The bad news is you're not being laid off

  • Thread starter Evo
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I can't find anything like that, nor have I heard anything like that in the US before. I don't think there's any law protecting you if you get fed up and leave before you get fired.
Yeah, see, it's not a question of getting fed up and leaving before you get fired, it's an issue of an employer creating a work situation -- with unreasonable job requirements (which you didn't sign on for initially) -- such that they put employees into a position that they are forced to quit rather than be fired or laid off. It's an underhanded employer maneuvre that "constructive dismissal" is supposed to guard against. Like Evo's situation of being handed an impossible task, and ensuring that the task is entirely impossible by making them sign documents in which they agree not to work over 40 hours a week in order to meet the demands of the unreasonable standards.

In other words, the employer is deliberately, and rather clearly, setting up a situation in which "dismissal with cause" is viable or people simply quit because the situation is intolerable. That's not allowed here. It's not really fickle.
 

Borek

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Finger's crossed Evo, I can't do much more from here but send positive fluids towards Kansas :frown:
 
good luck evo/
 
I'd say contact the labour board first. See what they say about it.

If you give them a hard time they can still fire you all they have to do is find some other reason to fire you. Maybe like being out sick or injured too often. ;-p

That's the problem with these sorts of issues here in the US is that no one can really make them keep you on as an employee. So when you have a problem with an employer most often all you can do is look for another job. The specifics of the local labour laws would determine whether or not you can sue but if you have not been fired yet you may not be able to sue and suing isn't going to get you your money (minus lawyers fees) until later.

Your best avenue would likely be to talk to your fellow employees about bringing a class action against the company, if you can sue. One of you can collect some money from everyone who can afford it and go, as a representative, to a labour law lawyer and buy an hour or two to talk about the possibility of a class action. Unfortunately if the company goes under and declares bankruptcy you may not get anything.
 
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This sucks that an employee can be treated that way. Is there a union or something that helps employee with this kind of situation? I'm not talkign industiral action, just a support network for your options?
 

Moonbear

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Yeah, see, it's not a question of getting fed up and leaving before you get fired, it's an issue of an employer creating a work situation -- with unreasonable job requirements (which you didn't sign on for initially) -- such that they put employees into a position that they are forced to quit rather than be fired or laid off. It's an underhanded employer maneuvre that "constructive dismissal" is supposed to guard against. Like Evo's situation of being handed an impossible task, and ensuring that the task is entirely impossible by making them sign documents in which they agree not to work over 40 hours a week in order to meet the demands of the unreasonable standards.

In other words, the employer is deliberately, and rather clearly, setting up a situation in which "dismissal with cause" is viable or people simply quit because the situation is intolerable. That's not allowed here. It's not really fickle.
I really think here you pretty much have to wait for them to fire you (otherwise you don't really know for sure they are going to fire with cause and aren't just crappy employers), and then you can sue for wrongful termination. But, it really seems that other labor laws are being violated that she shouldn't need to wait for that to happen to start taking legal action.

Of course, the best is just to contact a lawyer and find out from someone who actually knows these laws in the US.
 

turbo

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Evo's company's stock has tanked, and if the employees start a class-action lawsuit to try to get compensation for wrongful-termination, there is no way that any other telecom will buy what remains of the company, if they have to inherit the lawsuit. Not that there would be enough assets left to satisfy reasonable claims, anyway. Nasty! About the only option is to get a REALLY good employment-law attorney, file an individual suit on a contingent-fee basis, and get the company to settle that or beat them in court before the very large, slow-moving class-action suit gets under way.

The whole industry is in flux, at this point, and who knows where it will go? A small, under-capitalized telecom was allowed to buy Verizon's land-line operations in northern New England, and they promptly screwed up bandwidth agreements with large commercial customers, and took a long time to restore service. They are spending mega-bucks on a series of commercials regarding their DSL services while applying for bankruptcy protection. It's a bad situation for anybody whose company relies on broadband services because there is no redundant capacity should the telecom fail.
 

Monique

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I really feel for you, maybe you should just go on a vacation to Guam and learn to be a Bathynaut :smile:
 
This is actually the second quota doubling since January of this year. Two weeks ago, they made us sign a document agreeing that we could not work more than 8 hours a day, or we would be fired, and not reporting time worked would result in firing. So working enough hours to make the increased quota, even if you do it on your own time, will result in being fired.

