this right now there is a vague correlation between wisdom and seniority. It's not a question about how much a individual has learned in their time it's a question about the quality of what they have learned. I have friends who drive the bus and are underpaid while I deal with drivers who have worked for 20 years and happen to try to forcibly remove me from their bus into freezing rain just because they wanted to spend their break alone. I had a fractured ankle once during one of these incidents and the driver even had the temerity to get all indignant when I told them to call their immediate supervisor to straighten things out for me and yet they get paid as much as $15 an hour for such horrible service by taxpayers.

    ade is right I am being forced to do this because without the bus system I do not go see my doctors, mental health professionals, or even friends. If I get banned for simply wanting to get to point A to point B without being harassed then I will simply have to forcibly correct the situation on a political level. I can easily go and ask the taxpayers why are we paying these recalcitrant drivers money in the form of our taxes for the "honor" of them treating us like we are trash? I want a system where Union employees are paid and receive benefits,perks, Etc. based upon service assessments rather then their seniority. Why? because I see drivers think their seniority makes them right all the time.

    I don't want to do this but if I don't I am going to be damaged seriously by this and now that this attitude problem I have spoken of is translating into discrimination as a result of the selfishness being condoned and endorsed by the Union I have to fight back or be destroyed. I wish this was unnecessary but it is not I believe. I just found out that driver who started this whole mess is still working for the company and that is wrong. The reason why she is still working is because the selfish bigot was being protected by her Union even though she was videotaped lying to police officers in order to discriminate against me.

    I am simply asking is this wrong of me to do be doing this? I don't want to but I see no other solution and sometimes force is in fact called for. I simply have never encountered discrimination before and I want to make sure that what I am doing is the right thing to do.
  7. RetrieverPup's Avatar
    You need to understand that a complaint like yours will not force the bus company to either dump the union or somehow force the union to change the way their internal compensation policy works. The driver continuing to work while the matter is investigated is perfectly normal and nothing out of the ordinary, what is probably being treated as a misunderstanding/miscommunication most likely is not grounds for indefinite suspension within the union/bus company disciplinary rules. It is also not uncommon to allow an employee to continue work during an investigation depending on the severity of the incident, the union is also legally bound to represent their member in this type of proceeding.

    Realistically, you can probably expect an apology from the bus company and the driver gets sent for additional training and maybe gets suspended for a time.
  8. YAHLD's Avatar
    Well I actually understand what you're trying to accomplish here but it is incredibly hard to change a system like you wish to do.Don't get me wrong I think it is a great idea because it'd stop certain problems like you've encounter over your 12 years of using the public system because the problems you've encountered you were well within your right to do what you did because you weren't breaking the law.But you could end up hurting yourself just as much as help yourself I just hope everything goes well for you and you at least don't have anymore issues with public systems
  9. giantguy99's Avatar
    I am not going to just file a complaint or even file a lawsuit against them. I am going to fix the issue by being politically active by helping to make legislation that is based solely on merit based systems rather then the current seniority based system. There's no misunderstanding now. I am being retaliated against right now. I no longer feel safe on those buses because the superintendent and not the drivers are now harassing me. I cannot get into detail as I want to control the information but I have confirmed independently that this is what is happening. They want to threaten my way of life so now I am about to take away theirs. Usually people at this point stand down but I am cornered and have the perfect motivation to do this because I have little to lose at this point. I am tired of the current system rewarding unprofessional behavior and since I plan to leave this state anyways in the next few years this will not hurt me as much as one might think. Sorry if I have worried you I just see no other way to handle this situation better.
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