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  1. #1
    kimber5765 is offline Junior Member
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    Exclamation Job Abandonment or Fired?

    What is the name of your state?undefined Arizona--
    My son works for a local grocery chain. He has this one manager that has been after him since she was transfered to his store. He's been employeed with this store for going on 3 years now. This manager goes out of her way to belittle him every chance she gets---in front of other employees & customers. She also writes him up at least once a week for some petty crap. Mind you she is the ONLY manager that has ever written him up.
    Tonite---she wrote him up again for something that happened 2 weeks ago. Needless to say, he is fed up with this woman & her harrassment. She never write up any of the other employees--just my son. When she wrote him up this evening---he got very upset & left, but came back about 10 miuntes later. One other manager was there also & realized he went off to cool off before he did something foolish. When he returned, the manager (the one that wrote him up) told him he was no longer welcome on the property, & he had abandoned his job. She refused to let him go back to work & told him to leave.
    I went back to the store with him to get some sort of explanation & she refused to talk to me about it, and called the police.
    What recourse does my son have if any? He is part of the union as well & has been since he became employeed.
    Does anyone have any suggestions or any words of advice for us?
    Thanks in advance.
    Kim in Arizona
  2. #2
    Katy W. is offline Member
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    Coincidence?

    Arizona
    Are the employees in your son's store represented by a Union? If so, call them.

    There is no legal basis for anything, and you have already tried to talk with them so that won't work. Your son will have to write this off as 'their loss' and look for another job.

    My son also works for a supermarket chain in Arizona, and the kids who work there are a really great group, friendly, and work hard. One of them is going through the exact situation your son is. (They have two new assistant managers who are ******s.) Your problem hits home, and although usually if you posted this problem here you would get a two-sentence answer from someone telling you that you have no case. I'm here to tell you that you have no case, but I wish you and your son luck.

    (If your son's name is Alan, please e-mail me directly.)
  3. #3
    Katy W. is offline Member
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    Resign v. fired

    Forgot to say this: I think it's in your son's best interest to accept the "job abandonment" story; he won't get unemployment but he will be able to say truthfully that he has never been fired.
  4. #4
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
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    kimber, unless your son is being singled out for this less favorable treatment by the manager because of his race, gender, religion, national origin or some other protected characteristic, then what she is doing is not illegal. Since your son belongs to a union, I suggest he file a grievance with them and see if they're willing to do anything. Your son is also free to contact the senior store manager and see if he or she is willing to review the situation and change the decision that has been made. Walking off the job however, even if only for 10 minutes, is a big deal. It may have been the smartest thing for him to do at that moment though if he would have said or done something foolish had he not taken a few minutes to calm down.

    I don't agree with Katy's advice that job abandonment is better than being fired. (a) The employer can categorize his separation any way they wish to. It's their decision whether they want to call this job abandonment. Your son has no legal venue in which to challenge what the employer wants to call this. (b) Explaining to future employers that he walked off the job is no less difficult than expaining that he was fired. At his age though, this isn't that big a deal although however he explains either to future employers, it's important he not "bash" this employer. He'll come off as a malcontent rather than someone who was treated unfairly. (c) He should apply for unemployment benefits regardless of how the employer decided to categorize the separation. For UC purposes, what the employer calls it is irrelevant. The State will decide whether your son leaving the job site for 10 minutes consituted "willful misconduct." (d) It's also possible your son isn't entirely blameless in the overall situation. She may be a lousy boss but he may not have been an ideal employee either.
    A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
  5. #5
    Katy W. is offline Member
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    Question about the quit/fired thing....

    Beth has good advice. The reason I said that it would be better to "quit" is that recently I have seen quite a few job applications that say; "Have you ever been fired from a job? If so, why?" and I was thinking it would be good not to have to answer this affirmatively.

    Beth, what I'm reading is that the boss is saying that her son quit. Can they do that when he didn't resign? Or is it all just termination of employment? I haven't had this situation before.

    Kim, Beth's suggestion of talking to the General Manager is a great one.
  6. #6
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    Katy, any employer who doesn't understand that occasionally someone is going to be fired for something that wasn't their fault, wasn't fair, wasn't an overreaction on the part of the previous employer or something else on that order, isn't an employer I'd want to work for.

    "Termination" can be either voluntary or involuntary. Any employer worth their salt understands that, as well.
  7. #7
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
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    Beth, what I'm reading is that the boss is saying that her son quit. Can they do that when he didn't resign? When an employee walks off the job, many if not most employers elect to consider that a voluntary quit - i.e. job abandonment. Under these particular circumstances, I consider calling a ten-minute "time out" job abandonment is a stretch (if that's indeed all it was - the son may be giving mom a version that favors him) but if the employer wishes to consider it a voluntary quit, they may, even if the employee never said "I quit."
    A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
  8. #8
    kimber5765 is offline Junior Member
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    Quick Update---