In order to meet the first quota doubling, many of us chose to work unpaid hours to complete the new requirement of quadrupled reports and still produce the amount of increased results they required.
Strike.
 

Office_Shredder

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turbo

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Unfortunately, Kansas is a right-to-work state, and collective bargaining is essentially ham-strung by the inability of unions to organize employees (anybody can opt out even if a solid majority of employees want representation.) Also, if you don't have an employment contract (are an at-will employee), you can be fired for any reason, as long is it is not illegal. Many states allow you to contest your firing, if it appears you were not fired "for cause", but it is tough for an unemployed person to finance an expensive legal battle, and make that stick. Absent collective bargaining and enforceable labor contracts, employees can lose their jobs pretty much at the whim of the employer.

Setting unreasonable productivity goals while reducing resources (including allowable hours-worked) is a pretty clear case of abuse on the part of the employer, especially in a company with a shrinking market-share. Still, it is highly unlikely that a work-force that is not organized is going to have any recourse at all. The company will simply fire anybody that causes a stink, on any old trumped-up reason.
 
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Setting unreasonable productivity goals while reducing resources (including allowable hours-worked) is a pretty clear case of abuse on the part of the employer, especially in a company with a shrinking market-share. Still, it is highly unlikely that a work-force that is not organized is going to have any recourse at all. The company will simply fire anybody that causes a stink, on any old trumped-up reason.
Well I know here in Canada if you contact the Ministry of Labour they take care of everything for you. No need for a 'legal battle' unless of course you do not agree with their decision. It does take a bit of time but in some cases (like Evo's) it would be worth the call. When you call and the company finds out that you have made the all it's in the companies best interest to not fire you. It is a 'major' law to fire someone because they've contacted the ministry and you can bet that they'll be coming down hard for it.
 
D

drankin

So, my company, considered one of the worst in America for their CEO and upper management incompetence, has to downsize again. We had a meeting today, expecting to be given the option to take a voluntary layoff, which is a package that would include 6 months of pay and benefits, minimum, or stay and risk firing.

NOPE.

They told us that instead of offering us a lay off package, where we might have some chance of having enough money and benefits to hold us over until we can find another job, they are, instead, doubling our quotas so that no one will be able to meet them and be fired. Our director was actually laughing as he said, so no one is at risk of being laid off (and getting a compensation package), your risk is of being fired, without compensation, if you do not meet the new doubled quotas.

YAY!!
Sucks to leave a position (I'm assuming you will move on) but it's not necessarily a bad thing.

The ships sinking. Time to find better opportunities. Good luck, Evo.
 

turbo

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Well I know here in Canada if you contact the Ministry of Labour they take care of everything for you. No need for a 'legal battle' unless of course you do not agree with their decision. It does take a bit of time but in some cases (like Evo's) it would be worth the call. When you call and the company finds out that you have made the all it's in the companies best interest to not fire you. It is a 'major' law to fire someone because they've contacted the ministry and you can bet that they'll be coming down hard for it.
Here in the US (at least in Maine) employees do not have that protection. My last employer told me that he was abrogating my contract and cutting my compensation in half because I had to work primarily from home due to a disability (the division was making record profits during that time, BTW - and the only full-time employees were me and my administrative assistant). I told him that if he did that, I would contact the Maine Human Rights division and file a discrimination complaint. He fired me for "threatening him" as he put it, and the GM reluctantly confirmed that in a sworn deposition. Still the case was thrown out of Federal court. Being "protected" by laws that are rarely enforced is no protection at all.
 
I'm sorry this happened to you Evo. It seems to me that they intend to save money by having you quit instead of firing you. I don't know the whole story, but it seems that no matter how this turns out, you need to leave the company and find something better. My last company told me to double my output too and I quit immediately. How can anyone sleep 16 hours a day?
 
If they go on strike they'll get fired. The company doesn't want them, it's just having trouble getting rid of them
Oh, I thought it was the entire company and not just a division. I meant for everyone in the company to strike. They need some workers.
My last company told me to double my output too and I quit immediately. How can anyone sleep 16 hours a day?
Your job was sleeping?
 

CRGreathouse

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I'll disagree with the majority here. I don't expect there is much recourse for Evo here. Employment is at-will and there is no legal right to severance packages.

You might be able to win a wrongful termination suit, but the only effect you could really hope for there is to get the job loss reclassified as a layoff rather than firing (if it would have an effect on your unemployment status). This could possibly be done collectively with your coworkers.
 
