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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20233
Experience:  Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
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I used to work for Verizon wireless.

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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!

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Do the employees have a written employment agreement or contract with their employer?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Probably. We all signed confidentiality agreements, and we were told that we were employed "At Will". Still, the harassment and the fact that HR did nothing is the problem. Double Standards happened all the time. The Store manager can forge a signature on a security document and nothing happens even though there was an witness, but a tech gets fired for leaving a cell phone case on the counter for 10 minutes? Completely unethical. It probably says somewhere in the employee handbook that forging a signature results in immediate termination, yet this did happen and instead others were punished for whistleblowing.
Can you please clarify who they blew the whistle to?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
An employee named Keith was asked to forge a signature on a security document by the Store Manager (Clayton). He did so out of fear for his job, then reported it to me. He contacted HR about the incident. IM sure its a terminable offense, but Clayton remained in his position. This started a a chain of events where HR was contacted almost on a daily basis by several different employees. We complained about unethical treatment, harassment, and clear violations of labor policy (such as forcing people to stay long than their scheduled shift, writing people up for not coming in on their day off, lying on security incident reports about an employee who had a seizure and hit his head when he fell down. He had asked to go home, but the store manager didnt let him. The security incident report said Clayton (Store Manager) had asked the employee to go home 3 times but he didnt, which is false, i was there. He also had somebody else type the security incident report for him while Clayton was off. An HR rep was in our store weekly, having one on ones with various employees. The employees compained about unethical treatment, double standars, and being forced to follow a procedure that made them get less comission. Nothing was done. I and several other people saw emails between the Store Manager and the HR person having "Small Talk' ,like they were friends. Completely inappropriate relationship between corporate HR and a Store Manager. This resulted in HR taking his side and protecting him from countless HR violations, which were witnessed and reported by various employees.

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.

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