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  1. #1
    Kruth325 is offline Junior Member
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    Wrongful Termination, do I have legal recourse?

    Texas.

    I feel that my supervisor discriminated against me because of my young age. She was condescending and made comments about me not having experience and that I wasn't old enough to have confidence in my position.

    I feel I was wrongfully terminated. I was the Sales Manager at a Hotel. My previous employer did not follow their own progressive disciplinary policy. I was with the company almost 4 months when I was placed on a 14 day probationary period in which my progress was supposed to be monitored by weekly and daily review. The first 3 months of this job were considered probationary as well. At the completion of the 14 day probationary period, the goals and objectives outlined in my "Action Plan for Success, (this outlined all aspects of the 14 day probationary period)" were to be reviewed by the Director of Human Resources and the Director of Sales. If the goals were not reached, further disciplinary action up to and including termination would occur. I was meeting and exceeding all goals and expectations outlined in my "Action Plan for Success."

    I was a salaried employee and was to work 40 hours a week. The first 5 days of my 14 day probationary period, I put in 70 hours to show my boss how serious I was. I did not receive daily and or weekly reviews as outlined in my Action Plan for Success. I went to my boss everyday and asked for feedback, she pretty much blew me off. The guidelines to my Action Plan for Success, included that I would be able to complete a probationary period of 14 days consisting of goals and objectives and at the end of the 14 days, my progress would be reviewed. I was not given 14 days to work on my Action Plan for Success. I was terminated before the end of the 14 day period. I abided by my Action Plan for Success and had not done anything wrong. I had an appointment with a client that day and the appointment was written on my desk calendar. I believe that my boss/supervisor looked on my calendar for my last appointment. I was terminated about an hour after my last appointment with a client.

    The first day I was put on the 14 day probationary period, I asked my supervisor if I successfully completed the 14 day probationary period, would I still have a job there? My supervisor responded, "I can't make any promises." I have notes, emails, and logs with information about how I was treated and about specific information. My supervisor is the one who put me on the Action Plan for Success. During this period, I received an email from HR that was sent to all managers in the company, the email explained the current Progressive Disciplinary Policy and Procedures. It included a disciplinary action form and the company's policy and procedures for each disciplinary issue. There were 7 different Types of Action to choose from, they are in order as follows: 1) Verbal Warning, 2) Written Warning #1, 3) Written Warning #2, 4) Commitment to Success, 5) Written Warning #3, 6) Suspension, and 7) Termination.

    This was my Written Warning #1 which did not have grounds for termination. Also, under Written Warning #1 the Procedure clearly states that, "All official warnings must be written and reviewed with the associate within 72 hours of a violation of policy or procedure or within the next scheduled shift. Warnings not need be for the same offense." If another Policy Violation takes place, I was to be given a Written Warning #2. A little over a month prior to being put on the 14 day probationary period, my supervisor, the Director of Sales, called me for a meeting to discuss some of her concerns. I was out sick the day prior to this meeting. In my absence my supervisor went through my entire desk and all of my files to tried and find something I was not current with or find something I did not do correctly, she removed some of my files and notes from my desk without me being aware of this. In our meeting she expressed her "concerns," and I immediately placed my attention to these concerns and fixed all issues. These few things included getting a clients address information to input into our computer system, updating notes in my files, and contacting a client because I did not have notes on the contact in my file. I did not need notes in the file because I knew what was going on with the client.

    About one month later I was called into a meeting with the HR director and my supervisor, where I was written up and received my Written Warning #1 for the SAME issues I had previously discussed with my supervisor and had corrected to her liking after our meeting the prior month. So, I was written up for things that had taken place one month before, this does not fall under the 72 hour time limit imposed that "all official warnings must be written and reviewed with the associate within 72 hours." I did not receive any proper training, I was not given goals, policies or guidelines until probationary period. The girl who trained me did not care if I was trained well because she was planning on leaving before I was hired. When I asked for help or guidance, my supervisor told me she did not have time. I feel my supervisor tried to find any reason to fire me but she did not follow company protocol. Do I have legal recourse?

