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Boyfriend fired

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What is the name of your state? North Carolina

I am trying to help b/f, but at ends with this.

He was fired for excess absents according to owner. 2 other employees have more than 20 days of absents, 1 just got out of jail after 20 days there. B/f had 7 days according to the records I made him go and get copies of.

Was told (hear say) that b/f was fired because of his pay rate and business was slow. (I did log chat conversations) Employee that was in jail got a $1.50 raise day after b/f was fired. Paycheck stub seen by person who told me this.

Owner is known to go ballistic call employees dumb, stupid and worthless in front of everyone. Even nicknamed employee shorter than he, which I would taken offense to but maybe that person likes being called Stumpy.

More to all this, but this is just a brief of what I am needing some help with. He did file unemployment, waiting to hear on that. He needs proof on some things but not sure how to go about getting it, if needed.



The only thing you have made here is a case for unemployment insurance and not a very good one.

There is no law that a business owner must be nice when firing someone, must not fire them or must only fire them for certain reasons.

I could hire you and fire you tomorrow because I didn't get laid last night. All perfectly legal.

As a matter of fact, when I purchased my newspaper in 1978 I inherited a female reporter who wore jeans and sweatshirts (sans bra) to work. On that first day I told her that was unacceptable and that I would require at a minimum slacks and a shirt/sweater WITH bra.

The next day she returned to work wearing the blue jeans and sweatshirt and within 10 minutes she was pounding the pavement looking for a new job.

And what I did and what your bf's boss did were both perfectly legal.


Boyfriend Fired

Yes, I do agree that it is legal, as I have done many firings in my 23 year career but I had documentation and I also had a policy in force that not only did everyone read and sign, but it was adhered to. I also won all of my unemployment cases against former employees. So here is why I am so confused on how you can fire one person for something that you don't fire others for. My boyfriend is the only one that has been fired by this owner period. Everyone has quit and moved on.

This owner fires my boyfriend for 7 days of being absent, which all his days of missed time are supported by either reciepts from transportation problems and doctors notes and ice storms, but there is one guy with over 20 plus days of missed work and he is still employed, recently missed another 8 days, but was not fired for that. Another guy has over 40 plus days of missing work to include over 20 days spent in jail and recently took a week off with no notice and then another week off with no notice just this past week. So how can the owner justify firing my boyfriend for 7 days of missed work but not the other two who have missed more than 60 days combined? That is why I am confused on how an owner can get away with that because I know in my 23 years, I had to treat all alike and fair and accordance to our policies and labor laws. (I messed up on the days on original post, sorry)

Now someone said boyfriend was fired for making too much money. When you know about the company and this owner, that is understandable. Owner tends to talk too much to the employees about other employees and the business downfall that he is currently in. But then employees tend to gossip so all is hear say. I have kept all chat conversations with the employees that still talk to me that work there.

I wish I could access their payroll records because the payroll records would speak for themselves. It would prove that there are employees there that have more absent days than my boyfriend does.

And the one thing I wish you had commented on......is it right for a boss/owner to call employees names? I don't think "dumb", "stupid" nor "worthless" are proper names to be addressed to any employee because the owner is on another rampage or going ballistic. My boyfriend dealt being called worthless the first year he worked there, but only he wasn't the one that screwed up on an order of 10,000 pieces, the owner did. Wrong name that went on the product and wrong size. But yet, he calls the employees dumb and worthless? Totally unprofessional. Is this not some sort of intimidation or harrassment?

Thanks for your comments, but wanted to post more about the situation since there is more to this. Just wish the boyfriend had of quit before all this.


I'm a Northern Girl
Unless your boyfriend was fired BECAUSE OF his race, religion, national origin, gender, age (over 40), disability, or membership in a group protected by your state law, or BECAUSE he utilized or applied for a right or benefit protected under the law, then firing him was legal regardless of how many others may have not been fired with longer absences.


Senior Member
"I wish I could access their payroll records because the payroll records would speak for themselves. It would prove that there are employees there that have more absent days than my boyfriend does." And then? That's irrelevant information. Maybe other employees had more compelling reasons to be absent than your BF and the owner decided to cut them some slack. Or maybe they're relatives, or maybe they're better workers than your BF.

It's not unlawful to fire someone for exessive absenteeism even if other employees were absent more frequently.


