• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

teenage son fired for no apparant reason

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.

B

bsvhouse

Guest
What is the name of your state? What is the name of your state? louisiana

My son is 17 and had worked at a local independent grocery for 8 months. he position was bagger. he was fired 2 weeks ago because when he was getting grocery carts, one was across the street and he got a ride in a car to go to retrieve it. this is also what was stated on his pick slip. also he was let go on Sunday, July 14 and only received his check and pick slip on july 23. i spoke with the general manager shortly after his termination. the general manager stated he did not know my son well, but always heard he was a good worker. he did not want to override the lady who let him go. to make a long story short, they have been stringing my son along ever since, making him think he might get his job back and have him keep calling and coming back to the store. he never received a warning and they was no verbal or written policy about not leaving in a car to get carts although you can leave the premises to retrieve carts. he will be going to college 2 weeks from today, but this has put a damper on our happiness because of this.

thanks.
 


Beth3

Senior Member
Unless your son is being treated more harshly than another employee would be under similar circumstances BECAUSE OF his gender, race, national origin, religion, etc., this employer has not violated any laws.

They don't have to have a reason you agree with for his termination, they aren't obligated to go through progressive discipline, nor do they have to have a policy which states "employees are prohibited from accepting rides in cars to cross the street to retrieve an errant shopping cart."

Unless I'm missing something, that was a foolish thing for your son to have done. The employer's response may have been harsh but that's their perrogative. Perhaps your son has demonstrated other judgement problems on the job of which you are unaware. In any event, they have no obligation to give him his job back if they don't want to.
 
B

bsvhouse

Guest
thank you for responding so quickly. according to his coworkers and even the admission of his other superiors he had no discipline or other problems. he was always at work and on time and did his job. it may have been poor judgment, but i really don't understand, since his job is to retrieve baskets no matter where they are. they appreciated him walking 5 blocks to retrieve baskets in 90+ degreee weather. i am really trying not to play the race card, but my son is african american and he was also told that why hire him back since he's leaving to go to college in a few weeks anyway. i was thinking about filing a lawsuit against them, but don't want to pursue this if there is no case. also wanted to mention that my son has an artificial eye and some people may think he doesn't look at them squarely and might take offense of that. these people were unaware that he has an artificial eye.
 

Beth3

Senior Member
Let me ask you a question before responding to your most recent post: is the person who made the decision to fire him the same one who hired him? In other words, did his supervisor make both decisions?
 
B

bsvhouse

Guest
the answer to that is no. the one who fired him was on leave of absence during the time he was hired. the general manager said the one who hired him said no one ever had a problem with him.
 

Beth3

Senior Member
The reason I inquired about that is because a legal principal can come into play usually referred to as the "same actor" theory. If the same person who hired him also made the decision to fire him, it becomes less likely that his race (or other protected status) was involved in the decision. If the person was biased against him because of his race, presumably he or she wouldn't have hired him in the first place.

The issue I see for the employer is that they had liablity for him while he was in this car. Even though it was unauthorized and they had no control over who he hopped in the car with, had there been a car accident, they would have had full worker's comp liability for your son's injuries.

I can't tell you whether this is a case of discrimination or not. I can tell you what you need to consider in evaluating that:

1. Had your son demonstrated any prior errors in judgement while employed that might have made this a "last straw" situation?

2. Was there more to this car ride than you know? For example, did he go on a little "joy ride" on company time with the driver?

3. How does the employer generally treat African American (or other minority) employees? Is there some pattern of behavior that demonstrates they treat African American employees less favorably/more harshly than Caucasians?

4. How about the individual who made the discharge decision? Does she in particular have any history of being tougher on African American employees?

5. Would a white employee with a similar performance record as your son's who did the same thing or engaged in an equivalent level of poor judgement be discharged? Of course you probably don't know the answer to that but that's pretty much the crux of the issue.

