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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mailvox: employment advice

DH, who has more than a little expertise in the area of employment and human resources,  offers some excellent advice in this age of purges:
Make them fire you. If you resign under pressure you have basically no legal standing. Make. Them. Fire. You. If they pressure you to resign, you should write a letter, declining to resign, declining to take any responsibility for your private, off-duty, speech and/or actions. Specifically point out that you are exercising your personal discretion to engage in political and social commentary regarding current events, that you are not willing to be subjected to a hostile work environment for your unorthodox political views, and that you are not willing to explain or defend or justify those personal political views.

Always make them do their own dirty work.
Most of the time, employment purges are not legal. If you are being pressured to resign, that is in itself a de facto admission that they know they can't fire you. Of course, none of this will prevent you from getting blackballed when applying for a new job, which is why it is wise to always use an untraceable pseudonym on the Internet and to avoid social media.

It will be used against you, somehow, by someone. Whether or not that is fair and desirable is irrelevant. Those are the new rules of the game. Master them and play by them. Play by them ruthlessly and remember that the Left tends to be far more careless about these things than the Right because they assume their positions are beyond criticism.

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103 Comments:

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother May 27, 2014 1:02 PM  

Dh speaks truth.

The truth of the paleface can not be ignored.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 May 27, 2014 1:09 PM  

Also if they fire you, you may get a severance package, unless you want to sue them for said firing.

I'd opt for the later in that case.

Anonymous Aphelion May 27, 2014 1:09 PM  

Thanks, good to know. At my current workplace they are doing a survey of contract personnel. They want to know if they have the right balance. Amusingly, all the contractors are white but we work for two African Americans, but they aren't contractors so they won't count for purposes of the survey.

Anonymous Harsh May 27, 2014 1:13 PM  

They want to know if they have the right balance.

Walk a tightrope, do a few jumping jacks, that sort of thing?

Blogger Doom May 27, 2014 1:14 PM  

Yeah, well, the problem is an outgrowth from losing academia. Actually I am surprised it has taken so long for the bedwetters to have infected, as deeply as they have, corporate, and even private, speech.

Sounds like good advice to me. It's just that most guys in corporate are totally social based. They aren't the hard men of corporate dogma of old. I mean, they are all bedwetters now. Fuck em'. No more sympathy is to be offered the quitters than po' rich boys who can't get laid. Same same, up to the murder part.

Anonymous Toddy Cat May 27, 2014 1:15 PM  

This is absolutely correct, in my experience. In most cases, they won't fire you, because they can't, not without looking down the barrel of a monster lawsuit. Never give the bastards what they want.

Anonymous Tom May 27, 2014 1:17 PM  

I've often wondered if I'd get in trouble some day for coming to sites like this. Sigh. I probably will.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 May 27, 2014 1:17 PM  

The one silver lining about The Burning Times that we're now headlong into is that nothing is really inflammable.

Anonymous Giraffe May 27, 2014 1:28 PM  

Maybe you mean everything is inflammable, Huck?

Blogger Nate May 27, 2014 1:37 PM  

there is an aspect of this that needs addressed. A neutral employer that just wants to run a profitable business has to figure out a way to make money this new world where everyone is out for everyone's job.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 May 27, 2014 1:37 PM  

Maybe you mean everything is inflammable, Huck?

Fine.
Nothing is fire retard-ant.
Which amazingly rhymes with pedant.
I'm having a banner morning.

Blogger rycamor May 27, 2014 1:44 PM  

Of course, none of this will prevent you from getting blackballed when applying for a new job, which is why it is wise to always use an untraceable pseudonym on the Internet and to avoid social media.

Another reason why any grown-up man in our time should have his own business or multiple revenue streams, as well as about 3 different fallback plans if things go south. The whole concept of the comfy corporate job as career is overdue for a giant shake-up anyway.

I have very little desire to do the untraceable pseudonym thing. It's not hard to find me. Thankfully, I don't have all my eggs in one basket--and the containers are not even all baskets. Even within my current free-lance profession, it would be nigh impossible to blackball me. There are too many men with whom I've developed a long-term relationship of mutual respect. There would always be something for me. Not to mention, I've chosen a profession that I can take with me literally anywhere that civilization and computers exist.

And if those don't exist, I'm fully ready to support my family as a hardscrabble farmer, handyman, musician, whatever else.... got a grab-bag of skills.

Blogger JDC May 27, 2014 2:09 PM  

Wise advice. As a former VP for Operations for a mid-sized contract health care company we had a basic format (directed by HR) to "get someone to quit." Begin with a written verbal warning, then continue with a formal written admonishment. Threaten to dispute unemployment benefits if they don't play nice. Do everything you can except actually firing them. This is quite effective. Most people cave after being given one written warning.

Anonymous Stilicho May 27, 2014 2:10 PM  

A neutral employer

There is no longer a place for this creature, and it is exceedingly rare anyway. A time for choosing has come.

Blogger RobertT May 27, 2014 2:11 PM  

Oddly enough, according to Thesaurus.com, inflammable means flammable, but incapable does not mean capable. Clear as mud.

Anonymous Laz May 27, 2014 2:18 PM  

It's nice to have a job where the owner is conservative and we can actually talk in the shop without having to look over our shoulders all the time.

OpenID simplytimothy May 27, 2014 2:22 PM  

there is an aspect of this that needs addressed. A neutral employer that just wants to run a profitable business has to figure out a way to make money this new world where everyone is out for everyone's job.

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Anonymous Laz May 27, 2014 2:22 PM  

@ RobertT: You're looking for "non-flammable".

Blogger RobertT May 27, 2014 2:25 PM  

" Wise advice. "

In my days in corporate America, we took a different approach. By the time you issue a formal warning, you've decided to fire them. If you issue a formal warning or if you fire someone and give them two weeks notice, you've created a wounded tiger with nothing to do but wander around your hallways causing havoc. If they're bad enough to fire them, then do it. Don't pussy foot around. The savings in wages is significantly more than the saving in unemployment tax.

