Boeing engineer prevails over Boeing’s legal team
Seattle, WA—October 1, 2023. When Bruce, the Boeing engineer, got terminated in the fall of 2021 for not agreeing to the experimental vaccine requirement, no attorney he contacted agreed to take the case because it was COVID related. He thought about launching a fight against Boeing’s legal team on his own, without representation, but this seemed insurmountable. Bruce and his wife did not know the mountain of unknown traps and legal tactic treachery they would end up dealing with, nor did they know the unique language needed to craft legal arguments. To add insult to injury, the COVID landscape made it even more difficult as it appeared the entire ‘Employment-Matters’ legal sector had vanished or was unavailable.
Fortunately, early on, Bruce came across a small “not-for-profit” organization called the Washington Civil Rights Council (“WCRC”). This volunteer group set out, through both live local presentations and online social platforms, to inform thousands around Washington about laws regarding bodily autonomy and medical privacy, as well as the law surrounding COVID workplace policies. WCRC was trying to fill the gap, attempting to make the legal process understandable to average folks and to give them the confidence either to educate their employers about the legal risks of COVID workplace mandates, or launch into legal action if necessary.
WCRC realized early on that two things are needed to launch an effective legal fight. One, a person must have a clear understanding of the laws or statutes in the specific area where personal injury/damages occur. Those that gain this understanding through self-education can have confidence in their arguments, but can still get lost in the engagement with the opposition and the court system. So, secondly, one also needs understanding of the procedural part, the “How To” of engaging the opposition and the legal court system (an area lawyers know best). WCRC helps people with both these elements in zoom calls, occasionally bringing in actual lawyers for advice, and offering support and document review by other litigants that have already gone through the same process.
With early help from WCRC, Bruce and his wife, who has a knack for research, took a leap of faith and filed a lawsuit in the fall of 2022. They fought Boeing’s legal team with vigor. They did many things right that stacked the deck on their side. For example, early on, Bruce had submitted WCRC’s Constructive Legal Notice to HR about the unlawful practices that Boeing was engaging in with their vaccine mandate. Bruce and his wife documented in detail every action, every email, every workplace conversation they had with Boeing HR and they also had kept/copied every letter and email that led to Bruce’s wrongful termination.
As they went back and forth with Boeing’s legal team, Bruce and Joan also leveraged their intensive research on Boeing Employment policy, including grievance rights and requirement for interactive discussions and the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) rights for employees. They kept all correspondence with Boeing’s legal team to email only, allowing them time to craft thoughtful responses during each round of interaction. And they got to observe and effectively counter the slippery tactics and intimidation lawyers like to use against Pro Se litigants. Sticking to email allowed them to research the opposition’s claims and false statements made without the pressure they would experience having to respond in real time on a phone call with a crafty lawyer. Sticking to the facts and displaying a clear knowledge of the law in their communications, the engineer and his wife got the justice that they were looking for – a sizeable settlement!
As a bonus, WCRC and its members learned extensively from Bruce and Joan’s experience. Bruce’s play by play report on their fight with Boeing’s legal team took the mystery out of what the legal process might look like for other Pro Se litigants against their former employers. Overall, we found that, indeed, “The Law was on our side” and that employers and their legal teams seek to avoid the court room (a trial before a judge). In the court room, the facts of the case and the employer’s unlawful actions would go on the public record, for all to see, and this would set a precedent the employers definitely like to avoid.
For more information: Contact Washington Civil Rights Council at [email protected] or visit website at WCRC.us.