    I have not received any information about continuation of health insurance or COBRA either.
    Last edited by Kruth325; 02-22-2011 at 10:37 PM.
  2. #2
    anteater is offline Senior Member
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    You really should edit your post to break it into paragraphs. One big block of text is difficult to read. I am guessing that many regular responders will take a pass on reading your post.
  3. #3
    Blue Meanie is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kruth325 View Post
    Texas.
    I was wrongfully terminated. I was the Sales Manager at a Hotel. My previous employer did not follow their own progressive disciplinary policy. I was with the company almost 4 months when I was placed on a 14 day probationary period in which my progress was supposed to be monitored by weekly and daily review. The first 3 months of this job were considered probationary as well. At the completion of the 14 day probationary period, the goals and objectives outlined in my "Action Plan for Success, (this outlined all aspects of the 14 day probationary period)" were to be reviewed by the Director of Human Resources and the Director of Sales. If the goals were not reached, further disciplinary action up to and including termination would occur. I was meeting and exceeding all goals and expectations outlined in my "Action Plan for Success." I was a salaried employee and was to work 40 hours a week. The first 5 days of my 14 day probationary period, I put in 70 hours to show my boss how serious I was. I did not receive daily and or weekly reviews as outlined in my Action Plan for Success. I went to my boss everyday and asked for feedback, she pretty much blew me off. The guidelines to my Action Plan for Success, included that I would be able to complete a probationary period of 14 days consisting of goals and objectives and at the end of the 14 days, my progress would be reviewed. I was not given 14 days to work on my Action Plan for Success. I was terminated before the end of the 14 day period. I abided by my Action Plan for Success and had not done anything wrong. I had an appointment with a client that day and the appointment was written on my desk calendar. I believe that my boss/supervisor looked on my calendar for my last appointment. I was terminated about an hour after my last appointment with a client. The first day I was put on the 14 day probationary period, I asked my supervisor if I successfully completed the 14 day probationary period, would I still have a job there? My supervisor responded, "I can't make any promises." I have notes, emails, and logs with information about how I was treated and about specific information. My supervisor is the one who put me on the Action Plan for Success. During this period, I received an email from HR that was sent to all managers in the company, the email explained the current Progressive Disciplinary Policy and Procedures. It included a disciplinary action form and the company's policy and procedures for each disciplinary issue. There were 7 different Types of Action to choose from, they are in order as follows: 1) Verbal Warning, 2) Written Warning #1, 3) Written Warning #2, 4) Commitment to Success, 5) Written Warning #3, 6) Suspension, and 7) Termination. This was my Written Warning #1 which did not have grounds for termination. Also, under Written Warning #1 the Procedure clearly states that, "All official warnings must be written and reviewed with the associate within 72 hours of a violation of policy or procedure or within the next scheduled shift. Warnings not need be for the same offense." If another Policy Violation takes place, I was to be given a Written Warning #2. A little over a month prior to being put on the 14 day probationary period, my supervisor, the Director of Sales, called me for a meeting to discuss some of her concerns. I was out sick the day prior to this meeting. In my absence my supervisor went through my entire desk and all of my files to tried and find something I was not current with or find something I did not do correctly, she removed some of my files and notes from my desk without me being aware of this. In our meeting she expressed her "concerns," and I immediately placed my attention to these concerns and fixed all issues. These few things included getting a clients address information to input into our computer system, updating notes in my files, and contacting a client because I did not have notes on the contact in my file. I did not need notes in the file because I knew what was going on with the client. About one month later I was called into a meeting with the HR director and my supervisor, where I was written up and received my Written Warning #1 for the SAME issues I had previously discussed with my supervisor and had corrected to her liking after our meeting the prior month. So, I was written up for things that had taken place one month before, this does not fall under the 72 hour time limit imposed that "all official warnings must be written and reviewed with the associate within 72 hours." I did not receive any proper training, I was not given goals, policies or guidelines until probationary period. The girl who trained me did not care if I was trained well because she was planning on leaving before I was hired. When I asked for help or guidance, my supervisor told me she did not have time. I feel my supervisor tried to find any reason to fire me but she did not follow company protocol. Do I have legal recourse? I have not received any information about continuation of health insurance or COBRA either.

    What you are describing is not actionable. Unfair? ..."Perhaps"...But not illegal.

    Good luck in your Job hunt.

    Blue
  4. #4
    cyjeff is offline Senior Member
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    Okay, I am not going to wade through that massive block of text.

    Tell me this... were you discriminated against on the basis of your race, sex or national origin? Were you fired because you wouldn't have sex with someone that made that sexual union part of your job?

    Then it wasn't a wrongful termination.