One other comment, this one relating relating to VD's post ... In many states, in fact as far as I know, in most states, you can fire anyone for any reason at any time. You can fire them for their political views or the way they wear their make-up. But not in every state.

Anonymous Dr. Kenneth Noisewater May 27, 2014 2:25 PM  

Maybe you mean everything is inflammable, Huck?

Inflammable means flammable?

What a country!

Blogger Outlaw X May 27, 2014 2:27 PM  

In TX you can fire anybody you like. Their is no legal recourse according to State law. The reason I know this is because I tried to hire a lawyer for my nephew who was fired because another employee lied about him. The lawyer basically said you can tell an employee he is not living up to expectations, no documentation required and fire them.

Blogger JDC May 27, 2014 2:33 PM  

By the time you issue a formal warning, you've decided to fire them.

That was our reasoning as well. The decision to give a warning was only incidental - they were already deemed beyond redeeming and the write-ups were a mere formality to induce the favorable result - which was their resignation.

Blogger rycamor May 27, 2014 2:39 PM  

Well, it also used to be considered a courtesy to give someone the chance to resign, so they didn't leave a black mark on their record. These days... things are looking different.

Anonymous jay c May 27, 2014 2:50 PM  

Suing your (former) employer could be very bad for your future employment prospects. Maybe it's a "take one for the team" kind of situation, but how many people would be willing to sacrifice their own and their family's livelihood for that?

Blogger LP 999/Eliza May 27, 2014 2:59 PM  

When in our (my) 20's everything doesn't hurt as much as it will later in life, hurts don't seem as traumatic or scary even if you live alone.

One of the most entertaining even elating times of my life was being hired for the best, right reasons. Entertaining b/c I wondered if I was smarter than them, of course, I'm not but I found the land of corporate stupid to be hilarious - Back then I had no hope or no real backing or I didn't want to know the allegedly 'riiiight people', they were unethical.

However, the honeymoon ends and myself including others pointed at mortgage fraud or the book cooking.

We called the AG. AG did nothing, couldn't intervene until something bigger happened.

I refused to be fired, I made them abuse me, pick on me but write glowing evals as to I was a good employee to show their own system, see the EEOC. From 2005 to 2007, I held and was fired from over 10 jobs due to word of mouth (blacklisted/some have a issue with my appearnace, I don't know, don't care, too long ago), inability to train, my mental and physical health was faililng. No matter what, I made them fire me and tell me to my face that they thought I was awful, trouble, my boobs were a distraction, deemed mentally ill, crazy, unworthy of the labor farce and exited out. I've heard it all from the same baby boomers that now need health care, money, etc. Most boomers won't leave their gigs b/c they cannot, I pity their plight; they must care for their maladjusted kids, grandkids, plus their own parents pushing their 80's. The American'ts in Post America didn't want me and its how it went!

The statside docs are very quick to remove the unstable, mentally ill from any ability to earn a living out of fear that I'd get violent which is iffy. The good news is a man can have whatever gig I couldn't do and the level of austerity I'm in is just its natural outcome.

It did not break my spirit to understand that global fin systems plus America's RE/home market was a farce as well. It was not accepted that myself and others said the good days are over in 2004 in charlotte nc. 2004 was already stagnant wages, corrupt temp agencies, moronic interviews that failed and failed. Eh, what of it?

Years later it goes like this; "your honor, I am too mentally ill to work."

As for the college degrees, what college, what debt? Another farce. Those of honor burn, disown pieces of paper and shall stand on their own talents in self employment. Knowing I tried my best was good enough. But what for? Most women do not belong in the work farce b/c they are mostly ineffectual or are very good employees. Some belong at home, some belong at work, who knows whether any of it was for good, bad and/or learning a few solid life lessons.

Anonymous Fran May 27, 2014 3:00 PM  

Wait...suing is bad for your future employment...?
Not if you win...you own the company. No?

Blogger LP 999/Eliza May 27, 2014 3:02 PM  

The (some not all) baby boomers in such hiring power better lobby for what they really want! They want to smoke their dope, be high, numb, etc.

Anonymous Gara May 27, 2014 3:02 PM  

The employer who doesn't want to work with blacks is exercising his freedom of association

The employer who doesn't want to work with a bigot is trying to purge the right and engaging in political persecution.

It all makes sense according to right wing logic.

Blogger RobertT May 27, 2014 3:02 PM  

Laz ... I was simply making the comment that inflammable means flammable, when incapable doesn't mean capable. Non-flammable is of no interest to me at all, unless it also has a unique and out-of-the-ordinary definition.

Anonymous Fran May 27, 2014 3:08 PM  

Gara, you make no sense whatsoever in your pithy debasement of right wing thought.

Anonymous jay c May 27, 2014 3:09 PM  

@Fran Wait...suing is bad for your future employment...?
Not if you win...you own the company. No?


No, you don't. You'll get a settlement that might or might not seriously harm the company. Maybe. And maybe it won't prevent you from working for another employer in your field again. Maybe.

Anonymous Toddy Cat May 27, 2014 3:11 PM  

"The employer who doesn't want to work with blacks is exercising his freedom of association"

Ah, but you see, we don't have that, as you might have noticed, so your point, insofar as you have one, comes to nothing. And of course, this is why liberals of all stripes have always defended the Hollywood Blacklist so vociferousl, because when private enterprise does it, it's not oppression, right? It all makes sense according to left wing logic.


Try again.

Anonymous dh May 27, 2014 3:14 PM  

You can fire them for their political views or the way they wear their make-up. But not in every state.

I recently looked into this extensively, and many states (especially the bigger liberal ones - CA, NY, MA) have strong protections for personal politics. In CA, even, you can't be fired even for bringing that to your office. You can talk politics to your co-workers, even if they don't want to hear it, and be protected from reprisals or firings.

