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Old 06-25-2013, 08:18 PM   #21
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Generally it's safe to assume that employers are greedy and self-serving. They want to find and keep the employees who most contribute to the success of the enterprise.
I don't think this is true any more than it is true that all employees are basically lazy (see: theory X and theory Y).

Of course employers want employees to contribute to the success of the enterprise. What's wrong with that?

Presumably the person in question isn't hanging on for 3 hrs to somehow screw the organization. He needs to convince a new boss that he is worth keeping. He now has a bad early impression to overcome and the knowledge that a competent organization can get rid of him if they want.

I was a mid-level supervisor. I found that 1 underperforming employee could ruin the moral and productivity of everyone else. You don't want to be that person. The burden is now on him.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:14 PM   #22
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If the friend is an EXEMPT worker, then they can be fired for any reason at all, as they are exempt from the labor laws.
Nope. Exempt status is a classification that relates to one specific labor law, the FLSA. The FLSA covers pay, including overtime rules. Exempt workers are salaried and not required to receive overtime pay, but other labor laws still apply to them. You cannot violate labor laws simply because someone is exempt.

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Old 06-25-2013, 11:17 PM   #23
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..........it is true that all employees are basically lazy
That's not true. We can just disagree on that point.......
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:45 AM   #24
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I was a mid-level supervisor. I found that 1 underperforming employee could ruin the moral and productivity of everyone else. You don't want to be that person. The burden is now on him.
I have seen this as well. Not pretty. I have seen grown men brought to tears. Funny thing, the worst case was a guy that was a nice guy, performed well, just not the superstar they felt he could/should be. He was brilliant, but not driver/over achiever. Did not want to work past his 40 hours, travel, or take on new challenges to lead. They eventually drove him out with a series of poor reviews and butt woopin's I tried to save him, but had to get out of the way.
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:31 PM   #25
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If the friend is an EXEMPT worker, then they can be fired for any reason at all, as they are exempt from the labor laws.
Telly, I believe EXEMPT in this context means exempt from being paid overtime. There are major differences between exempt and non-exempt workers. Non-exempt employees are usually required to do some kind of time reporting (punch a clock, fill out a time sheet, etc.) and they are generally paid by the hour. Exempt employees have looser rules, technically, and are usually not paid overtime.

Now, you may have been thinking about at-will employment. In an at-will employment situation, either the employee or the employer can terminate employment at any time (period). Nobody has to give a reason for termination.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:09 PM   #26
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I have seen this as well. Not pretty. I have seen grown men brought to tears. Funny thing, the worst case was a guy that was a nice guy, performed well, just not the superstar they felt he could/should be. He was brilliant, but not driver/over achiever. Did not want to work past his 40 hours, travel, or take on new challenges to lead. They eventually drove him out with a series of poor reviews and butt woopin's I tried to save him, but had to get out of the way.
In my case I had my younger employees, at the same classification level, complaining that the older employee was not competent. They were tired of propping him up. I tried to work with the older employee but he had 35 yrs at the company and wasn't about to suddenly become a better programmer. Because it was a personnel matter I couldn't discuss it with the younger employees so they were pissed and thought I wasn't doing anything. Eventually, the whole group was downsized (for a bunch of other reasons) and I ER'd. Problem solved.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:11 PM   #27
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Now, you may have been thinking about at-will employment. In an at-will employment situation, either the employee or the employer can terminate employment at any time (period). Nobody has to give a reason for termination.
True. But you can't terminate them for an illegal reason. So if he is terminated on the basis of age discrimination, and age discrimination is illegal, then the at-will issues don't apply.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:20 PM   #28
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True, but as I understand it you don't need much of a reason so it is fairly easy to fabricate a reason that is legal and defendable.

A friend's son was terminated because his employer found out that he had an interview for another job and his employer somehow found out. Since he was an at-will employee, he had no recourse.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:29 AM   #29
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True. But you can't terminate them for an illegal reason. So if he is terminated on the basis of age discrimination, and age discrimination is illegal, then the at-will issues don't apply.
Marty, there does not have to be a reason.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:37 AM   #30
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As a person who conducted investigations of many a claim of age/race/sex discrimination in employment I can tell you that individual actions are not easy to prove.