    Well--the store manager refuses to talk to my son. Told him to write a statement & drop it off. I've made a call to the union, filed for unemployment for him since his computer is down at the moment.
    This manager that has done this to him is a real piece of work. The night employees have seen that she has singled my son out--noone else. I've spoken to them about this all since last nite, and all say the same thing. She had it in for him period. What he did last nite was the best thing he could have done at the time was to cool off before he did something foolish. But he did return less then 10 minutes later to resume his job duties. But she refused to allow him to do so. She told him he abandoned his job & he was not allowed to be on the store property. He at that time told her he didnt' quit--and if she was not allowing him to return to his job, then she was firing him. He then came home at that time & I went back to the store with him to see if I could get some information, but she refused to talk to me as well. There was just no reasoning with that woman at all.
    I just want to say thanks to all of you who have offered advice. It's a big help. Please keep it coming. He's just 18 & feels like this woman really did him worng & I agree.
    Thanks again
  9. #9
    nohr4u1yr is offline Member
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    Holes in the story

    I am a human resources manager and based on your first post I truly rolled my eyes. The first thing that all people say (when they know they are busted) is "well, everyone else does it" "no one else get's written up". Being HR professionals we (as well as all manager's/supervisors) are not able to discuss other employees "issues".

    People need to start accepting responsibility for their actions. If your son was truely picked on then he should have asked to speak with his supervisor and relayed his perception on how she is treating him. If it wasn't resovled then he should have gone to her supervisor or HR department. Did he ever mention anything to you prior? If so, what advice did you give him?

    Also, most employers will only verify dates of employment and title held. Let this be a learning experience for your son - teach him how to communicate the the chain of command in the workplace if he feels he is being picked on. And last but not least - don't go to his place of employment to "get to the bottom of it". No employer should (or would) explain why someone was terminated - you did not work their and any information regarding your son's employment is that companies property.
  10. #10
    nohr4u1yr is offline Member
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    one more thing

    What was he being written up for? In a write up the form also contains what the expectations are as well as a timeframe to get back on track. He won't get his job back but I can probably give you (and him) some advice of what not to do in the future
  11. #11
    kimber5765 is offline Junior Member
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    The Write Up

    According to my son & the other employees that I've talked with, he was written up for something that happened over 2 weeks ago. After speaking to the Union Rep--she has 7 days to do any write ups. She surpassed her alloted time.
    And to nohr4u1yr---yes, I have spoken to my son regarding the "chain of cammand" and who to speak to regarding the issue. Seems no-one in management stays at that store for long enough to deal with these situations. The manager before the one they have now--had spoken to the night manager that is the tyrant and had nipped it in the bud for some time, but he too is gone now & she's back at it. So, going over her head doesn't seem to work for too long as there is always another manger to come along to back her up, per say. My son has done nothing to warrent this womans harrassment on the job. He does what needs to be done & does his job. This woman seems to have some ego trip with belittling a young man for no reasons. He may be 18, but I did raise him correctly not to speak ill of anyone (until now ) and to mind his elders. I'm not just taking sides with him--I know my kid pretty darn well & know if he's told to do something, he does it. He knows I rule the house.
    We've since spoken to Corporate and to the Union & are getting the ball rolling there. Union rep says she is totally wrong in her theroy of "job abandonment"**************.
    Maybe the good guy will win this fight!
    I'll keep ya'll posted!
    Thanks again!
    Last edited by kimber5765; 12-27-2004 at 11:07 AM.
  12. #12
    enjay is offline Member
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    Your son is an adult...let him handle this. No one is going to think very highly of him when his mother is fighting his battles.
  13. #13
    nohr4u1yr is offline Member
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    What was he written up for?

    You stated that his last write up happened two weeks ago and that the union has a policy of it being addressed within 7 days. Some things depending on what they are require the infraction to be investigated. What was he written up for?
  14. #14
    kimber5765 is offline Junior Member
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    Written Up Reason.....

    The reason she wrote him was this: Last night......
    He was bagging for a cashier went outside to get a cart to put the groceries in the cart for the customer. While he was out getting the cart, the manager called him--he didn't hear the intercom outside. When he got in, one of the other employees told him the manager wanted to see him. The manager told him that he left carts in the back corral (this was when he was on cart duty 2 weeks prior). Mind you he was not on cart duty at the time---he was in the middle of bagging groceries. The manager should have written him up for the cart thing 2 weeks ago when it happened---not last nite, then refuse to explain her reasoning. Last nite was just the straw that broke the camels back---other employees know what this woman has done to my son, and how she has singled him out. They have said to me before she constantly singles him out to harrass him -- make him the "example" to other employees. It's not right period.
    None of the other managers have a problem with my son---just this one.

    enjay--I'm helping him, not fighting his battles for him. I'm trying to give him some avenues & guidence on how to handle this whole situation.
  15. #15
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    It may not be "right" but unless he is being singled out for reasons that would violate Title VII or public policy (race, religion, national origin etc.; applying for or using a benefit or right protected by law) it is still legal.

    And for the record, I am also a trained and certified HR professional. So is Beth. So, for that matter, are PattyTx and SuzieWahoosie.

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