Employment Lawyers Can Answer Your Employment Law Questions
Hello, i previously worked for Verizon wireless. I left because i was told to do things that were unethical and would cause my employees to make less money. It was admitted by upper management that "they dont care if the sales people make less money". I also provided evidence that the orders i was instructed to give would cause people to make less money.
Other than that several HR incidents took place. For example, my Store Manager asked an employee to forge a signature on a security document. He would be forging the signature of the district manager. The employee told me about this and i suggested he contact HR to file a complaint. He did that, and nothing happened to the Store manager. Im pretty sure that forging a signature on a security document using your district managers signature is a terminable offense. Several other HR incidents took place, no result. Instead, the employees who complained were mistreated and fired, about 8 of them.
We filed SEVERAL complaints with Verizon HR and nothing was ever done. The store manager was "buddies" with the HR person, we know because we saw the email exchanges between them. People were ordered to stay past their scheduled shift, and were yelled and for leaving on time. HR said the manager cant do that, no punishment was given to the manager. We were also given little presentations about how "evil" unions are. In fact, its about 1% of your pay is given to union dues, Verizon lies to us and makes that a much bigger number. Many people are mistreated, harassed, and plotted against in that store, probably in that company. It is an extremely unethical place to work. Reporting anything to HR results in retaliatory actions such as inconvenient schedule changes and promotion denials. If you talk to HR and ask for the conversation to be confidential, they will say "OK", and then e-mail the conversation details to your manager afterwards. We have seen these emails.
What can be done? Thanks!
Thank you for using JustAnswer!
Do the employees have a written employment agreement or contract with their employer?
One is not a "whistleblower" in the legal sense for reporting something to HR. Rather, the law only considers a person to be a "whistleblower" when the person reports a suspect violation of law to a government agency. Because the facts you describe do not suggest that any employee filed a complaint with an outside government agency, this is not a "whistleblower" matter.
As you previously indicated, the employees are "at will". This means that you could quit your job at any time and there's nothing your employer could do about it.
That also means the reverse is true: your employer could terminate you at any time and for any reason (so long as it wasn't because of your race, age, gender, disability, national origin, etc.) and there isn't a darn thing you can do about it.
An employer may dismiss an employee at any time for any reason; a good reason, a bad reason, or for no reason at all.
Now, does that seem to be unfair or unjust? You bet it does. However, it is not illegal. That is the very nature of "at-will" employment. You serve "at the will" (or whim?) of the employer.
Of course different people can disagree as to whether or not the punishment fit the alleged wrong in the situation of your former employees. But, because they're an at-will employee, the employer doesn't have to even go there.
They could have been fired because the employer didn't like which hand they used to lift their coffee cup.
They could have been fired because the employer didn't like the shade of green socks the employee wore to work. They could do this because the employees were "at-will".
Good luck and best wishes for better days ahead.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).