    If you believe it was a wrongful termination because the company didn't follow their own rules, that does not approach the standard of wrongful termination.

    You may wish to take your employee handbook to an attorney to see if that handbook rises to the level of a contract... but most do not.
  5. #5
    applecruncher is offline Senior Member
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    Only read the first paragraph of this novel, but age discrimination law applies to those age 40 and above.

    Just because your supervisor was, in your opinion, not nice to you and just because YOU think think the termination was unfair does not = wrongful termination under the law.
  6. #6
    Betty is offline Senior Member
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    Re your comment on COBRA - The employer has 44 days from the last date of coverage (which may or may not be the last day of employment) to send out the COBRA information/paper work.
  7. #7
    commentator is offline Senior Member
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    File for unemployment insurance. Since you were essentially let go for performance issues during a probationary period, you may have a fairly good chance to be approved for unemployment benefits if you have enough wages in the base period of the claim. That means if you have been working before this for covered employers during about the last two years. But the unemployment system is about the only place they are going to care whether you were treated fairly, given proper warnings or whether your company followed its own policies and handbook to terminate you. Otherwise, it's not going to be wrongful termination, and you're not going to have anybody to sue or file a complaint against or anything. It's good to find this out while you're young and in the beginning of your work career.
  8. #8
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    Nothing you have posted supports a claim of wrongful termination.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  9. #9
    Betty is offline Senior Member
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    [url=http://employeeissues.com/wrongful_termination.htm]Wrongful Termination Definition[/url]
  10. #10
    Kruth325 is offline Junior Member
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    Now, I understand it was not wrongful termination. I understand that age discrimination is for people 40 year plus. My next question is, in the state of Texas, does an employer have to have a reason to terminate you?

    Thanks to all who have read through my "novel," and replied. I truly appreciate it. Any information is helpful.

    Also, something I didn't mention in my "novel," is that, my female supervisor and female coworkers, made backhanded or snide remarks to me or about me. Some of the remarks were, but not limited to:

    "You are too young to have confidence."
    "I have a lot of experience in this industry and well, you don't."
    "Wow, your boobs are huge!"
    "Are your boobs real?"
    "Sorry, what did you say? I was distracted, staring at your tits."
    "You are so skinny to have such big boobs."
    "Uhh, you are so skinny, I'm jealous."
    "Be careful not to blow away outside."
    "Do you ever eat?"
    "You eat like a freaking bird."
    "It's not fair, you can eat whatever you want."
    "She just has that look about her that she would sleep with black dudes." - overheard comment
    "OHH, you are the girl that used date my boyfriends' sisters' ex."
    "Geez, your TaTa's look huge in that dress."

    All of these things were said by female coworkers and some by my female supervisor. A lot of these comments made me feel uncomfortable, is this sexual harassment? I am not going to sue or anything of the sort, I just want hear the answer from someone that is not biased, just for my own peace of mind.
    Last edited by Kruth325; 02-24-2011 at 03:01 AM. Reason: addition
  11. #11
    marshalAK is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kruth325 View Post
    Now, I understand it was not wrongful termination. I understand that age discrimination is for people 40 year plus. My next question is, in the state of Texas, does an employer have to have a reason to terminate you?

    Thanks to all who have read through my "novel," and replied. I truly appreciate it. Any information is helpful.

    Also, something I didn't mention in my "novel," is that, my female supervisor and female coworkers, made backhanded or snide remarks to me or about me. Some of the remarks were, but not limited to:

    "You are too young to have confidence."
    "I have a lot of experience in this industry and well, you don't."
    "Wow, your boobs are huge!"
    "Are your boobs real?"
    "Sorry, what did you say? I was distracted, staring at your tits."
    "You are so skinny to have such big boobs."
    "Uhh, you are so skinny, I'm jealous."
    "Be careful not to blow away outside."
    "Do you ever eat?"
    "You eat like a freaking bird."
    "It's not fair, you can eat whatever you want."
    "She just has that look about her that she would sleep with black dudes." - overheard comment
    "OHH, you are the girl that used date my boyfriends' sisters' ex."
    "Geez, your TaTa's look huge in that dress."