There is a subtle difference that not many people grasp:

"You can be fired for any reason" is not the same as "You can be fired for NO reason". The presumption is almost every state - I think 46 - is that you can be fired for "any" reason. The burden will almost always be on the employer to state what the reason was. Now, if they say what the reason was, they are fine. However, if they say something else other than the truth, you have a fantastic case for constructive discharge, and the burden will be on the employer to show otherwise.

For example:

If Brendan Eich did not resign, but was fired, he'd have an easy case:

1. Allege you were fired for personal political beliefs.

2. Mozilla has to respond. They can say: (a) he was fired for political beliefs or (b) he was fired for not having a good management style.

If they admit a, it's over, they lose. If they claim b, the burden is on them to show that this true, and that another person would have been fired in the same situation. A difficult thing to prove, especially when false.

Lots of opportunity to turn the tables. But only if they actually fire you. The smallest technicality will be used to show that you actually quit. Anything at all.. so don't give them it. Even if you were fired, show up the next day, and try to act like nothing happened. Make them remove from your old office. Make them write a no trespass order.

At some point, a lawyer will be consulted, and his alarm bells WILL be going off. When he or she reads your non-quitting letter, he's going to his clients it will be very messy and expensive and the best thing to do is accommodate the employee. They'll probably still fire you. Then, in discovery, there will be email, from someone internally to HR sayings "Well, we ran it by legal and they say don't fire him, but we are going to anyways". And when that email gets discovered, you've won.

OpenID newrebeluniv May 27, 2014 3:15 PM  

The best time to get a job is when you have a job. Seek new employment before the firing/black list/"please quit" becomes final. Then in your hiring interview you can say something mindless like, "I'm seeking new opportunities and OMG, I heard about your company and really want to work here!!"

Anonymous Harsh May 27, 2014 3:23 PM  

It all makes sense according to right wing logic.

Who you calling right wing, asshole?

Blogger JaimeInTexas May 27, 2014 3:29 PM  

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater May 27, 2014 2:25 PM
Maybe you mean everything is inflammable, Huck?
Inflammable means flammable?
What a country!

Well, English is quite a language indeed.

To cleave means to separate or to hold to. One is the result of a meat cleaver the other what a man and a woman do when they marry while forsaking all others.

A sample list of other contronyms:
http://www.dailywritingtips.com/75-contronyms-words-with-contradictory-meanings/

Anonymous jay c May 27, 2014 3:32 PM  

@JaimeInTexas A sample list of other contronyms:
http://www.dailywritingtips.com/75-contronyms-words-with-contradictory-meanings/


That list leaves quite a few out too. English is a linguistic Borg.

Anonymous Federal employee May 27, 2014 3:33 PM  

I was purged once, and there is an important exception to DH's advice that you might want to take note of:

I was in my 1 year probationary period of employment with the federal government. I was being purged because I refused to treat the employees like children and I instead tried to get them a pay raise so that they would be brought up to the wage grade all the others across the agency had. Unfortunately, the employees were indeed children, despised me for getting the job they applied for, and the supervisor was not happy that I went against his tyrannical reign over those freaking peons. After enduring months of conspiracies to get me removed they finally came up with a good cover story (I left financial info face up on my desk in a locked building over night) to try and get me out. It coincided with the director (who was running cover for me against these lunatics) leaving for a new assignment. As soon as I lost my protection they pounced with frivolous accusations and the semi-legitimate one and sent me to HR with a police escort on a Friday afternoon. There I was able to negotiate a resignation. I was a dumb, young, brash Devil Dog, and the union hung me out to dry after months of working with them, getting promises of union representation if they did anything against me, because it turns out I was still in my probationary period and didn't merit representations, although I had been paying union fees for 8 months.

I was also purged once at a UPS shipping facility because I was out for 2 weeks with a sore back. When I came back I started inquiring about worker's comp. They came up with a pretext that I was stealing soda from a package. Someone else broke open a box and took soda and shared it with me, and I was busy working and wasn't paying attention to anything but my task, and drank the soda. Management said they "had me on camera stealing packages." I resigned. One year later I went thru the parking lot and saw the guy who broke open the packages still working there! He said the union put the whole thing to rest and protected his job.

Anonymous kh123 May 27, 2014 3:46 PM  

"The employer who doesn't want to work with blacks is exercising his freedom of association

The employer who doesn't want to work with a bigot is trying to purge the right and engaging in political persecution."


So the first example never had the job to begin with.

The second was fired from a job they'd earned entry into, because they expressed something, somewhere, anywhere, which more than likely had nothing to do with the company or their business.

So once again Gara, which one is not like the other?

Or, to put it another way: Which example infringed a Constitutional right?

Or are they both freedom and oppression simultaneously.

Anonymous Krul May 27, 2014 4:13 PM  

kh123 - So the first example never had the job to begin with.

So... what if you accidentally hire a black guy, thinking he's a white guy, and then find out later. Can you fire him? I'm not asking whether it's a good idea, mind, just whether it's a legit case of freedom of association.

And if it's not, then why isn't firing someone because you find out they're thoughts are doubleplus ungood?

Blogger Desiderius May 27, 2014 4:19 PM  

Krul,

The goal (transparently) isn't logical consistency. The goal is to disqualify the witch, full-stop. The witch hunter literally cannot see herself; she's abstracted herself out of existence.

Anonymous kh123 May 27, 2014 4:27 PM  

"Can you fire him?"

As ironic as the wording is, are you negating any of his or the employers' Constitutional rights in the process.

Blogger RobertW May 27, 2014 4:30 PM  

I've been self employed for many years - so basically I have an idiot for a boss :) However I still use a pseudonym because I don't know how customers and employees might react. Years ago the IT field used to lean strongly libertarian, even if they did not identify themselves as such. I don't know when and why they seem to have tacked hard left.