Wow, that truly sickens me as a manager. What ever happened to protection under Labor Laws and to treat each and every employee fair and equal? I guess our laws "don't" protect people since I have had to fight these Labor Laws for being harassed, my 65 year old mother was accused of beating up a 23 year old in front of security and cameras, and fired for my disability, but yet I should have learned, the company is always right.

I guess my work is cut out for me to prove that he WAS fired for his pay rate and NOT because of being absent 7 days and not 20 or 40 like others and 76 like another former employee who quit. I guess I can't understand how an owner can praise someone one day and claim they are his best employee and the next, fire them for being out 7 days with no warning and no policy. Or sit and tell him, after he fires him while winking at him, "call me back in two weeks for your job back". Makes you wonder why he would even want him back if he fired him for missing 7 days of work. Guess this was better than laying one off because business was extremely slow and no money was coming in as he did tell my boyfriend and another employee, 2 days before.

"Maybe other employees had more compelling reasons to be absent than your BF and the owner decided to cut them some slack. Or maybe they're relatives, or maybe they're better workers than your BF." **One was in jail for more than 20 days, walked off the job on many occasions and had one week where he didn't call into work or notify anyone that he went out of state to visit his girlfriend. And he owes the owner money that he told me personally that he did borrow from him. Then another hides from the owner, like in the semi trucks behind boxes so he don't have to work or would hide behind the building all because there was nothing to do. Those are the two that have a combined total of more than 60 days of missing work and joke about how dumb my boyfriend was to put out the work that he did for this owner. But then my boyfriend had the primary and main job there as if it wasn't for him, no one would have work to do since he was the first step in the process of what they did there. The only other one that knew how to run his machine was the owner himself. No one is a relative there other than owners son who does manage and I have to say manages better than his father, the owner. Kind of strange how they, the owner and son, always went to my boyfriend for his opinion since my boyfriend has over 19 years in this type of business.**

Oh, one more question, this owner also told all the women to take Thanksgiving week off because business was slow, yet had all the men working that week. (Two days after firing my boyfriend.) Hmm, is that called discrimination or is that fair because of no business? I guess he didn't feel the women could do a mans job such as sweeping floors and throwing away trash, which is one position there. This was told to me by one female employee there and she can't do nothing because she is not a legal nor does she have a green card.

I do appreciate the comments......just angry over how "owners" can get away with what I was NOT allowed to do in the past 23 years as a manager. But I never once, stooped to the level of calling my employees dumb, stupid or worthless or treating each other differently even if we didn't had a policy to follow. Every policy was followed and EACH employee was treated fairly and equally. But I guess that is me and why I did run successful units.


I'm a Northern Girl
Kitty, I think you misunderstand me. By all means, I believe that employees should be treated fairly and equally. I applaud a company that insists that all employees be treated under the same policies. Without question, that is how an employer OUGHT to behave.

However, the fact remains that LEGALLY, it is only illegal to treat employees differently if it is BECAUSE OF one of the reasons in my initial post. (BTW, even if they are firing your boyfriend and not the other employees because of his pay rate, that is STILL not illegal.) If an employer wishes to give an employee special treatment because he has been with the company longer, or because he is a friend of the owner, or because of any reason EXCEPT the ones I mentioned, it is not illegal. It may not be fair, it may not be good business practice, it may be TERRIBLE for employee morale and thus end up costing the employer more than it would have cost if they had acted differently, but it is not illegal and it is not something for which they can be sued.

Now, as to giving the women time off while having the men work, there is a very good chance that EITHER the men or the women could make a good case of gender discrimination on that one. But it does not change the fact that nothing you have posted indicates that your boyfriend's firing was illegal, regardless of how much you want it to be. The two have nothing to do with each other.


CBG, I know what you're saying, I am just mad that owners/companies, etc., can get away with what this owner has. I am so appalled by this mans actions that I can now understand why he has no business and continues to lose business.

To endure being called dumb and stupid and worthless for over a year by someone such as this owner, is degrading, intimidating and disrespectful and I can't believe that he is able to do that and get away with it. Employees begin to feel that that is who they are and are afraid to leave a company with this type of stereotyping by an owner, one that they should respect and look up to, to one day be like them. Imagine this owner going ballistic and using all those names toward the employees and along with other words that are too vulgar to even put in this post. This is why I am trying to see how my b/f can fight back because he dealt with this owner for almost 2 years, all because he enjoyed what he was doing, but didn't like how the owner was treating all the employees including himself. Me? I would have walked that first time the owner told me I was stupid or dumb or worthless because I know that is not who I am.