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I'll disagree with the majority here. I don't expect there is much recourse for Evo here. Employment is at-will and there is no legal right to severance packages.

You might be able to win a wrongful termination suit, but the only effect you could really hope for there is to get the job loss reclassified as a layoff rather than firing (if it would have an effect on your unemployment status). This could possibly be done collectively with your coworkers.
I disagree here, it is illegal to circumvent a severance package, that was most likely guaranteed in your contract, by creating a unworkable environment. Especially if they are being so blatant about it. Contact the media. They will be just as affective. You could probably get the lawyers fees paid for.
 

CRGreathouse

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I disagree here, it is illegal to circumvent a severance package, that was most likely guaranteed in your contract, by creating a unworkable environment.
Does Evo have a contract guaranteeing a severance package? If so, this largely moves from employment law to contract law.
 

turbo

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I disagree here, it is illegal to circumvent a severance package, that was most likely guaranteed in your contract, by creating a unworkable environment. Especially if they are being so blatant about it. Contact the media. They will be just as affective. You could probably get the lawyers fees paid for.
I had a contract specifying my compensation. It also laid out the terms of payment for that compensation should my employment end for a variety of reasons. My employer basically told me to stuff it, accept what he was willing to pay me, and shut up. When I said that I would file a claim of discrimination based on a medical disability (that he was made well-aware of before he even hired me, BTW, because I believed in being up-front with employers regarding my capabilities and limitations), he fired me and he TOLD me that's why he fired me, and he told the GM that's why he fired me. Under my leadership, that division had made that puke many millions of dollars in net profits, and he didn't want to keep paying me my incentive pay. When I took over that division, it was barely turning a profit, and he set up an "insurmountable" incentive program with generous bonuses. Guess what? A few years later, the division was the industry leader, setting world records year after year and making so much money that the owner and his GM starting charging my department more and more of the operations costs of the entire company to keep my net profits (and incentive pay) down. He tried to cheat me out of a little less than $100K of incentive pay, and ended up replacing me with 3 full-time people. Some "savings". Still, the legal system is designed to protect jerks like that and screw employees. Evo is up a creek. Her employers are creeps, but they have a BIG brand, and a legal team.
 

Evo

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No contracts, as was stated, most states in the US are "employmjent at will" which means a company can terminate an employee without or without cause and an employee can quit at any time for any reason.

I think if anyone does get fired and files a wrongful ternmination suit that they might win since the amount of work required was decided without any justification other than, "we keep raising the bar and most of you keep meeting it". Well, that's because some people are working 80 plus hours a week and others have found less than kosher ways to report their results. Not to mention that some are doing a lot of really shoddy work that's bound to hit the fan sooner or later.

Right now I'm one of those exceeding the amount of work required, but I am killing myself. I think this just typifies the direction more companies seem to be taking to dig themselves out of financial trouble.
 

dlgoff

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Evo,

This so much reminds me of the company I worked for just before it went bankrupt. Once they made the bankrupt filing, we were out of luck. Came to work one day and the doors were locked with a notice of a meeting off site. They laid off 50% right off, did another 50% layoff in a month, and the rest 2 months after that. Lucky thing for me was being able to stay to the end shutting things down at a 100% stay bonus then 6 month unemployment insurance.
 
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No contracts, as was stated, most states in the US are "employmjent at will" which means a company can terminate an employee without or without cause and an employee can quit at any time for any reason.

I think if anyone does get fired and files a wrongful ternmination suit that they might win since the amount of work required was decided without any justification other than, "we keep raising the bar and most of you keep meeting it". Well, that's because some people are working 80 plus hours a week and others have found less than kosher ways to report their results. Not to mention that some are doing a lot of really shoddy work that's bound to hit the fan sooner or later.

Right now I'm one of those exceeding the amount of work required, but I am killing myself. I think this just typifies the direction more companies seem to be taking to dig themselves out of financial trouble.
I assume this company makes money off the work you do? Get all your employee friends together and do everything completely wrong. Even better if it involves other people make them get mad at your company. HAH.

Since America apparently doesn't like protecting it's people from being taken advantage of I guess you should just start getting those resumes out there.

+Maybe contact the media? I'm sure the heads of the company will also need to start a new business/find new jobs as well. Make them out to look like the evil greedy assholes they are :)
 
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When I have moments like this at work i normally resort to watching "Office Space" for the umteenth time.
 

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