Anonymous kh123 May 27, 2014 4:37 PM  

Reddit.

Anonymous A Visitor May 27, 2014 4:40 PM  

I'll keep DH's advice for my next full time gig. I made the mistake of giving my last employer an ability to save face by resigning due to disgust with them and their antics rather than letting them fire me. They are getting their just desserts finally from the legal system which is nice to see. I'm not a vengeful person but I can't think of a nicer group of people for that to happen to.

I pity their plight I do too as they don't have power.

I'm reading Tomassi's The Rational Male right now and it brings to mind his axiom that true power is the amount of control of direction over one's life.

At the moment, though seasonally employed and living back home with the parentals for the moment, I have more power than I ever did in my last full time job which was a friggin' nightmare. I've been able to consider and apply for job opportunities that I simply would not have had the energy (yes, it was that bad) to do so had I stayed, as well as contemplating another industry to work in.

@Federal Employee What agency was it out of curiosity?

After enduring months of conspiracies to get me removed they finally came up with a good cover story (I left financial info face up on my desk in a locked building over night) to try and get me out. It coincided with the director (who was running cover for me against these lunatics) leaving for a new assignment. What a kick in the face! I hope said financial info left face up didn't really happen; even if it did, you got a raw deal nonetheless. In the situations I've been in, depending on the severity, it might have been a verbal or written reprimand.

Blogger Guitar Man May 27, 2014 4:45 PM  

Only recently have I considered my social networking presence. I am probably going to purge a few former co-worker "friends", one of whom is always disparaging my beliefs and personal politics. He could easily have a handful of screen shots of my posts, and on a whim, send them up to my manager, if he was that douchey.

Anonymous VD May 27, 2014 4:50 PM  

I made the mistake of giving my last employer an ability to save face by resigning due to disgust with them and their antics rather than letting them fire me.

It's good that you recognize it as a mistake. Their whole goal is to get you to resign, so they're quite happy to let you pretend that you somehow won or made a point by resigning.

Imagine how much happier the SFWA would be if I had simply resigned after they expressed displeasure about the one tweet. As DH says, always make them fire you. Make them live with the consequences of their dirty work.

Blogger Raggededge May 27, 2014 4:55 PM  

DH:

"You can be fired for any reason" is not the same as "You can be fired for NO reason". The presumption is almost every state - I think 46 - is that you can be fired for "any" reason. The burden will almost always be on the employer to state what the reason was. Now, if they say what the reason was, they are fine. However, if they say something else other than the truth, you have a fantastic case for constructive discharge, and the burden will be on the employer to show otherwise.

This is what Tennessee says about Employment-At-Will:

Tennessee is known as an "EMPLOYMENT-AT-WILL" state. Generally, this means that an employer may legally hire, fire, suspend or discipline any employee at any time and for any reason - good or bad - or for no reason at all. However, an employer may not discriminate against any employee on the basis of the employee's race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, or disability.

Reading this, I would say that you can fire someone in Tennessee for NO reason at all. You're saying that TN is one of 4 states where this is the case? I knew I loved this state for a reason.

Blogger JCclimber May 27, 2014 4:57 PM  

Regarding the founder who just got fired, didn't he use the company website to expound upon his ideas?

If so, I suppose they could make a case against him.

Just like me using a company computer to post this during my (delayed) lunch break....

Anonymous robwbright May 27, 2014 5:05 PM  

dh, your analysis would be incorrect in many states such as Ohio and W.V. I was an independent contractor working for a non-profit public defender corp. I challenged the Judge for refusing to follow the law, he essentially forced the non-profit to fire me by removing me from all cases and refusing to appoint me to anymore cases. The Judge also filed a disciplinary complaint against me with the Supreme Court for being "too critical of the court" and he published the fact that he filed the confidential disciplinary complaint in 70 entries removing me from the cases. I countered with a disciplinary complaint against him for violating my confidentiality. He was disciplined, I was not.

In federal court, I filed against the Judge, the non-profit and the county because the Judge caused me to be fired for zealously representing my clients and for exceeding his authority (removing an attorney from 70 cases is de facto discipline and judges are not permitted to discipline attorneys - only the Supreme Court is). The corp could have fought for me and didn't. The county had authority over the judge on admin issues and did nothing.

The federal court denied the Judge's judicial immunity motion to dismiss. The lower level court granted the other motions to dismiss. Appeals from both sides are pending even though we haven't begun discovery yet ("interlocutory" appeals prior to final judgment are permitted in federal court). It's been 2 years since initial complaint, nearly a year since filing of appeals and will likely be months before a appeals decision. If I win any of it, then back to litigation and discovery we go. I expect some sort of settlement offer prior to discovery because the Judge likely won't want to have his deposition taken... but no guarantee of that. The insurance company cannot settle unless the Judge consents. He has thus far refused.

IMO, my best argument is that the judge was acting as a state actor and that he exceeded his authority. My position as a public defender put me in a bit of a special class (my speech on behalf of my clients is protected and Judges aren't supposed to pick on public defenders because not that many people want the job), but even so, if the non-profit had simply chosen to let me go without any direct action by the judge, I'd have no basis whatsoever. If the person that took the action against me had not been a state actor, I also wouldn't have a good argument. It's only the uniqueness of the situation that gave me any legal basis.

I think what you were describing is the covenant of good faith and fair dealing which California has. W.V., Ohio and other at will employment states don't have that covenant.

Without that covenant, if you're not in a protected class like over a certain age, certain races, sexes, etc... (and with the exceptions like they can't fire you for refusing to commit illegal acts...), then the situation is pretty bleak if you get fired.

dh, you said: "Then, in discovery, there will be email, from someone internally to HR sayings "Well, we ran it by legal and they say don't fire him, but we are going to anyways". And when that email gets discovered, you've won."

