Should I Bring Legal Suit Against My Former Employer?

Hi. I worked for 4 years as an assistant manager at a corporate owned movie theatre in Illinois until September of last year. (2012) During my time there I witnessed my general manager (store manager) make some poor decisions. I’ve highlighted two examples and I’d like to know if these incidents justify a lawsuit on behalf of myself and other employees both current and previously employed. 1.) One night, the closing concession worker accidentally unplugged our freezer unit while sweeping around it’s base. I opened the theatre the next day along with the general manager and we discovered all the melted product in the freezer. It was ice-cream bars, sandwiches, cookies, and frozen fruit bars. They had all melted inside there packaging. I told the general manager we should “damage” out the bad product and order more to replace it. The manager told the staff we were going to refreeze the ice cream and sell it, even offering guests a discount price to get rid of it quicker. We didn’t sell alot of ice cream anyways so we still had quite a bit even after it had passed it’s package expiration date. We told our manager about our moral objections to selling expired and potentially hazardous product to our guests but he just ignored our concerns. I was telling staff members on my shifts that they didn’t have to sell the ice cream if they were morally conflicted about doing so. Eventually, my manager left for a two week managers conference, upon which time I immediately “damaged” out the expired ice cream in our system and ordered replacement stock. I was verbally scolded for doing so upon my managers return.
2.) This event occurred in conjunction with the previously mentioned managers conference my store manager attended. The week before he was to leave for the conference, when our CO2 suppliers were filling our CO2 tanks (kept upstairs in a 10ft x 8ft projector room with a projector, sound equipment, cleaning equipment, and other supplies in addition to the CO2 tanks making it a very small space) they noticed that the valve on our main tank had a leak in it. They advised our store manager about it, and that we shouldn’t occupy that space until they can come back and fix it in a week or two. Store manager didn’t tell corporate about this issue, didn’t shut down the auditorium associated with that projection booth so no one had to go into it, and just ignored the issue and left on his managers conference for two weeks. Myself and other members of staff would get headaches after threading movies in that booth or just grabbing stock in general from that room. We also had stinging sensations in mouth and throat. CO2 supplier fixed the tank about a week and a half later.
I reported both of these incidents to the corporate office through the proper channels within our company and was ignored.
Do either of these justify looking into a lawsuit against my former store manager and the corporation that employed him? I sincerely appreciate your time and advice. Thank you!
P.S. – I hadn’t considered a lawsuit until now because that’s not the kind of person I am I like to earn my living. A loved one recently mentioned that they felt I was mistreated as an employee and I started to agree when thinking about it more.

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3 Responses to “Should I Bring Legal Suit Against My Former Employer?”

  1. Kenny says:

    No, it does not justify a law suit. Secondly, if you were that worried about the customers and fellow coworkers, you would have done this when it happened; not just now.

  2. Sniper says:

    From what you say your former manager seems like a jerk who cares more about the bottom line than he does the health and safety of his customers and employee’s.
    Honestly, I’d say sue his butt, but it’s not that simple. How much of this can you prove? Just because you filled an incident report doesn’t mean corporate will give you the paperwork you filled. In addition, what exactly would you sue for? Uncomfortable working conditions? Are any of the current and previous employee’s going to side with you?
    My suggestion to you would be to talk to a lawyer who offers free consultation. Don’t listen to anyone else and don’t just flip to the back of the phone book and find the biggest picture, go online and do research to find the best lawyer who will cater to your specific problem. If s/he feels you have good grounds for a lawsuit, then s/he will be able to give you further assistance on how to go about it. Typically, a good lawyer won’t want to take a case that they believe they can’t win, so you shouldn’t have to worry about that.
    Good luck to you

  3. david k says:

    you’re screwed mate ,they will say you made it all up and are a disgruntled employee ,it needs to be more serious ,i know what you say is bad but if you reported it with no reply guess who has been told by the bigger boss to get shot of the trouble maker its all about profits in this world of today !
    could cost you a lot in the long run .

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