CPS Energy Specialist Firing: An expert in language communications who used to work at CPS Energy got caught in a bad situation last year, which led to his firing in the history of workplace conflict. The starting point of this troubled story was his unwillingness to help the company look into his behaviour at work. He said this was because he followed orders from the utility’s human resources department.
When Ruben Betancourt worked for CPS from January 2022 until his tragic firing on July 7, 2022, he decided not to tell the security staff about the medications he was supposed to take. After something happened at the offices of CPS Energy in late April 2022, which was a very important place, this choice was made.
Betancourt talked about his situation and said that his medical papers showed that he had an emergency appendectomy before. He went to work that day to attend the monthly board meeting for the utility, but he lost his security badge as soon as he walked into the building.
“I still felt somewhat disoriented, physically and mentally,” Betancourt said after getting scripts for painkillers and drugs to treat a known mental health problem.
Betancourt became more worried as the security operations team at CPS Energy began to question what he was doing. As he thought, “The situation seemed strange,” he felt a mistrust that wasn’t fair. I felt like someone was accusing me of something wrong because I lost my badge, and all I wanted to do was find it.
The next day, Betancourt was called to the offices of CPS Energy, where he was met by a group of security guards. They asked him a lot of questions about his medications, how they might interact with each other, and, in a way that felt like an invasion of privacy, their mental health.
“I found myself caught in an uncomfortable web and unable to give accurate answers.” Betancourt remembered that he used the phrase “it looked like a story was being weaved, indicating intoxication on my part” to show how uncomfortable he was during the questioning.
However, CPS officials say that security footage from the day of the board meeting shows Betancourt trying to get into the company parking garage through the exit gate. Documents that Investigates got showed this information.
After this happened, security staff not only asked Betancourt to show a list of his prescription drugs, but they also didn’t give him a specific person to talk to about this. So, Betancourt got in touch with CPS Energy’s human resources department and asked for help.
HIPAA laws protect the protection of health information, and the recorded conversation with the HR staff fits with a direction that seemed to let Betancourt off the hook for keeping his medical information safe.
In recorded conversations that happened at the same time, Betancourt was given an ultimatum by security staff to supply the needed material by a certain date. Betancourt wanted to avoid talking to the company’s security staff directly, but she was willing to give HR the information they needed.
Betancourt finally told HR and the head of occupational health about the list of drugs. He also made a formal complaint against the security section. According to records from CPS Energy, the complaint was settled in June 2022 without any proof of HIPAA or other corporate standard violations.
Betancourt was put on administrative leave because of the event in early May 2022. The available records show that he was suspended until he showed proof that he was fit to work, which let him return to work that same month.
On the other hand, Betancourt says that his return was marked by an obviously hostile environment that hinted at the end being close. He felt alone in the company, without help, and like he was being set up for an inevitable firing.
A week before he was officially fired, his boss sent him a list of everything he said he did wrong at work. Betancourt swore he had never gotten a good review or helpful feedback on his work.
Even though he was still working on his trial time, his trip was over by July 7, 2022. His claimed lack of honesty, accuracy, and openness in his interactions with CPS Energy’s security system was the official reason for his firing in the paperwork. The report said that this caused an “escalated security concern.”
Additionally, he was fired because it was said that he didn’t do his job, didn’t keep his security badge safe, and was unwilling to help the security unit with their investigation.
Betancourt’s personal and professional lives were fundamentally and significantly changed by his firing. He lost everything, including his car, and his medical insurance was cancelled. He also filed for bankruptcy. After he was fired, things went downhill even more, and he became homeless at one point.
Representatives from CPS Energy said it was a personnel matter when asked to talk about Betancourt’s issue. After that, they refused to give Betancourt’s employment file, saying that it was private, that they would be sued, and that the requested records contained attorney work product.
Betancourt went to the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in October of the previous year and said that CPS Energy had discriminated against him because of his disability and fired him without cause.
In response to these claims, a lawyer for CPS Energy said that Betancourt’s claims were not valid because Betancourt had not told them about any medical conditions or problems she had or asked for changes. Besides that, it was said that Betancourt had wrongly interpreted the advice the human resources department gave.
In April 2022, Betancourt did something that no one saw coming, and it happened on a significant day for the business, according to the lawyer. After its investigation, which ended in August, the EEOC did not decide whether Betancourt’s rights had been broken. Instead, it sent him a letter giving him the right to sue.
Betancourt hasn’t sued CPS Energy yet, and the courts haven’t decided on his claim that he was unfairly fired.
In Betancourt’s complex search for justice, half of the lawyers he asked turned him down because they had a conflict of interest and wouldn’t take the case against the utility.