Assuming that you're right in some or all states, if it was a large company you worked for, you could be 1-5 years of litigation down the road before you get that email in discovery. I'm almost 2 years in and haven't been able to do anything in discovery... and I've seen discovery go on in for as long as 4 years in a fire insurance claim case. Which means that either - like me - you were lucky enough to find a good attorney who would take your case on a contingent fee or - unlike me - you're independently wealthy enough to afford 1-5 years of litigation fees, or you never get that far.

So, yes, if your analysis is correct, you might have a good basis in some states. And you will likely be wading thru years of litigation and appeals before you ever get a final ruling.

Anonymous jay c May 27, 2014 5:11 PM  

I use a pseudonym online (2 or 3 or 5 of them actually), but it's pretty thin. Any non-casual investigator could figure out who a couple of my alter egos are without much trouble. I tried using a more secure false identity online a long time ago, and decided it wasn't worth the effort. If one of my few professional "enemies" wants to out me as a misogynistic, homophobic, wingnut, I'll deal with it when it comes.

Anonymous jay c May 27, 2014 5:12 PM  

Of course, "jay c" is not one of those thin pseudonyms. I'm pretty open about that one.

Blogger Markku May 27, 2014 5:15 PM  

We right-thinking people need to start considering each other as brothers AT LEAST to the degree that blacks do. I mean, if we get out-civilized by Africans, then we'd better just raise up our hands and say CivilServant was right.

Anonymous Daniel May 27, 2014 5:18 PM  

Amen and hear, hear, Markku.

Anonymous dh May 27, 2014 5:21 PM  

Reading this, I would say that you can fire someone in Tennessee for NO reason at all. You're saying that TN is one of 4 states where this is the case? I knew I loved this state for a reason.

Well, there are weasel words there. The description is "or for no reason at all", but then it gives 7 reasons that you can't fire someone for = race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, or disability.

In the absence of a reason, in all cases, the burden will be on the employer to prove that the reason is not one of the 7 forbidden reasons. Saying "You are terminated for no reason. Have a nice day" in writing will get you looked at, and the look will require you to say that it's not one of the 7 reasons. The "best way" to do this will be to say the reasons you fired the person - lack of business, didn't like his performance, etc. In the absence of a plausible reason, you as an employer are probably going to lose any legal challenge to the firing (whether for unemployment, or other employment related claim), because, basically, no one really gets fired for no reason, and lacking a reason, the person or person making a determination will tend to think it was a constructive discharge.

A few states - I think off hand it's George, Texas, Wisconsin and Montana - have a specific protections that forbid anyone from implying a constructive discharge in the case that no reason is given. This effectively shifts the burden back to the employee to show that there was a constructive discharge and the real reason for the discharge was one of the 7 forbidden reasons.

As far as I know, there is no specific language that says in any state you can be fired for "no reason". The text you copied must be from some employment guide or legal recap that extrapolates the "no reason" from the available precedent and legal wording. Disclaimer, I am not a lawyer, but I did just spend a bunch of money trying to figure out if I create a tool that would allow employers to discriminate on grounds other than the 7 forbidden reasons (some states have an 8th, sexual orientation, and now 2 states are toying with a 9th, "gendered identity").

So, yes, if your analysis is correct, you might have a good basis in some states. And you will likely be wading thru years of litigation and appeals before you ever get a final ruling.

Yes, I did not mean to say this was going to happen during the lunch break on Judge Judy. This is some level #1 black knighting that has to be going on, and it needs to be financed by some seriously deep pockets. The more likely response, though, if you refuse to resign is that someone in legal is going to see what is going on, and put the kibosh on the extended efforts to terminate you. Smaller employers especially get their heckles up, and will just impulsively fire you, and the lawyers be damned, and everything that goes with that. So yeah, it's a mixed bag for sure.

Employment law is still an area, where if you have a case with some teeth, you can get a fairly serious bit of representation on contingency. The damages expound easily, and if you are a professional making a good salary, the recovery can be significant, which is enough to interest contingency lawyers. But it does have to be a good case. It is helpful in these cases to be 1/2 mexican and 1/2 asian or something like.

Anonymous dh May 27, 2014 5:24 PM  

rob-- Your case ha a lot of interesting facets that would fun to explore. The fact that you were a public defender, a member of the bar, and faced reprisals from the Judge is interesting and adds a lot of dimensions to it. Not all of those dimensions make it especially useful for comparison. Contractor status adds in some more flavor.

In California there are explicit protections for worker political activity, not implied contract law or employment law, or fair dealing exceptions to contract law.

Anonymous TLM May 27, 2014 5:43 PM  

A good example of not caving to the pressure of a "resignation" campaign was how George handled the Play Now situation when they found out he wasn't handicapped on a Seinfeld episode.

Anonymous Gara May 27, 2014 5:45 PM  

Oh, I forgot, this is not a right wing blog. Is the kind of libertarian who believes government should have the right to prevent two gay people from getting married. Not conservative at all, totally libertarian position

Anonymous HR Department May 27, 2014 5:47 PM  

I googled and found your comment.

report to HR in the morning, 9 am.

Anonymous YIH May 27, 2014 6:11 PM  

RobertT
In my days in corporate America, we took a different approach. By the time you issue a formal warning, you've decided to fire them. If you issue a formal warning or if you fire someone and give them two weeks notice, you've created a wounded tiger with nothing to do but wander around your hallways causing havoc.
From my days, it was:
After two written warnings in a 12 mo. period, terminate. No other notice, fire immediately, have Security escort out.
FL is an ''at will'' state, if someone is canned they have to plead the case that it was some form of discrimination. Also, unless there is a County/City ordinance covering it, being Tad is a legitimate reason to fire.

Blogger Nate May 27, 2014 6:19 PM  

"Well, there are weasel words there. The description is "or for no reason at all", but then it gives 7 reasons that you can't fire someone for = race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, or disability."