Your friend has an attitude problem, age (race or sex) will not protect him from discharge and the employer is not obligated to explain their actions.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:00 AM   #31
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At my megacorp, Legal is involved in all RIFs. For several reasons. I've heard they look at the list to see if there are any obvious protected groups.... but they also look to see if there are any H1B or green card applicants in any specific windows of their INS filings. (A friend got a 3 month reprieve because her H1B renewal was in process... and she was in "limbo" until it came back out of the approval.). The legal team review seems to be the longest pull in the whole layoff process. We hear rumors a layoff is coming, and then hear that it's in legal... and it's weeks before the layoff happens.

(FWIW - had a RIF this week... it's a regular occurrence where I work.... especially with 4-5 acquisitions/splits/spinoffs etc effecting my group in the last 4 years.)

Old folks seem to be targeted more than young, as a trend... but not exclusively. They're looking at salaries... and long term employers are typically paid more than fresh grads. This time around they're safe from that kind of speculation, they wacked entire product line teams.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:18 PM   #32
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I have a bit of insight into this, since I recently was interviewed by the plaintiff and defendant's attorneys, for an age discrimination suit by a former coworker at my previous megacorp. I learned that there are many things to consider in such cases, and advice from folks on the internet might not be very helpful. An attorney with experience in labor law, from your local area, would be the best place to ask for advice. I didn't file a suit, but it appears it's likely I would have had a good case. My friend's case didn't go to trial, and they settled for an (ahem) "undisclosed amount". He took me to lunch in his fresh-off-the-lot very large truck.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:41 PM   #33
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I like the concept of portable pensions, health insurance separate from employment and similar because they unlock handcuffs which keep employees and employers linked when both would be well served by an uncoupling and shuffling.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:15 PM   #34
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I heard rumors about the restricting of Symantec last week. Brutal selection process- essentially everyone must apply for employment. I'll bet their attorneys are watching the process very carefully.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:51 PM   #35
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Marty, there does not have to be a reason.
I get that the employer does not need a reason. CA is an at-will state too. However, if the employee has independent evidence that there is something illegal about the termination then at-will will not help the employer. For example, if the employee were to get hold of an email with incriminating evidence. Or if a lot of people in a protected class were terminated and there were performance reviews that proved they were all working above average. That kind of thing. As practical matter the employee has little recourse.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:19 PM   #36
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Old folks seem to be targeted more than young, as a trend... but not exclusively. They're looking at salaries... and long term employers are typically paid more than fresh grads.
So we don't have any Age discrimination, but just Salary discrimination! LOL. Sounds like reasoning out of a Dilbert.

Reminds me of the "We Don't have any Gay's in Iran" quote from a few years ago.

Thanks Rodi! - Brought a smile to my face
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:32 PM   #37
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I get that the employer does not need a reason. CA is an at-will state too. However, if the employee has independent evidence that there is something illegal about the termination then at-will will not help the employer. For example, if the employee were to get hold of an email with incriminating evidence. Or if a lot of people in a protected class were terminated and there were performance reviews that proved they were all working above average. That kind of thing. As practical matter the employee has little recourse.
Without disclosing too much, I found that, in the case I mentioned, emails amongst management were subpoenaed, and incriminating messages were found. This greatly helped the plaintiff's case. Management was stunningly inept to openly discuss their sordid plans via email, but it happens. And there was recourse, in this case.
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:23 PM   #38
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It is always possible the new boss will get fired or leave before your friend gets pushed out. I have even seen the boss being told to try to rehire someone they just fired after the CEO found out about the firing.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:38 PM   #39
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but they also look to see if there are any H1B or green card applicants in any specific windows of their INS filings. (A friend got a 3 month reprieve because her H1B renewal was in process... and she was in "limbo" until it came back out of the approval.).
I've seen lots of crazy shenanigans with H1B like fake ads with improbable combinations of skills to disqualify other applicants or replacing higher salary Americans with lower salary H1B, but this is the first I've heard of H1B offering legal protection from layoff, even if only temporary. How can this be true?
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:07 AM   #40
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So we don't have any Age discrimination, but just Salary discrimination! LOL. Sounds like reasoning out of a Dilbert.
Except that salary discrimination is legal. Dilbert usually points out things that are self-defeating, but salary discrimination actually has actually benefited the enterprise in recent years, because the cost, the down-side of it, isn't borne by the enterprise.
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