If you/your son believe he was treated more severely because of his race than a white employee would have been, the you may contact your State's equal rights division or the federal EEOC and file a discrimination complaint.

Best wishes.
 
B

bsvhouse

Guest
beth, while awaiting your response, i contacted my son and asked him if he thought his termination could have been racially motivated. all my kids are pretty naive about racism, so i specially asked if any other african american (aa) employees had been let go since he was employed there. he said there was one bagger who was let go, but he was not replaced. then he said, but they hired a white guy to take my place. i said, bingo! so, now what? my ex-husband always said they probably had someone else they wanted to hire since this makes no since (the termination). does this change anything? Thanks.
 

Beth3

Senior Member
Not necessarily. For one thing, we don't know why the bagger was discharged. Nor do we know whether any white employees were discharged and for what reasons. Unless there is something overtly discriminatory about a situation that can be demonstrated (as in "Let's fire the black guy - we don't want their kind here"), then you have to look at the pattern of the employer's behavior over time.

Additionally and for the sake of discussion, let's say that the racial make-up of the labor pool in the store's geographic area is 50% white and 50% black. That means that there's a 50-50 chance a white kid would have been hired to replace your son. Merely hiring a white as a replacement does not mean your son was fired because he's black.

The store may have had good reason to take a tough stance on the car ride. Then again, maybe they didn't. But even if they were harsh and unfair in their decision to fire your son for this one incident, that's not illegal. It's only discrimination if they were unfair because of his race. Unless I could look at the store's hiring and firing statistics and reasons for all involuntary separations over the last couple of years, I honestly have no idea whether the store engaged in prohibited discrimination or not. It's not illegal for them to fire someone over something you and I would likely have invoked lesser discipline for.
 
B

bsvhouse

Guest
All the upper management in the store are white. There are quite a few (aa) that work in the store in the stock room, deli, etc., but not one in a supervisory position or above. How would one go about getting the stats you refer to? It seems almost as impossible as it does for filing suit against this employer. I just wish there was something I could do. The reason for me even thinking about doing something such as a lawsuit is because of the injustice I am feeling. I have always had such a strong sense of justice and I hate that people can do these things and get away with it. Maybe I'll just write a letter. Thank you.
 

Beth3

Senior Member
Right now, you can't get those statistics. Nor do you have to file a lawsuit.

If you/your son want to pursue this, you file a discrimination complaint with the government and they will investigate and determine whether there is "probable cause" (or not) to believe prohibited discrimination took place. The state or fed's will gather the pertinent information from your son and the employer (probably including the statistics I mentioned), evaluate it, and issue an opinion.

Contact either your state's equal rights division or the federal EEOC. You have to do that before you could file a lawsuit anyway.
 
B

bsvhouse

Guest
Beth3:

Thank you so much for the advice. I left work and I'm now at home, so I just logged onto the computer. I planned to contact the EEOC and also the Department of Labor because he was not given his check until he came in 1 and 1 half weeks later to retrieve it himself. Having been in managment myself, I know if you are fired, the employer has to give the employee his/her check within 72 hours. That is also when he received his pink slip. It was attached. Have a good rest of your weekend.
 

cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
Actually, the law in Louisiana has recently changed. It's no longer within 72 hours but the next regular payday or 15 days. The DOL will be able to tell you if the week and a half was outside the new legislation.
 
S

southernponyboy

Guest
I have yet to hear how this was racial discrimination.

Your son was fired for a legitimate reason.

It sounds like you need just a little more evidence to convince us that this was racially motivated.
 
B

bsvhouse

Guest
I don't think any of us know if it was or wasn't. I think EEOC will be able to determine if it was or not. What was the legitimate reason? I have spoken to a couple attorneys and although I do not have a case per se, neither thinks his firing was legitimate. Oh, by the way, southernponyboy, one attorney was white; the other was black.

Thanks for your help.
 

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential
data-ad-format="auto">
Top