Oh, CBG......I got a couple questions for you. My b/f's time card and vacation time. His time card stated that he had some minutes on the day before he was fired. Also the day he was fired, he was already clocked in and was working when the owner arrived to work and after, went and got my boyfriend to come to his office and he spent over 15 minutes in the office with this man. When b/f went to clock out, his timecard was not in the slot. My boyfriends last pay check was only 8 hours and none of the minutes that he did physically work were not noted on his paycheck stub. Can the owner take away those minutes and not pay him that? B/f also had 32 hours of vacation time still owed to him, which owner said he would put on his last check, which was a lie and not on his last check. Can the owner refuse to pay him for vacation that he earned last year? If I know right from wrong, he can't because this was earned vacation time from the previous year and not current year.

I never thought I would have crossed something like this in my lifetime and I wish that there were laws that WOULD protect employees by such verbal abuse or ignorant owners such I see here. Guess there are all kinds in this grand country of ours and fortunately, I only work for the companies that do have excellent employment practices.

Thanks CBG, you have been insightful and I look forward to your next reply.


I'm a Northern Girl
The problem, kitty, is that what is "verbally abusive" is terribly subjective. One person might not be at all bothered by a comment that someone else thinks is horribly offensive. Who is right? Is using an insulting term once abuse? Twice? Six times? What if 95% of people would not be insulted by it but the person in question is one of the 5% who is? Does the reason have anything to do with it? When does it stop being someone's lost temper and start being abuse? What about mitigating circumstances? As soon as you draw a line and say, anything after this point is abuse and you can be sued for it, there are going to be six, sixteen, or even sixty situations crop up where the use of that line is questionable.

You also need to keep in mind that there are times when the use of an across the board, never-to-be-varied policy in all situations is NOT fair. Let's use absences as an example (although I am not talking specifically of your boyfriend). Take a probationary employee who, in his three months of employment has missed ten days without being able to provide a good reason. Now take a twenty year employee who has never in all his time with the company missed a single day other than scheduled vacations, who now, because his wife was in a car accident, has missed 10 days. (For the purpose of this example we'll assume that FMLA does not apply.) Okay, now you have two employees who have missed ten days. Under your scenario, either the three month employee, who has missed almost 15% of his time, should be forgiven and not disciplined at all, or the twenty year employee, who's never missed any time before and has a very valid reason, should be disciplined in exactly the same way as the probationer.

Certainly similarly situated employees in identical situations should be treated the same, but there are going to be times when the exception is the fair thing to do. THAT'S why the law does not make it mandatory that you use an across the board, no-exceptions policy. I'm not saying your boyfriend's boss is blameless; I'm explaining why the law works the way it does.

As for your questions, I'm going to have to do some research on your state law. I'll get back to you.


CBG, I think I have learned more from you than what I have read about all these issues these past few weeks in law books and online and I thank you for that. Reading all the EEOC and Labor Laws have been mind boggling and quite hard to comprehend on why, what, how and who.

NC has laws that are suppose to be equal to what EEOC has plus their own. I do know that I did find one of NC laws about the Pay Act, where one can not be terminated because of his hourly/salary rate. I could not find anything about the vacation time earned from a previous year that should be used before the end of the next year, nor could I find anything relating to when someone physically works time, can an employer take away the minutes from their time card and only pay them for the hours worked. My boyfriend was already on the clock working when the owner showed up the day that he terminated him. He had some minutes from the previous day, which all in total for the two days should be close to 30 minutes of physical time worked that he was not paid for.

About the verbal abuse and all, there is more than just my boyfriend who has complained about the owner using the language he does toward them and throwing things. I guess the employees there might have to group together and just either approach the owner (or the owners son) about his behavior toward them and the feeling of being intimidated and somewhat physically threatened by him throwing things while going through a temper tantrum in front of them all. I don't know any other way to tell them what to do other than to just quit and get out of there before someone gets hurt. This is a very small company, less than 20 full-time employees.

