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Smiley0884
07-11-2012, 07:17 PM
It is arguable if smiley wasn't informed about the policy, or that violating it was grounds for immediate termination.

If there was an employee handbook "floating around" which smiley was never given, but then she was fired on the basis of violating something that was in the handbook - I still say she should consult an employment lawyer.

I emailed a former co-worker today to see if she could tell me if there was anything in the handbook about internet usage. I'm curious to see if there's anything at all. Clearly it was company "culture" to use the internet for personal reasons on breaks/down time.

milanessa
07-11-2012, 07:33 PM
I emailed a former co-worker today to see if she could tell me if there was anything in the handbook about internet usage. I'm curious to see if there's anything at all. Clearly it was company "culture" to use the internet for personal reasons on breaks/down time.

And that would help you how? I know it's a rotten situation and you're pissed but, it's done, you've been let go. Time to move on. I can't imagine you wou would have been happy there in the long run.

berthesghost
07-11-2012, 07:42 PM
And that would help you how? I know it's a rotten situation and you're pissed but, it's done, you've been let go. Time to move on. I can't imagine you wou would have been happy there in the long run.I tend to agree. I have two friends who looked into suing. They were both long time dedicated employees who were let go abruptly and without warning. Both times the lawyers advised that the law suit was more of a threat than a sure fire solution, and both times all they ended up with was the severance package they both deserved in the first place. You can't get your job back, nor would you want it, and 3 weeks isn't long enough to warrant a payoff IMHO, so.... why hold on to the anger and negativity? Easier said then done I know, but I advise ranting a bit on FSU, and then letting it go and focusing on the future, your job hunt, etc...

skatingfan5
07-11-2012, 07:48 PM
And that would help you how? I know it's a rotten situation and you're pissed but, it's done, you've been let go. Time to move on. I can't imagine you wou would have been happy there in the long run.


You can't get your job back, nor would you want it, and 3 weeks isn't long enough to warrant a payoff IMHO, so.... why hold on to the anger and negativity? Easier said then done I know, but I advise ranting a bit on FSU, and then letting it go and focusing on the future, your job hunt, etc...Since it's only been two days, I think that Smiley venting/unloading here on FSU for a while is completely understandable. Some people are ready to "move on" sooner than others. Now if this thread is still going when summer ends ... that's another story. For now, I'd say 48 hours isn't very long -- barely time for the shock really to have completely worn off.

milanessa
07-11-2012, 07:59 PM
I'm not discouraging venting or unloading or dumping but what does it matter NOW what the handbook says? There is no case for wrongful termination.

michiruwater
07-11-2012, 08:02 PM
I suppose that if the handbook actually doesn't say anything about it, then Smiley can at least have personal vindication and feel justified in thinking they're assholes. It would mean less of a bruised ego.

suep1963
07-11-2012, 08:03 PM
General curiosity? Wondering wth really is in it?

skatingfan5
07-11-2012, 08:06 PM
I'm not discouraging venting or unloading or dumping but what does it matter NOW what the handbook says? There is no case for wrongful termination.You've got a point -- and the knowledge either way (that personal internet use was prohibited but Smiley was told the contrary or that it was allowed but Smiley was reprimanded for it) might only increase one's feelings of being unfairly treated.

numbers123
07-11-2012, 08:34 PM
I emailed a former co-worker today to see if she could tell me if there was anything in the handbook about internet usage. I'm curious to see if there's anything at all. Clearly it was company "culture" to use the internet for personal reasons on breaks/down time.

This may put that former co-worker at risk to lose her job. If she responds to an email stating that there was a policy and yes you did not receive a copy of that, then her supervisor could interpret as being a co-conspirator in this firing/any legal action that you might want to take.

I know that people consider me pretty hard nosed about internet/email/any computer issues at work - that you should not ever use it at work. Anything, anything done at work is considered the property of the company.

Karina - if those employees did something that they were not trained for, they could be held liable for the injuries. OSHA is doing it's job.

Smiley0884
07-11-2012, 08:35 PM
Since it's only been two days, I think that Smiley venting/unloading here on FSU for a while is completely understandable. Some people are ready to "move on" sooner than others. Now if this thread is still going when summer ends ... that's another story. For now, I'd say 48 hours isn't very long -- barely time for the shock really to have completely worn off.