    All of these things were said by female coworkers and some by my female supervisor. A lot of these comments made me feel uncomfortable, is this sexual harassment? I am not going to sue or anything of the sort, I just want hear the answer from someone that is not biased, just for my own peace of mind.
    so when you went to HR and reported it, what happened?
  12. #12
    commentator is offline Senior Member
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    In Texas, they do not have to have a reason to fire you. They can fire you if they want to, if they walk in and feel pissy that day. The only thing that you have as a recourse is that if an employer cannot show they had a valid misconduct reason to fire you, you can file for, and will have a fairly good chance of being approved for unemployment benefits.

    If you have enough wages to set up a claim, then the reason for your termination would be explored, the employer would need to show that they have some valid misconduct reason to terminate or you would be approved for unemployment while looking for another job.

    But very sadly, there are no labor laws that require your co workers to be nice to you, to treat you with respect, or not to be mean to you because you're young and they're old. You may be able to complain and work out a better work atmosphere with your HR, but if you aren't, and they all hate you for no other reason than you've got a certain "look" they can fire you for having it.

    If they refuse to give you a specific reason why you have been terminated or refuse to give you a separation notice, you go on and file for unemployment benefits anyway, and the reason for separation will be obtained by their department as part of the claims filing process.
  13. #13
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    The comments about your age, experience, alleged eating habits and weight were unprofessional but not illegal. The comments about your breasts *may* have crossed the line into sexual harassment. However, since you (evidently) did not report them at the time, coming now after you have already been terminated for a legal reason, trying to do anything about it now would look like sour grapes.

    FYI, barring a legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA that specifically says otherwise, the only state in which an employer is required to have cause to terminate is Montana, and even in Montana there are exceptions.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  14. #14
    Kruth325 is offline Junior Member
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    I didn't report anything to HR. I wanted to but was very hesitant and resisted doing so because the HR Manager had just received that position about a month before I got fired. Previously, the HR Manager was working in Sales and Catering at the same time I was working in sales. So, I had worked closely with the HR Manager in the past. She had been with the company for a while and was good friends with my supervisor as well as the other girls in Sales and Catering. It was a known fact to me that I was not liked, but I didn't care, I just wanted to do my job.

    With this lady being the new HR Manager and being good friends with my other coworkers, If I had gone to HR with any issues I was having, the word would have got back around to my supervisor and coworkers. I just did my job and kept my mouth shut. I know that is not how HR Managers are supposed to work. A friend of mine had his work area right outside of the HR Managers office, he told me he overheard the HR Manager with other coworkers talking very poorly of me, none of the talk was related to my work. My friend was African American and what he overheard them talking about was "Why is she friends with the 'black' people?" among other things. Needless to say, I did not trust HR.

    I signed an offer letter which I believed to be a contract but upon reading it more carefully, it does say, "This letter does not constitute a contract for employment." So, I did not sign a contract.

    The only thing I am concerned about filing for unemployment is because I know the company is going to try to cover their ass by saying they gave me Written Warning #1 and that they created an "Action Plan of Success" for me. I was not able to complete all of the objectives and goals set forth in this "Action Plan," because I was fired before I could do so.

    Also, my supervisor asked me to have a meeting with her in early December and she discussed some of her "concerns" with me. After the meeting, I immediately fixed all issues that were discussed to her liking. Then in the beginning of January I was called into a meeting with the HR Manager and my supervisor and I was written up for exactly the same issues we had discussed and I had already fixed in early December. I didn't consider that the meeting in early December was a Verbal Warning. In early December I was still in my first 3 months of work and with this company those first 3 months are considered a mandatory probationary period.

    What I can not grasp is how they can bring up an issue that was discussed and fixed a month earlier, during my mandatory probationary period. Then at the completion of the 3 month probationary period, not give me any type of feedback or review. Then 2 weeks laster put me back on probation for an issue that took place during the first 3 month probationary period.
  15. #15
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    They can do that because the law does not get into such matters. Nothing in the law dictates to the employer how, when, or whether (or how often) an employee can be disciplined or counseled for performance issues.

    One thing I can tell you, if you don't apply for UI you definitely won't get it. What's the worst that can happen? The worst that can happen is that you are denied and you don't get benefits. Well, if you don't apply you won't get benefits anyway, whereas if you're denied you can appeal the decision. So what have you got to lose? Poor performance is rarely a disqualifier; the employer would need to bring clear and convincing evidence that you DELIBERATELY performed poorly and that you could have performed to standard if you'd wanted to, for poor performance to disqualify you.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.

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