I honestly think this owners son see's what is going on and I can almost bet that once his father hands down the business to him, if there is one left, he will turn it around into being more successful than what it currently is.

Again, thanks for the information that you have given me.


I'm a Northern Girl
Did you think I'd forgotten you? We're still digging out from a snowstorm here in MA, but I was able to do a little research.

I'm still checking on the Pay Act you referenced, so I won't comment on that yet. But here's what I found out about vacation:

I'm not going to be able to say, yes, he should have gotten the vacation or no, he's not entitled to it, because in NC, it depends ENTIRELY on what policies have been posted and/or otherwise made available to the employees. Under neither Federal nor NC law is there a statutory right to vacation. Federal law does not address the issue at all. NC law, however, requires that employers post/make available to the employees the company policies, to include whether or not employees are entitled to carry over days from one year to the next and whether or not they are owed on termination. I can tell you that the likelihood is that he is owed them, because in the case of no posting or an ambiguous posting, the benefit of the doubt goes to the employee, not the employer. But IF there is a published policy that vacation time cannot be carried over from year to year or IF there was a published policy that vacation would not be paid out, then the 32 hours of time from last year is gone.

BTW, the EEOC does not have any authority over wage issues. They have to do with discrimination laws. You MAY be referring to a case (can't think of the name off the top) in which someone was fired ostensibly because their salary was too high and in THAT SPECIFIC CASE, that reason was found to be a pretext for age discrimination (which is how the EEOC got involved). That does NOT mean that every case of termination because of a high salary is gonig to be illegal.

As far as the minutes go, yes, technically he is owed them. However, I think he might want to think about whether the time and effort it would take to file a claim for a few minutes of pay is worth the money he would actually get back, and also keep in mind that sooner or later, some employer is going to call this company for a reference. It's his call, and I know it goes against the grain to let them get away with anything he is actually due, but sometimes you have to live in the real world. I'm not saying he shouldn't file a complaint; I'm saying he should weigh his options carefully before he decides.

I'll get back to you on the Pay Act.


CBG, keep digging out of that snow.....you know, I truly miss having a white winter and I am hoping that I will be able to see it this year....will be a first for me in over 20 years other than going to Minnesota to get bit by the chill of Jack Frost!

Ok, owner has nothing posted about vacation time in faciltiy nor does he have any type of records of his policies....all is basically hear say and not documented. He did state to the b/f at the time of termination that he had some vacation days owed to him and he would make sure that it was on his paycheck, which they never were. This is why I am questioning it because the b/f has called up their several times and the owner is dodging him and telling him that he is in the middle of a phone call or he has things he is doing and to call back in two days, which b/f has, but owner is gone for the day according to the secretary. I made the b/f document, after picking him up, the complete conversation that he and owner had to include who was all present in the office during that time and all the times he has called up there.

I did a lot of this research while at his house and for the life of me, I can't find it from my pc and b/f isn't all helpful since he is not as literate on a computer do to research like I have done. I do know that the section of these laws was extremely long. It went from everything about sick time, to pay rate, to the Disability Act all the way to Unions. So it was an array of Laws that I fed through and spent four hours reading. I am going to continue to search for it and if I do find it again, am I able to leave a URL here?

I have so many questions that I keep coming up with that I recall having to do for years, but, I knew that when I went to ESC for mediation, I would take time card, schedules, anything out of personal file that I was allowed to disclose, such as attendance record....but, on time cards, I had employees sign off on time cards when they received their checks to acknowledge that the time was accurate and correct and did match with what they were being paid. How can I ask this......hmmm, is this just a good practice to be in, or is it something that EEOC or the ESC would look at when considering a case that has been filed? I paid my employees to the minute because when you consider someone making minimum wage and losing a minute a day, that is over 4 hours of time not paid for in a year that they actually lose.....do you see what I am saying? Sorry, trying to make it clear here..... To me it is inmaterial, but I have to put my feet into ones shoes that might make minimum wage. (I worked on getting the homeless employed and this is why I understand why they will question minutes) BTW, b/f isn't homeless, he just feels that everyone is owed minutes. :cool:

I should have went on to school to be a paralegal, I am finding this extremely interesting and yet, educational. (will kick myself later)

Thanks CBG.....oh for that snow you have??? Send me some.....I could use a little here for the Holidays! >'.'<

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