Some Companies Don't like Ethical Questions

Hello, I was recently terminated from a company in what I think was the end of a retaliatory process. It started with my requesting an ombudsman or arbitrator, after I had not been able to resolve some issues with my manager and supervisor, I never met with an arbitrator or ombudsman and the HR rep that I did meet with said he was representing the ombudsman, the issues were never resolved and after this four month long process. I was then forced to work in a senior position without senior pay that also required that I be on call for a specific amount of days out of each month, but I never was paid on call pay unless the company called me in for work, after that the management had me go back to a former position I had held 9 months previously, but I never received any support training or help for the position, I even had to get my own logins for all of the systems I needed to use, this is something that is normally handled by a supervisor. I did ok in this position for about three months and when it was discovered I had no intention of leaving the company one of the managers took it upon her self to start fabricating my statistical infomation to make it look as though I wasn't performing my job up to standards of the company ( I have proof of this)and at one point during this time period my supervisor pulled me off of the floor and accused me of being away from my desk for 7 unaccounted for minutes, and had started a process of writing me up for this untill I showed proof that I was at work and doing my job and had two other employees say so ( I still have the documentation for this.) During this same time period my supervisor was writing me up for attendance about every two weeks for things that had happened up to a year earlier that she had "discovered". After this my supervisor was let go and I got a new supervisor, the first thing she did was to wright me up for something I had already been written up for a couple of months earlier saying that it was something she had discovered and needed to be corrected I asked to have a look at my local HR file and found the documents showing that I had already been written up she then stated that since I had already signed her wright up that it would stick. After this I had a confrontation with one of the managers about how the company had structured it's work methods so that hourly employees had to do followup work on thier personnal time in order to get paid thier cash payouts for the work, or force customers to incur excessive charges on thier billing if the employee did this work immediatly, I asked the manager if he thought this was an ethical process. Three days later a new supervisor was transferred to my group, after this point my obervation scores for call quality were basicly flatlined and there was nothing I could have done to improve the scores no matter what I did, I tried to schedule a meeting with my supervisors manager to discuss this and the manager scheduled a meeting with me, first she delayed the meeting and then she cancelled. The company then had a shift bid, I chose a completely different shift but I was the only person on my team who had a radicly different shift that was not transfered to a new supervisor, and then a month later the supervisors had a shift bid, and the same supervisor I was having trouble with was transfered to my exact same shift except for days off. Then I was written up for poor call quality standards and given two and a half weeks to improve my scores or I would lose my job, I confronted the manager about the way my call observations were being handled and that my supervisor had already made a decision that no matter what I did I would never pass those standards. After this the manager said I would get a few more observations with my supervisor and another of her supervisors. During this time I had asked my supervisor if she would be able to provide me with daily statistics for the time I had been in my current position, and if she knew who I ould contact to have access to my human resources file, her reply was that she would not be able to provide me with daily statistics, and that all of the documents I had already signed, should be enough. These answers were not acceptable to me and I sent an email to her manager asking for the same information, the first reply I got was via voice mail, in which I then requested the manager to reply via email, after which the mangager replied that she did not understand my my guestions. When the time came for the review of the observations I had brought a tape recorder to the meeting but the supervisors would not let me record the meeting and stated that they would need to have the manager there, I then had a chance to go over the reviews with both supervisors and the manager there, and at one point the manager explained on one of the obervations that the call had been too long and that instead of doing work on the bill I should have negotiated a settlement with the customer, I then asked the manager if she thought it was ethical for me to negotiate on an amount that the company had not earned, and at this point we ended the review session. I then had a chance to speak with the manager alone and she also stated that she did not authorize the recording of our meeting. I asked the manager if she would be able to explain why on my observvation scores my supervisor had made a decision that no matter what I did I would never pass any of my observations, I also asked the manager to explain why when I had quit using a process called call work, that it was still being applied to my working statistics and I asked why it had gone into a controll pattern after I had quit using it, I also asked the manager to provide me with my financial statistics as I was being scored on these statistics but had never seen anything indicating what the amounts were for. The manager then indicated that I was doing alright in this area and didn't need to see this data, but that there were other areas where I was suffering in my performance such as save rates, and contract renewals, I then indicated to the manager that if an employee is weighted heavily on activations, trouble shooting, and technical support that employees save rates and contract renewal rates would be lower than other representatives simply because they weren't handling as many of the same types of calls as other reps, the manager then said they didn't controll the call line like that, the manager said that she would provide me with what information she could. We had one last meeting in which the manager indicated that I had not passed the call quality observations, and about a week later I was fired, I was not given a final check and was told it would be Fed Exed to me, I did recieve a severence check the next day, and my regular bi-monthly paycheck, but I have still not been paid for my accrued vacation time, and my 401k has not been released to me.
To my knowledge I am the only employee who has been fired for call quality standards, and though it's really not that important in all of the groups I have worked I have been the only employee who was not a member of a "protected class" I haven't done anything wrong, and I am extremely good at the work I do , I was not fired for any reason other than somebody had decided that they didn't like being confronted on ethical issues.

1 answer  |  asked Jun 19, 2002 6:52 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

Janet M. Koehn
if you were fired . . .

you did not describe very intelligibly what kinds of complaints about "ethical issues" you were making. if you were fired for complaints about being asked to do something you believed in good faith to be illegal, you may have a claim. furthermore, you may have wage and hours claims. the facts you describe are too complex to give you an answer without further investigation. you should contact an attorney experienced in employment law. if you are insouthern california, please call me for an appointment.
janet m. koehn
805-658-0655

posted by Janet M. Koehn  |  Jun 19, 2002 7:11 PM [EST]

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