DH
You misunderstand. In TN employers are not required to explain your firing to you at all. They do not have to justify your firing. Its almost like the right to remain silent.

Anonymous WaterBoy May 27, 2014 6:25 PM  

Gara: "Is the kind of libertarian who believes government should have the right to prevent two gay people from getting married. Not conservative at all, totally libertarian position"

Don't you ever get tired of being wrong?

From here:

"Banning government marriage is the right thing to do on libertarian grounds, on religious grounds, on practical grounds, and on the grounds of sexual fairness."

Yes, definitely a libertarian position.

If you're going to continue biting ankles, could you at least sharpen your cute little vampire fang inserts so maybe you could occasionally draw a little blood?

Blogger Raggededge May 27, 2014 6:35 PM  

DH:

The text you copied must be from some employment guide or legal recap that extrapolates the "no reason" from the available precedent and legal wording.

I got it from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Website. Of course, I understand that people can and will sue, but in my experience it has been difficult for employees to win wrongful termination lawsuits against employers in TN.

Anonymous kh123 May 27, 2014 6:50 PM  

" I'm not asking whether it's a good idea, mind, just whether it's a legit case of freedom of association. "

I'm not keen on the idea either, same as with cornhole advocacy or the like. But that's sort of the whole point - the gov't's occupation isn't regulating who gets hired, who gets to be married, which denomination rules, etc. In short, when it comes to association and the like, the Constitution was to leave a people with Anglo-Protestant roots and traditions at liberty; natural selection - on both the personal and cultural level - would theoretically take care of the rest.

Anonymous Alexander May 27, 2014 6:57 PM  

Has there ever been a case of an employer suing the employee for one of those reasons, ie. hire a black manager and an employee quit because of it? For all sorts of reasons I imagine not, but it would make one hell of a spectacle and I'm curious about how the lefty rhetoric would spin it.

Blogger Nate May 27, 2014 7:03 PM  

"I got it from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Website. Of course, I understand that people can and will sue, but in my experience it has been difficult for employees to win wrongful termination lawsuits against employers in TN."

Most corporations don't realize how things work in TN. So they go through all these bizarre documentation steps that aren't even necessary in the state.

If you want to fire someone... you literally walk up and say, "you're fired." and that's that. When they ask why, you say nothing.

Anonymous lozozlo May 27, 2014 7:08 PM  

Another reason why any grown-up man in our time should have his own business or multiple revenue streams, as well as about 3 different fallback plans if things go south. The whole concept of the comfy corporate job as career is overdue for a giant shake-up anyway.

Rycamor - what type of income streams are you talking about? One thing I am working on for example is dividend stocks. Basically trying to create enough income streams to cover at least a (low-end) lifestyle sans my job income in case I too get purged.

Plus it's always nice to have f*** you money - being able to (even if not in luxury and style) walk away is an *enormous* psychological benefit.

Anonymous NateM May 27, 2014 7:42 PM  

And since many/most corporations verify employment by dates of service and title (many through automated numbers) and not circumstance of your leaving, there isn't much harm in being fired

Anonymous Daniel May 27, 2014 7:44 PM  

Regarding the founder who just got fired, didn't he use the company website to expound upon his ideas?

If so, I suppose they could make a case against him.

Just like me using a company computer to post this during my (delayed) lunch break....


Quite the opposite. It was the guy's job to make annotations to the manifesto. At least part of his job. He was the company's first "community leader." This means that he was kind of the head honcho in charge of making such comments as:
'Why “brown”? “Black” doesn’t rhyme with “underground” Ice Cube is a creamy-colored fellow.'

"$10 went a lot further in the Vietnam era. Now $10 might get you a table dance for 1 song, depending on the market. Ah the good old days."

"He’s sitting at home with an erection."

"It’s a good thing Marquis is his name and not his car, or he’d never get laid."

"He’s hungry and his food of choice is sex/pussy."


In other words, he was the founder of a peanut butter company and he was fired for making a jar of peanut butter because the company needed a jar of peanut butter made by him.

I repeat: it was his job to speculate on the hotness of the sister of a murderer, on the manifesto itself.

This isn't the Oxford English Dictionary we are talking about.

Anonymous Idle Spectator May 27, 2014 8:06 PM  

Of course, none of this will prevent you from getting blackballed when applying for a new job, which is why it is wise to always use an untraceable pseudonym on the Internet and to avoid social media.

Idling about is not looking so stupid now, eh?


I googled and found your comment.

report to HR in the morning, 9 am.



Im'ma gunna slap you in the face with my unidle stick.

Anonymous Idle Spectator May 27, 2014 8:28 PM  

It will be used against you, somehow, by someone. Whether or not that is fair and desirable is irrelevant. Those are the new rules of the game. Master them and play by them.

This is how Vox got burned.

Pieces of advice:
1) Never use the same pseudonym on more than one site. Always compartmentalize.
2) The more generic the name, the better.
3) Never have the name linked to anything else. Whether email or something else. That includes Disqus, you dummy.
4) Be willing to discard the name.


//Walks out back door with briefcase

Anonymous dh May 27, 2014 8:45 PM  

Nate--

I can't see where TN is any different from any at-will state. I think that the documentation comes in when you are defending a wrongful termination/eeoc/unemployment claim from an ex-employee. The steps, documentation, et all are so that in five years, when all the staff involved is gone, you have a paper trail to establish an employee was not constructively discharged. The EEOC, unemployment, and at-will/right-to-work provisions all seem uniform and look to put the same burden on the employer once a claim has been made, which is that the employer is presumed to have violated a protection unless they can establish that the employee was not constructively discharged for a protected reason.

Anonymous Gara's Mom Smell Like Tuna May 27, 2014 8:48 PM  

Gara = Tad... hope you all get shitcanned for feeding the troll.

