Discrimination and commision problems.

In August I hired into a company with big issues. My employer is currently in a Discrimination law suit from an ex employee on gender issues. My concern is the fact that I know our sales rep is not getting the proper pay for his comissions as I was told to keep him away from the books where I enter the sales, considering the company is a vending company that pays comission to it's clients I am again concerned. To top it off when a position for driver opened I was told to set up interviews, when he examined the interviews he made a comment because a woman applied that he ment to take out all the womans applications but forgot to so, he made me schedule a man overtop this womans interview. Sadly enough he makes comments about a different race and throws their applications in the trash. How long is he required to keep applications by law? My office manager is his girlfriend and gets special treatment compared to other female workers. Today I confronted him on some of these issues and now I have a feeling that I will be unemployed soon. Should I report this person and if so to whom and could he fire me if I do. Thank you for the advice.

1 answer  |  asked Feb 13, 2004 12:11 AM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Ann Lugbill
Discimination and commission

Because you have "confronted" your employer on these issues (assuming that you have done so not just on the commissions, but also on the race and sex discrimination), you are protected by federal and state laws prohibiting retaliation for those who "oppose" discrimination by employers.

Unless the salesperson has a written contract, the employer can legally pay different commissions to different people, so long as there is not sex, race, etc. discrimination in determing who is paid what. The wrongdoing by your boss regarding commissions, thus, is not where to focus. The race and sex discrimination, however, is.

You should contact the EEOC or Ohio Civil Rights Commission about how to protect your rights and to disclose the wrongdoing. You may also want to report your information, orally and in writing (a short, completely accurate, to the point e-mail is fine, not a lengthy memo) "up the chain" to HR officials or supervisors that are independent from and higher in the chain than your boss and ask them not to reveal your identity to your boss and to protect you--their responses should tell you how quickly you may need to find another job.

Obviously, human nature being what it is, going against your boss, as you have already done, jeopardizes your job. It may be an illegal firing, but it could be years until you prove that. And, your boss may not be the only one trying to "protect" the company, so be careful about whom you really trust.

Thus, you should protect yourself, preserve your options, and actively search for another job--starting today.

You will need to have written proof if you hope other to believe your allegations that you opposed these practices, that these events occurred, and that you experienced retaliation. This proof can be through e-mails, company paperwork, etc.

You may also want to consider discussion of these issues with an attorney in your area, such as the one representing the person who has sued your company or someone that attorney suggests. The Ohio Employment Lawyers Association website contains a list of members who practice employment law on behalf of employees.

You have done the right thing and done what Congress wanted employees in your situation to do when it enacted employment discrimination laws--oppose illegal practices. Our society becomes better every day thanks to your courage as shown here. But, to protect yourself and avoid becoming a victim, you will need to continue to be active in protecting yourself.

Ann Lugbill

posted by Ann Lugbill  |  Feb 13, 2004 06:29 AM [EST]

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