Wendy D. Collins
CEO, KidTown Learning Center
10855 West Park Place, Suite 1
Milwaukee, WI 53224
Aaron J. Bibb
Hawks Quindel S.C.
P.O. Box 2155
Madison, WI 53701-2155
Phone: (608) 257-0040
Fax: (608) 256-0236
RE: RESPONSE TO LETTER DATED DECEMBER 10, 2021
On December 10, 2021, I received correspondence from you stating that you are acting on behalf of Ms. Natasha Elbert, a former employee at KidTown Learning Center (hereinafter referred to as “KidTown”).
In that letter, you alleged that I unlawfully terminated the employment of Ms. Elbert in retaliation to the fact that Ms. Elbert asked me to report two children who were missing from KidTown. You alleged that I failed to report the incident after promising to do so and that Ms. Elbert encouraged one of the children’s mother, Ms. Jaylen Luther to report the matter to the Department of Children and Families (DCF), who promptly did so. You also allege that my husband sent Ms. Elbert some text messages saying that he was not impressed that Ms. Luther had reported the matter to DCF, and that Ms. Elbert’s employment was terminated the following day.
I would like to inform you that Ms. Elbert misrepresented to you the reason as to why her employment was terminated. While I agree that the foregoing events indeed took place, I disagree that they are the reason why Ms. Elbert’s employment was terminated.
I assigned Ms. Elbert the task of organizing menus for a food program at KidTown. Ms. Elbert failed to organize the menus without giving a substantial reason why. She failed to communicate with me regarding the menus. As a result of her omissions, my business began incurring losses. At some point, my husband and I contemplated closing down the entire program because everyone was unhappy. I had to hire another person to do the work that I had assigned Ms. Elbert. When it reached that point, I thought there was no benefit in letting a negligent and disobedient employee continue working at KidTown. That’s when I decided to terminate Ms. Elbert’s employment at KidTown.
I appreciate that you have highlighted the fact that most employees in Wisconsin are employed “at-will,” meaning that an employer may terminate them “for good cause, for no cause, or even for cause morally wrong” without legal liability. I terminated Ms. Elbert’s employment for the reason that she was negligent in her duties and disobedient to me, her employer and immediate supervisor. That amounts to good cause for terminating Ms. Elbert’s employment. Had she followed the instructions I had issued in regard to the menus, her employment would not have been terminated. Therefore, the termination of Ms. Elbert’s employment is lawful.
I understand that you would like me to pay $40,000 to Ms. Elbert and agree to provide a neutral letter of reference so she may not seek authoritative involvement of any kind in this matter. I would like to politely decline your offer since the termination of Ms. Elbert’s employment was completely lawful. Accepting your offer would be an admission of the allegation that the termination of Ms. Elbert’s employment was unlawful, when the allegation is completely false.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.
Wendy D. Collins
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