Blogger Raggededge May 27, 2014 8:59 PM  

dh:

It is so difficult to win a wrongful termination lawsuit in TN, that even finding an attorney to take your case is nearly impossible.

Anonymous Beau May 27, 2014 9:41 PM  

OT

Any prayer requests this evening?

Blogger Markku May 27, 2014 9:47 PM  

Well, Linda's (thelp999) situation has basically gone wrong to third-world proportions, and she's probably too shy to ask. So, I helpfully volunteer her. Without asking, of course, because hey, it's easier to get forgiveness than permission.

Blogger Anthony May 27, 2014 9:48 PM  

NateM - And since many/most corporations verify employment by dates of service and title (many through automated numbers) and not circumstance of your leaving, there isn't much harm in being fired

From the point of view of someone who'd like to be able to verify employment, it's worse than that. I'm a small-time landlord. Lots and lots of employers are now subscribers to something called "The Work Number"; if I want to verify someone's employment, I need to pay them money (California law limits how much I can charge for credit checks and the like to a little more than I pay for credit checks, but not enough to cover that *and* The Work Number.)

Last time I ran across it, I denied an application, and explicitly told the applicant it was because I would have had to pay to verify his employment. I had my latest tenant show me a pay stub.

Blogger Outlaw X May 27, 2014 9:48 PM  

Yeah Beau Got some bad news on my health.

Blogger Outlaw X May 27, 2014 9:51 PM  

Beau also Linda Howerton - cancer.

Anonymous Beau May 27, 2014 9:52 PM  

@ Outlaw X

What's happening?

Blogger Outlaw X May 27, 2014 9:54 PM  

Beau, Cancer is spreading last check. One kidney has failed.

Anonymous bart May 27, 2014 9:57 PM  

Outlaw X, and Linda Howerton I lift you up in the name of Jesus. I ask that a mighty healing happens. I know it is possible as I am a Three time cancer survivor. I had bladder, colon and prostate and I am cancer free today. Know that Beau is praying for you right now.

Anonymous Daniel May 27, 2014 10:03 PM  

I have some Beau, and thanks in advance:

To be after God's own heart (me), for paying work (family), for irresponsible and ungrateful extended family, for a pair of orphans to find home, and for endurance for the fights ahead. Also for my brother, who does not yet believe in the Resurrection.

Anonymous dh May 27, 2014 10:19 PM  

It is so difficult to win a wrongful termination lawsuit in TN, that even finding an attorney to take your case is nearly impossible.
Huh.. here must be something I am missing. That's very interesting. I will take a longer look when time permits.

Just to clarify one thing, no employer ever has to give a reason for a discharge under any state law I could find, as of about 3 months ago (barring a few weird cases like a plant shutdown, international trade adjustment, that type of narrow case). They could be asked by various administrative boards or courts about a termination, and the presumption of innocence would go right out the window without a paper trail, which is why employers almost always have a long termination process, and just try to pressure you into quitting. A signed letter of resignation is the death knell of an otherwise good case, like a confession to a crime. Step one in any defense is always getting the confession tossed out, and most of the time, you never get past step one.

Blogger Brad Andrews May 27, 2014 11:07 PM  

I decided a while back that I wasn't going to try and hide behind a fake handle or such. I do watch what I say, but I figure someone could figure out who I really was if they wanted to do that, so it wasn't worth the effort to try and hide.

I need more of the multiple streams of income mentioned above, but I am talented enough in the area of tech I work in that I am confident I could find a job doing something if I absolutely had to do that.

I would live in my car before I would compromise my core values though, so people may have a little less leverage over me than some of them might think.

Blogger Nate May 27, 2014 11:13 PM  

"Just to clarify one thing, no employer ever has to give a reason for a discharge under any state law I could find, as of about 3 months ago (barring a few weird cases like a plant shutdown, international trade adjustment, that type of narrow case)."

Exactly.

And its the long documented process that actually gets them into trouble. A smart employer has no termination process at all. His process is, "you're fired". And when pressed, he simply says things were tight and he had to let someone go.

Anonymous lozozlo May 27, 2014 11:14 PM  

@Beau

You had prayed for my mother last week (I mentioned her on the 'tears of the publishers' thread) and it turned out (praise God!) that it was a much less severe issue than a stroke like they originally feared. She is slated to make a few recovery! Thank you for your prayer vigilance!

Anonymous lozozlo May 27, 2014 11:17 PM  

@Beau

Not to be a prayer-hog but, although I don't want to elaborate, I am having some serious personal issues going on right now so hopefully I can add that to your list.

Its late here - good night all!

Anonymous dh May 27, 2014 11:18 PM  

Nate, I am seeing your point but I suspect this would make the case more difficult. The burden of proof is essentially on the employer. If it ever got there, you may have to prove a case that supports your assertion, ESPECIALLY if the ex-employee is of a protected class - women, minority, homosexual (some states), pregnant, disabled, old, young, etc. All things being equal, if you are going to get sued either way, you probably should just run your business how you want and get sued doing things the way you want as opposed to the way a lawyer wants. The only reason to listen to a lawyer is to put yourself in a better position if the worst happens. If the worst is going to happen, you might as well have it on your terms.

Anonymous lozozlo May 27, 2014 11:30 PM  

@Beau. - also please add persecuted Christians, wherever they are.

Anonymous rycamor May 28, 2014 12:07 AM  

lozozlo May 27, 2014 7:08 PM

Rycamor - what type of income streams are you talking about? One thing I am working on for example is dividend stocks. Basically trying to create enough income streams to cover at least a (low-end) lifestyle sans my job income in case I too get purged.


Nothing so sophisticated in my case... I start with my strengths and go from there. Financial wizardry is just not one of my strong points and I had to learn to accept that. So, as a freelance IT consultant, I keep a few irons in the fire at all times. I always have a prospective project or two that has *nothing* to do with my main business, but which I know I can bring to the fore if other things fail. And I do a some web application hosting which brings me residual income and in which I can seek more business if other areas fail. I'm also an excellent technical writer when needed.

