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Recently let go from job and need advice.
Old 05-20-2012, 02:23 PM   #1
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Recently let go from job and need advice.

Before I start, I wanted to let you know that I live in Massachusetts which is an at will state for employment.

I started a new job the end of November at a small company, which has been around for over 50 yrs. The owner has employed consultants who are giving advice on how to make improvements. I didn't realize during the interview that I was being interviewed by one of the consultants. The interview was conducted by the manager as well.

From what I understand, the manager has also acted as the CFO and the owner's daughter acted as the HR person.

These are consultants who stay on, not just leave. One month after my hiring, the consultants recommended the company hire a CFO whom they knew and then some of the duties of the manager changed whom I reported to.

I took an immediate dislike to this person and it was known, but nobody said anything to me. I also found out that he was now in charge of the HR duties as well.

By the end of the second month, I was in a meeting and when I came back to my desk, one of the consultants was on my desk and I could have sworn he was looking at my gmail account, but I couldn't be sure. (I had nothing to hide and I think I was looking at it before the meeting) I said nothing since I felt the consultants were starting to run the company more and I thought I wouldn't get a straight answer anyway.

The company provides benefits after a 3 month period. At the beginning of the third month, I asked about obtaining information on the health plan and the CFO/HR person said he would get it to be by the end of the week, but he never did. On Friday morning, I asked the manager to look into it and he said he would. I heard nothing by the end of the day and over the weekend I became suspicious that I would be let go. Sure enough, Monday morning, I get called in and was told by the manager with the CFO/HR person in the room, that due to economic conditions, my employment was terminated after 11 weeks. (I didn't believe the reason, but I didn't say anything), was given a weeks severance and the manager said I could use him as a reference, but I didn't believe him, but I didn't say anything negative and left.

This happened mid February and at the beginning of May, I got a new job.

Just for the heck of it, I wanted to see if they posted a new want ad for my position, and sure enough, 3 months later, in Mid May, they did.

I wanted to see if anybody thinks I have any recourse. My sister thinks that since I have a new job to forget about it, the people are not worth it and that I am better off without them.
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:37 PM   #2
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It's an at will state. You have no recourse IMHO. What can you do? Are you going to demand that they hire you back? Would you go back if asked? I don't think so. Let it go.

You got a weeks severance that they didn't need to give you.

As a point of reference, small companies that are run by multiple family members are usually dysfunctional. Anytime management consultants are involved they are constantly looking for ways to show themselves to be valuable and indispensable. That frequently involves getting rid of people. You were having a conflict with a new manager and were new yourself, you were an easy target.

Was I blunt enough for you? I'm not trying to hurt your feelings but I don't think you have anything to go after them for. You certainly don't want to give up what is hopefully a better job to go back.
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback. You are correct in that I do not want to and would never go back.
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:55 PM   #4
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Ah the joys of working for a small family owned business. No recourse of course in at will arrangements.

Once I considered a position with a family owned business. Some friends counseled against it. Was very lucky to have good advice.

In these small companies the owner's 13 year old kid always outranks anyone not family and on the payroll.
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:12 PM   #5
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So you were still pretty new in the company and took an immediate dislike to someone who just happened to be your manager? Good luck in your new job.
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:18 PM   #6
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Just be glad you got out sooner than later.
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:41 PM   #7
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Just trying to air all possibilities here....You mentioned you were let go because of economic reasons which I sense you don't believe, and I further sense that because they listed the job 3 months later you have even greater disbelief.
Of course I know nothing of this company or type of business, but isn't it possible that the economy could have something to do with it?
Lots of businesses have been in the dog house, some of which are now just beginning to get a little wind in their scales..
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:07 PM   #8
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+1. Unless you want that job back just foget it and move on.
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by joecaf53 View Post
Before I start, I wanted to let you know that I live in Massachusetts which is an at will state for employment.
I wanted to see if anybody thinks I have any recourse.
Hawaii is an at-will state too, and you have no recourse. In fact you got a week's more severance than the law entitles you to.

You should try to move on with your life.
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:17 AM   #10
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If the economic reasons were true, it was outside your control and you just gotta move on.

