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a pattern of mistakes/policy violations

by Jennifer
(Florida)

I was involuntarily transferred from an area where I was successful for 6 years to one where I struggled and continued to make mistakes until I was ultimately fired one year later.


Mistakes (9 total) included forgetting to follow safety procedures, failing to clock out on time, clocking in at the wrong time, not communicating effectively with peers, confusing shift times and consequently clocking in late, etc.

My supervisor chose to document all of these incidents to the fullest extent possible, formally and involving HR. This practice was not followed with all other employees.

Furthermore, my supervisor committed some of the same mistakes, and she also violated other company policies (profanity, falsifying time cards, violating safety policies, etc.)

Lastly, there were additional resources, assistance and preventive programs the corporation could have made available to me but did not, including a Performance Improvement Plan, designed to help/track employees who are struggling. It was only in the latest stages of my employment that I was able to speak with someone from HR, and that was at my own request.

In the meeting with HR, my supervisor and I were asked to focus on preventive measures, communication strategies, etc. The HR manager described the situation as one of misunderstanding, not deliberate disobedience/incompetence on my part, and stated that we needed to slow down the process before resorting to extreme measures/consequences. The HR rep attributed some of my mistakes to being "terrified" of the current situation, some of them to not being given clear/consistent direction/expectations, and some of them to "normal" mistakes that could have been documented/addressed less formally. All parties agreed that my intentions were sincere and good, and that my effort was undeniable.

On the occasion of the very next incident, my supervisor stated she believed written/formal documentation shouldn't be necessary and that it probably wouldn't be a big deal. Two days later I was suspended and subsequently fired.

None of the mistakes I made were willful nor with wanton disregard for my employer's interests. They were not deliberate violations nor in deliberate disregard of standard/expected behavior.

I do not believe I demonstrated carelessness or negligence to a degree or recurrence that manifests culpability, wrongful intent, or evil design or shows an intentional and substantial disregard of my employer's interests or of my duties and obligations to my employer. Throughout, my strong work ethic, sincere/honest intentions, and desire to improve/excel were never in question.

It is my belief that my supervisor did not want me on the team from day 1, and set out to push, confuse, oppress, scrutinize, intimidate, dominate, vilify and ultimately remove me from the area. I don't believe the discrimination was based on any legally-protected category, but simply on personal dislike. I knew it was happening, and I kick myself every day for not quitting before it was too late.

Many employees have left or been fired from my workplace, and at least one of them shares my perceptions regarding favoritism, bias and overly-harsh consequences for certain individuals. Three of them who still work there also share the same perceptions. They are not likely to say or do anything about it, because they are just as scared of the repercussions/increased scrutiny as I was.



Hi Jennifer,

I'm not certain you even want a comment from me, but if an employer has policies, they need to be uniformly enforced .. if not, and you can get someone to testify on your behalf to corroborate .. along with bringing the harshness you were being dealt with to the attention of HR might carry some weight and credibility at a hearing if necessary to encourage the belief that this supervisor had it out for you based solely on personal dislike.

A "protected class" .. which can either be based on who or what you are or an activity .. although going to HR alone doesn't protect you .. filing a complaint with the proper agency is what really protects .. even if the complaint ends up as null because just the act of filing a complaint protects under the whistleblower act ..

Retaliation by firing is usually served before you have a chance to take it outside the company.

So I'm not surprised.

But of course .. we're just talking about unemployment benefits where nothing illegal has to be going on to either get or be denied benefits. You just need to present your case from a perspective that you can't be guilty of misconduct because the employer only applied the rules to a select few and not other for the same things.


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by: Jennifer

Thank you for your comments & giving me some perspective. I've been afraid to proceed with an appeal, probably because I've spent the past year being afraid (at work,) and that's what comes most naturally.
So again, thank you.



Jennifer,

Then I'm glad for you. Being afraid is what comes naturally for most American workers when things start to go wrong at work.

Being afraid is handing over our power and esteem to bullies in the workplace and even our lives.

I think acting like a "victim" is a personal choice and all the but, but, but excuses in the world should be followed by how, how, how can I overcome this obstacle.

Difficult? Yes. Impossible? Sometimes.

But always preferable to not trying at all.

Best Wishes for anything you choose to accomplish,

Chris


















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