Completely unrelated to this, I am toying with farming and some specialty organic gardening, which I can also step up if needed. Since I live in north-central FL, we have some odd growing seasons that allow us to dabble with exotic produce that can bring some decent income if positioned right.

And, as a quasi-professional guitarist, if all else fails, I would take my axe and go play in some local restaurants and clubs for tips and drinks, maybe get some commercial session gigs, or charge to teach lessons.

In a sense I maintain an attitude of equanimity to all these possibilities. In fact, I tend to a little bored doing the same thing all the time, so I almost welcome a shake-up if it comes.

Blogger IM2L844 May 28, 2014 12:12 AM  

4) Be willing to discard the name.

Noooooo! Every double naught spy knows better than that.

Blogger Beau May 28, 2014 12:29 AM  

For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16

Lord Jesus, apart from you we can do nothing. Still, you invite we who believe to come boldly to obtain mercy and grace. Together we lift up Daniel and his family; reconcile them in the shadow of the cross. Father you gave us men work, please open this door for Daniel.

Thank you, Lord Jesus for rescuing lozozlo's mom. Make a way for lozozlo rooted in the scripture Psalm 119:9-11. Give him endurance and wisdom too.

Lord, extend your hand to restore Outlaw X's kidney. Remove his cancer. Let him stand in the assembly of believers and proclaim you Deliverer.

Heavenly Father, let Linda Howerton experience miraculous healing to the glory of the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Lord Jesus, we lift up our persecuted brothers and sisters. Thank you for their courage, give them fearless faith and peace in their hearts.

Lord, I ask lift up intercessors among the Ilk. Send evangelists from among us. Raise up pastors, teachers, and apologists. Form in us the very character of Christ. Transform us to think like you. Bring us to perfect obedience and faith.

Fan into flame the Iranian Revival and the Korean Miracle.

Bless our homes, our families and our communities as we are the salt of the earth.

Father, glorify your Son Jesus now in us today. Amen,

Anonymous rycamor May 28, 2014 12:38 AM  

Idle Spectator May 27, 2014 8:28 PM
It will be used against you, somehow, by someone. Whether or not that is fair and desirable is irrelevant. Those are the new rules of the game. Master them and play by them.

This is how Vox got burned.


How exactly was Vox burned? From what I see he's turned just about every potential negative into a positive. Note: the post was titled "employment advice", not "life strategy". If you are in a position where you aren't too worried about your job, this whole thing is really not much of a problem. Yes, there are always potential downsides to expressing one's opinion and there always have been, but this particular virulent strain of social pogrom only exists in HR-laden corporate settings, or memberships to some high-profile organizations.

Anonymous Peter Garstig May 28, 2014 2:07 AM  

OT: Sterling doesn't go down easily. Bring it to court.

Blogger Brad Andrews May 28, 2014 3:17 AM  

> "I'm also an excellent technical writer when needed."

I have found many technical people can't right their way out of a wet paper sack, which makes my ability in the same area quite valuable.

I am not always the fastest, but I turn some decent material, especially that with a technical base.

Blogger Nate May 28, 2014 11:37 AM  

"Nate, I am seeing your point but I suspect this would make the case more difficult."

Actually...its just taking the concept of "don't do their work for them" and applying it to employent decisions. Just as you're better off being silent in the face of a cops questions, you're also better off being silent in the fact of these fired employee questions.

You can make the accusation. But can you prove the accusation without my help?

There are lots of alternatives as well of course. You could always not even pretend to be logical about it. You could claim to have a secret lottery to decide who's fired.

"we don't fire by seniority or performance. I go by pure chance. Her number came up. She was fired. Its the fairest way."

Blogger Brad Andrews May 28, 2014 7:10 PM  

It looks like I can't right either....

That should say "write" above, not "right."

Blogger LP 999/Eliza May 29, 2014 1:04 PM  

OT: Beau please pray for me to not lose it and to, whatever, destructive spirit this is to leave me. For a long time know my biggest temptation is to end it all.. I am too tired, too zapped to go on. Meanwhile, mom and dad are having endless health problems. I need favor from a judge from a May hearing as I go homeless.

We must lift up to the Lord our sick, oppressed, shut ins and lost causes.

Anonymous E. PERLINE May 29, 2014 9:58 PM  

IF we employ someone and find, for one reason or another, they offend you or you have a money problem, you should not be forced to continue demanding their services.This is the reasonable act of letting go of someone before more damage is done.

Anonymous Idle Spectator May 30, 2014 5:06 AM  

How exactly was Vox burned? From what I see he's turned just about every potential negative into a positive. Note: the post was titled "employment advice", not "life strategy". If you are in a position where you aren't too worried about your job, this whole thing is really not much of a problem. Yes, there are always potential downsides to expressing one's opinion and there always have been, but this particular virulent strain of social pogrom only exists in HR-laden corporate settings, or memberships to some high-profile organizations.

I meant he linked "Vox Day" on the blog to something else on some obscure gaming message board from a long time ago. That is violating guideline one and three.

Then someone found it. Soup intelligence.

Noooooo! Every double naught spy knows better than that.

How well did that work for him in Tomorrow Never Dies when dealing with Elliot Carver, and in North Korea in the intro to Die Another Day?

Blogger Mogumbo Gono June 03, 2014 1:38 PM  

There is an Amendment being introduced in Congress that would gut the 1st Amendment.

Just a FYI...

Blogger Mogumbo Gono June 03, 2014 1:41 PM  

Found some info:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/379389/harry-reids-assault-free-speech-sen-john-cornyn

http://www.teapartypatriots.org/all-issues/news/why-harry-reid-wants-to-repeal-the-first-amendment

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