View Full Version : Wrongful termination

Pages : 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7

07-10-2012, 03:22 PM
Generally people do not qualify for unemployment after only 3 weeks of work. Here's the eligibility requirements for MA:

I think your best bet is to find another position quickly. Hope it works out.

07-10-2012, 03:23 PM
While being an "at will" employee means that they can fire you for no reason, they cannot use something, such as email use, as a pretext for a firing based on a disability. I don't know MA law, so I don't know if IBS qualifies as a "disability"; if it does, you may have a shot at a lawsuit. I also don't know MA policy on unemployment; in CA, for example, firing does not automatically deprive you of a right to UI. I would consult with an attorney who specializes in employment law so you will at least know what your rights, if any, will be ... not only in terms of a lawsuit, but also in terms of UI.

07-10-2012, 04:17 PM
I'm very sorry this happened to you, Smiley. I had a friend who was fired for dubious reasons. Well, he did hit his supervisor, granted. But he was a minimum wage employee (warehousing) and had worked at the job for 10 years. His employers were not good, they pretty much coerced him putting in a ton of overtime hours and that put a ton of strain on him. They also hired illegals whenever they could. What happened was that one day, my friend just snapped. As his work was not unionized and he had no contract, there was nothing he could do.

There is nothing dubious about firing someone who 'snaps' and hits his supervisor, and none of the excuses presented justify hitting someone.

07-10-2012, 04:50 PM
I had a friend who was fired for dubious reasons. Well, he did hit his supervisor, granted.
just keep reading those two sentences over and over again. :wideeyes:

If the person who fired you said nothing specifically about time spent away from your desk, I don't think you can make a case for unfair firing due to IBS. Sounds like she mentioned call volume and you brought up being away from your desk, and she said it was fine. Doesn't mean there wasn't a pretext about it, but I think it would be really hard to prove.

Sounds like this wasn't a very good company. COunt your blessings and good luck finding something new.

07-10-2012, 04:51 PM
I don't know if IBS is considered a disability but depending on how much time you spent not at your desk over the three weeks, I would guess that was the main culprit of the termination. IME companies are getting less tolerant of these types of things especially for newer employees.

I only had issues with the IBS one day out of the three weeks I was employed. But it's possible that one time was enough to put them off.

Generally people do not qualify for unemployment after only 3 weeks of work. Here's the eligibility requirements for MA:

I think your best bet is to find another position quickly. Hope it works out.

Thanks! It looks like they don't list any requirements for length of employment, just that you need to have earned $3500 during a recent one year period.

I definitely learned my lesson about internet usage. The only reason I assumed it was ok, was because I saw other people doing it! But I won't assume it's ok in the future, and will stick to using my smartphone. Either way, if a company wants their policies followed, they might want to actually inform their employees what the policies are in the first place. If anything, the entire situation reflects poorly on HR and my supervisor. If I was the CEO, I would be less concerned with employees checking emails on lunch breaks, and more concerned as to why management staff has not properly trained employees....:rolleyes:

07-10-2012, 04:52 PM
I had a friend who was fired for dubious reasons. Well, he did hit his supervisor, granted. ... What happened was that one day, my friend just snapped. As his work was not unionized and he had no contract, there was nothing he could do. ...The bigger problem for him was that he could not get a letter of reference.As someone who has served as a union steward for a number of years, I can tell you that even if he had been represented by a union and was working under a contract, the chances of there being "nothing he could do" would be the same. About the only grounds I can think of where hitting his supervisor might merit less than dismissal would be if it had been in self-defense (i.e. the supervisor had attacked him first).

07-10-2012, 05:43 PM
the idea that someone would expect a letter of reference from a place where he's been sacked for hitting the boss is a little :lol:

07-10-2012, 06:11 PM
((( Smiley0884 )))

Given the limited recourse you have legally ... is there anything to be gained by "outing" this company and their practices?

Sure, it will give you short-term satisfacation, but more importantly it might shame them into thinking twice about treating anyone else like this in the future.

It's a path you want to be careful about taking, obviously -- even though you have no hope of a reference or another benefits from them, being seen as a bitter ex-employee might harm your future potential. But there are, of course, anonymous ways of doing it.

Just a thought ...

In the meantime, I hope you're able to get another, more satisfying position soon. And as a consolation, it sounds like a company that wouldn't be worth working for in the long-term anyway -- you're probably better off out of there.

07-10-2012, 06:45 PM
You didn't say what kind of job it was, but it sounds strange to me. Employers spend money on the hiring process and I'm not sure how they could judge your performance or learning curve in 3 weeks unless you were doing very limited repetitive tasks (such as a typing pool).

As someone else said, maybe they were concerned that the IBS was a chronic illness that would require you to use health insurance and sick leave.