If that reason was a polite excuse to get rid of you because they didn't like your performance or personality, it's probably a good thing anyway because getting laid off for economic reasons is much better than getting fired.

If they let you go for some unsavory reason, say for your age or skin color, you'd have a hard time proving it. Lots of legal unpleasantness. A tough road.

It's kinda like suing your ex girlfriend over a couch she owes you when it would be more life affirming to go out and date nicer people. Why reopen the wound?

SIS

(not a lawyer)
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:32 AM   #11
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A learning experience. It could have been worse. You have a new job, focus on doing it well.
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:57 AM   #12
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So you were still pretty new in the company and took an immediate dislike to someone who just happened to be your manager? Good luck in your new job.
This is what I was thinking. I'm trying to figure out the problem here. I am not even sure why you are asking about recourse. That's really weird. Did you sue your previous employer or something?

If you don't like your colleagues, why didn't you get a new job first? It seems they did you a favor and saved you from months -- if not years -- of misery.

Also many employers have a 60 day or so "probationary period" where they really decide if they made mistake offering the job. You will often not get any good reason for any action they make. A reason could be something unrelated to job performance or skills. It could be something like personal hygiene (body odor and bad breath to be blunt).
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:00 AM   #13
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Besides all of the other excellent reasons given to dissuade you, here's one more: 3 months is more than enough time for them to say things turned around and now they want to re-fill the position.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:06 AM   #14
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I wanted to thank everyone for their repsonses. Just to clear things up, I did not have a problem with my manager, or the owner or his daughter, it was the new person the consultants brought in to be the CFO who was very tight with the consultants.

By as others have said, it was probaby for the best and to move one, I guess what is bothering me is that I would have preferred the truth.

Anyway, people are nice at the new company, and hopefully in the long run, this will work out.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:11 AM   #15
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You've had a lot better ending than most people who have lost their jobs in this economy. Consider it a gift.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:26 AM   #16
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Sounds like they were fairly nice to you as a short term employee. If they only intended this to be a 90 day position, then perhaps the promise of benefits after 90 days is a bit deceptive, but then again perhaps they would have kept you on if things had been slightly different. In such a small company, a personality clash, or a misunderstanding about who's working and who's surfing the internet, can be hard to live with and hard to sort out. They went with their new CFO, who they must have high hopes for, over the more junior new guy who has been bounced around in the reorganizations. Unless you have been there long enough to do something awesome that the big boss' notice, you have no protection from this kind of thing.

I think you got away easy, and they didn't have to provide any severance. Best to turn your attention to your new position (congratulations finding something new so quickly) and let go of this odd misadventure. Workplace issues aren't always "fair" so feeling like you have been wronged is mostly counterproductive are more likely to be hurtful to you then them. Look ahead to your new future.
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:20 AM   #17
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From me (as an old guy, well into his sixth decade of “circling the sun” and a history of "bad things" in his life), I'll just say - forget the past, and embrace the future...

What's past, is past...
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:59 PM   #18
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Agreeing with the others.

FWIW - a friend was laid off from a megacorp in very questionable circumstances. She consulted a lawyer who said she had a winnable case - but it wasn't worth the price. Results of the lawsuits are public record (if they go to trial). And she'd be marked as the person who sued for wrongful termination... making it harder to get future jobs.
The lawyer had won many of these cases - and had watched the follow up impact on his clients.
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:12 PM   #19
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By as others have said, it was probaby for the best and to move one, I guess what is bothering me is that I would have preferred the truth.
One of the "beautiful" things of at-will employment for bosses is that you don't have to tell the truth.

You don't have to have a foot-high stack of counseling forms, a two-year "performance improvement program", six different sets of meetings minutes with HR staff, and a preliminary finding from the Supreme Court. You just carry out the firing and get on with the hiring.

As for the business which fired you, their practices will deliver a karma boomerang to them sooner rather than later. Whether it's able to be appreciated or not, they did you a long-term favor.
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:35 PM   #20
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Never gonna get the truth. Forget it. You are taking this too seriously and they don't give a _____, so move on. You wouldn't want to work there anyway.
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