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I worked as a sales person for a furniture chain store

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privately owned for a period...
I worked as a sales person for a furniture chain store privately owned for a period of 18 months. I achieved the highest sales volume of any sales person in my first year of over $1,000,000.00. I was given a mini celebration with the owners and staff and given a plant and three balloons. Four months later I was fired after arriving at work and finding my name had been removed from our upboard - computer system when you check in at work. Any employee arriving before me, could see I was no longer shown as an employee. I was told the company was going in a new direction. I am 57 years old and have been in the interior design/ sales for 16 years. The last three employees hired were straight out of college. I was compensated on a bonus structure which an employee is not entitled to until they have been 'certified'. I was paid approximately 9.5% commission vs 6% for new, not experienced, not 'certified' employees.
I also had contacted a competitor regarding a sales position that I learned of through a employment search company. I was approached by them and decided to see what the job offered. Within a week of contacting the competitor I was fired. It is a small industry and my employer may have learned of my interest. My direct boss showed absolute favoritism to a certain sales person and openly flirted with her. At her birthday party he had her sitting on his lap and acted inappropriately at the Christmas party as he did every day they worked together. He was also abusive causing employees to cry and told us never to speak of anything happening between employees. If we were caught talking to another employee about inappropriate events occurring in the store, we were threatened with termination. I would call it a hostile environment. I tried to keep to my responsibilities and worked like a maniac. Why would an owner fired their top sales person without cause?
Submitted: 11 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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9/19/2017
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 11 months ago
Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,558
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Good evening and welcome. I am very sorry to hear that you were let go. You ask why your employer would do this without cause. While I certainly agree that there was no misconduct on your part and that you did nothing "deserving" of termination, you have described two lawful and entirely plausible motivations for your employer to do what they did. First, many employers who discover an employee is looking for other work will let them go. They figure they'd rather not be caught by surprise, wondering when the employee is going to leave them. And if it's a small industry, they may be concerned about trade secrets or allowing you to gain more experience only for it to be used to benefit a competitor. Unfair? Yes. But it's a completely lawful motivation.

Second, you do mention that other newer employees are being paid a smaller commission. It is not unlawful for an employer to make personnel decisions which maximize their profit. Letting you go in favor of hiring someone who will work cheaper, while unfair to you, accomplishes this objective for your employer.

You describe a lot of other inappropriate conduct, but nothing which could somehow convert a termination motivated by the above into an illegal termination. I truly wish I could provide better news, but I do hope that my answer helps you better understand the situation so that you can move forward in the best possible manner.

If I can clarify anything at all for you, please do not hesitate to ask. It is my pleasure to assist you further if necessary....

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