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After working 20 years in our own business, my wife and I went…

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After working 20 years in...
After working 20 years in our own business, my wife and I went to work for a family owned grocery store. They were wonderful and really appreciated and respected us. I am a baker and my wife is a cake decorator. In 2008 the store was taken over by another grocery store chain having seven stores. Our manager was responsible for the bakery department and the deli department, although she knew very little about bakery. Everything started out fine, and then for numerous reasons she began mistreating my wife. She is a micro manager and a bully. She has done everything to slow down and degrade my wife's work. She has stressed her to make mistakes which she would be reprimanded for and written up. She was even charged with mistakes that were not her fault. This has gone on for almost 2 years. In a meeting she will sit right next to you and lie. She has the bosses fooled and they believe everything she says and the employee has no recourse. They finally on a bogus charge had her transferred to another store where she was demoted to a counter girl, hours cut and lost her insurance. They said she was going there to be trained cake decorating, however she has not been allowed to do so. The previous manager has spread these lies to the new manager and she is already disliked at the other store and is being treated rudely. There is so much more to this that I do not have the time or space to mention it here. I have tried the Department of labor, Department of human rights, and the EEOC. They all tell me that they can do just what they are doing. It doesn't seem right and I don't know how they can get away with this. Maybe you can help.

Bob Salan
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
6/23/2010
Employment Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,984
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
Verified
Hello,

I don't know what you have heard about Illinois law but there is nothing currently in statute or court decisions that is any different than what you have been told. Since your wife is apparently an employee at will, assuming that she doesn't have a contract or other enforceable agreement that would give her more rights, then her employer can set and change the terms and conditions of her employment at they deem necessary. The only restrictions are that they must comply with their own policies and procedures and that they not have discriminatory intent against a member of a protected class under civil rights laws. In addition, general bullying and unprofessional behavior is not unlawful unless there is a discriminatory intent against someone who is in a protected class. So, unless your wife can show that she is being treated in this manner either in violation of a company policy or because she is a member of a protected class, then she has not legal recourse.

You are right that it doesn't seem fair, but employers are heavily favored under the law, so sometimes there can be results that are not ethically correct but are not unlawful.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Sorry for the delay. We have been having a great deal of rain lately and my internet connection has been flaky, I think. Not knowing for sure I did a complete reload. A huge task. Anyway I didn't want to leave a long story to begin with, but I still think there is something here. I would like to share some specific situations that I think are significant if you don't mind. Let me get some notes together and I will reply back.

 

Thanks,

 

Bob Salan

Employment Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
No problem. Just reply with any follow up that you have.
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