I get the theft of services aspect of internet use, and employers are also concerned that using their email or IP address could be construed as their endorsement of your internet postings, but I don't see the harm of checking personal email. Afterall I use my personal internet and smart phone for work-related stuff.

07-10-2012, 06:47 PM
It is extremely petty to take to the public internet to 'out' a former employer for their bad behavior, especially when the employment lasted a mere 3 weeks. I highly discourage that tactic.

07-10-2012, 06:52 PM
^ It's not necessarily just a petty action. If this incident is indicative of their business practices, an "outing" can a. warn other potential future employees, and b. possibly influence the company to think twice about doing this again.

But it's entirely dependant on the circumstances, and obviously not something to be done without due consideration.

Regardless, though, the length of employment is completely irrelevant. Wrongful termination is wrongful termination.

07-10-2012, 06:59 PM
They can fire you for any reason that doesn't fall under discrimination

If smiley was fired because the employer didn't accommodate what she needed to do to manage her IBS, then I would say it was discrimination. I agree with attyfan that smiley should see a lawyer.

07-10-2012, 07:06 PM
I'm not going to start a smear campaign, but if anyone happens to ask me about the company, I will give my honest opinion.

The thing about my IBS...I take probiotics, so it's mostly under control. Maybe 4-5 times a year I'll have a bad spell, but I take an immodium, and I'm usually fine within an hour or so. I explained the situation to my supervisor, and she said she totally understood, as her daughter has been going through some stomach issues as well. However, the CEO was the one who fired me, so it's entirely possible my supervisor explained my situation to him, and he didn't want to deal with it, so he came up with the internet excuse.

Aliceanne, my official title was "Marketing assistant" I basically set appointments on behalf of clients.

07-10-2012, 07:30 PM
I'm sure it depends where you live, but most places I've worked at have a probation period when first hired, usually 1-6 months depending on the company, and you can be let go for no real reason during that time if they don't feel it's a good fit or whatever their reasons might be.

I'm sorry that happened to you :( I had a similar experience once. I have a background in AR/AP/Payroll, but was having trouble finding work and took a job at a smallish company as a receptionist. About a month in everything was great and then their AP person quit and they offered me the position. I accepted and the girl that quit said she would spend her last week training me. Well she only came in for one day that week and then just disappeared. She was moving to a competitor and there was obviously bad vibes between her and management at that point. I spent the next two weeks trying to teach myself, but you could tell in her last few weeks she just stopped caring and everything was really haphazard and all over the place. I did my best with what I had, but my productivity wasn't high enough for them and by then they'd hired a new receptionist so I couldn't even go back to my original position. Since between the two positions I'd been there less than 3 months, I was just let go and that was that. There was nothing I could do.

I hope you find something better soon :)

07-10-2012, 07:50 PM
Smiley - I am sorry about your job/termination, I am going to point out some things that might help in the future:
1. Almost all US states are an at will state, meaning you can be let go for any reason. Typically the first 3-6 months will be the time period that people are let go for that reason. no given reason. Not that it doesn't happen at other times, but the probationary period is generally 3 -9 months in length and that is when people are most at risk.

2. When at work on work premises, it is a big no-no to use the company's internet for anything except authorized company business. That means no personal email, no web searching, no using Pandora, no bringing in CDs of your favorite music to play through the hard drive etc. I would be very cautious about using my smartphone for anything on the company premises, even during my lunch breaks. The assumption could be made that if you are using it on your breaks, you are probably using at other times that you are on the clock. The general rule, is that the company owns my time, even my breaks while I am working. (think of it as going to lunch and having a drink - a big no-no even if you are on your own time).

3. At time of hire, you are often asked to sign all sorts of forms. It maybe that you signed documents such as - I have received the employee handbook and understand it is my responsibility to abide by the policies outlined within, the IT policy and receiving your network log on, etc. I know that I was assigned to make sure all that paperwork was gathered on the first day of employment. I also know that I felt responsible enough to say "Do you know what you are signing?" but I would guess that many people assigned to gathering that information might just say "sign all these forms"

4. Typically for your position, the CEO would not have been involved in the hiring or firing of an employee, unless a prized client complained about your level of service. Or said that they were unable to schedule an appointment because there was never anyone at the desk.

Japanfan - I have no context for your friend being terminated for punching his supervisor and not getting a letter of recommendation, but he is fortunate that he was not arrested and charged with assault. I don't think that any union representative would touch that one with a 10 foot pole.

Smiley, I am not unsympathetic towards your situation, but based upon my experiences of 2 lay-off/job restructures, it is a good idea to see what you might have contributed to the situation. I hope you find something soon. And something that you like more