Thank you. I'm not holding on to any anger or negativity...if anything this thread has helped me realize that being let go was for the best, as the company and myself as an employee were not a good fit. I'm now grateful that it happened sooner rather than later, when I would have been more emotionally invested. I am curious to see if it's a company rule or not...just out of general curiosity. I guess the situation would make more "sense" to me if it were a black and white rule. Either way, what's done is done.

Smiley0884
07-11-2012, 08:37 PM
This may put that former co-worker at risk to lose her job. If she responds to an email stating that there was a policy and yes you did not receive a copy of that, then her supervisor could interpret as being a co-conspirator in this firing/any legal action that you might want to take.


I sent it to her personal e-mail. I'm assuming she would respond to an e-mail of such nature on her phone or at home, especially since I've been made an example of.

Louis
07-11-2012, 08:42 PM
I sent it to her personal e-mail. I'm assuming she would respond to an e-mail of such nature on her phone or at home, especially since I've been made an example of.

Even if she responds on her personal e-mail, it could be grounds for termination. Company handbooks almost always have a disclosure that they are proprietary, property of the company, and not for sharing outside of the company. Disclosing information in a handbook to someone who doesn't work for the company could get her fired.

If she sends you a response, I would suggest you delete it. You are putting your friend's job at risk by doing otherwise.

agalisgv
07-11-2012, 08:55 PM
Yeah, I was going to say Smiley is really jeopardizing her former coworkers by contacting them like this. That's the danger in some of this venting--it encourages certain actions which can only have negative outcomes.

Smiley, I realize it hurts, but please leave your coworkers aloine. You're putting them in a very vulnerable position for no good reason. This is just one of those things that you have to let go of.

ballettmaus
07-11-2012, 09:04 PM
Even if she responds on her personal e-mail, it could be grounds for termination.

But how is the company supposed to find out if the email correspondance is via a personal email account? (granted, that isn't opened at work) :confused:

FigureSpins
07-11-2012, 09:12 PM
I agree with Louis and numbers123 - dragging others into the situation is wrong. It puts them in a situation that could cost them their own jobs, especially if the CEO is such a hot head. How will they find out - you're funny! Companies have the right to review sites and emails sent/received/read over their networks. If your former co-worker checks her email at work like the rest of the staff, the CEO could easily "find out." I understand that you're angry and upset, but dragging others into the fight is not fair. Or, the coworker might want to cover her own butt and forward a copy onto the CEO asking what to do. That action indicates you're thinking "lawsuit."

If the internet usage clause is the handbook, so what? That doesn't prove anything other than they were a disorganized bunch of yahoos pretending to be management and you are someone who only does what is spelled out for you. Nothing new there. The supervisor never said you COULD use the internet and you never asked her, so she can claim ignorance. The CEO can say he assumed you had been properly briefed on policy. Miscommunications and stupidity, but not grounds for a lawsuit. You've already said that the people surfing the web were high achievers - perhaps they were given the privilege for their productivity. Rank has its privileges. That's what the CEO can say if asked.

At this point, you were let go for a fairly innocuous reason: violating computer usage policy while on probation. Underneath that veneer is the fact that the supervisor had already (ineffectively) raised concerns about productivity and attendance/attentiveness to work. The half-hour email session could be called the third strike. It just didn't work out, is the best way to think about this situation, but if you try to push the lack of rulebook/orientation under the company's nose further, they can say you were a lousy worker. Professional organizations with HR departments usually won't do that, but this sounds like a half-assed bunch of dopes that will speak out if asked. A bad reference will affect your ability to get a job.

The best case you can hope for is that they don't contest the unemployment claim you plan to file. Asking for corporate documents indicates that you're going to file a lawsuit, so it would be in their best interest to fight the claim. (Allowing it would be an admission of guilt.) Too bad you didn't ask for FSU opinions, because many of us would have told you not to ask, but now you've opened Pandora's box.

Frankly, I think you stop being so nit-picky, forget the handbook, file the claim and start applying for jobs instead of trying to get validation. You also need to think about how you handle yourself at work - you can't always find a job where the organization is perfect and lays everything out in black-and-white. You need to learn how to read between the lines and see in shades of grey.