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Old 09-16-2011, 09:31 AM   #21
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This one I have to disagree with. Just because you talk to a lawyer doesn't mean you have to sue or anything. Knowledge is power, and perhaps the attorney can give you suggestions on ways to extend your employment through full retirement, or at least collect information that would stand you in good stead in case of a lawsuit. No need to mention the attorney to management until the fecal matter impacts the rotating airfoils.
Fair point. I meant, and should have said, once an attorney contacts the company everything is likely to change, and not necessarily in a good way. The company will have no choice but to harden up a little (or a lot). I agree there is nothing wrong with consulting an attorney to get your bearings.

However, it's sad that so many of the replies the OP got were immediately defensive and confrontational. I can't imagine not being able to have a civil conversation with my supervisor before lawyering up. Though you hear a lot about bad management, I still believe most management teams want to be fair - flame away.

I also realize the OP would know best for his/her situation...the rest of us are just offering up options. Best of luck to the OP, there is a lot at risk.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:32 AM   #22
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HR is NOT your friend; their purpose is to protect the company, not you. Be careful.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:39 AM   #23
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However, it's sad that so many of the replies the OP got were immediately defensive and confrontational. I can't imagine not being able to have a civil conversation with my supervisor before lawyering up. Though you hear a lot about bad management, I still believe most management teams want to be fair - flame away.
Gee, you think some posters were a little defensive perhaps because someone who has doen good work for 26 years is suddenly being treated like crap simply to further mandates from above? I cannot imagine why...
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:44 AM   #24
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Gee, you think some posters were a little defensive perhaps because someone who has doen good work for 26 years is suddenly being treated like crap simply to further mandates from above? I cannot imagine why...
I have no bone to pick with you, but you've heard one side of the story, and will never get the whole story here. There are plenty of career fields that just become physically and/or mentally harder to handle with age, often referred to as a 'young man's game.' I have personally seen situations like this amicably resolved, but never by bringing attorney's into the fray right off the bat. I am not assuming anything about the OP, simply offering an alternative along with all the other advice. Let's leave it to the OP, being defensive may not be the only option.
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:01 AM   #25
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I have no bone to pick with you, but you've heard one side of the story, and will never get the whole story here. There are plenty of career fields that just become physically and/or mentally harder to handle with age, often referred to as a 'young man's game.' I have personally seen situations like this amicably resolved, but never by bringing attorney's into the fray right off the bat. I am not assuming anything about the OP, simply offering an alternative along with all the other advice. Let's leave it to the OP, being defensive may not be the only option.
Agreed, being defensive may not be the only or best option. But given the way the cards seem to be getting stacked against OP, he would be wise to plumb the downside and investigate all options, including suing his employer into the Mesozoic Era.
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:32 AM   #26
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Gee, you think some posters were a little defensive perhaps because someone who has done good work for 26 years is suddenly being treated like crap simply to further mandates from above? I cannot imagine why...
+1 I know from first hand experience how under one manager you are God's gift to the world and under a new manager you are the devil's spawn. It happens, and especially, it happens to older workers.
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:44 AM   #27
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I know from first hand experience how under one manager you are God's gift to the world and under a new manager you are the devil's spawn. It happens, and especially, it happens to older workers.
Definitely. I've experienced it on both sides of the equation but mostly as a senior manager and had to defend a good employee or help the new manager deal with a poor performing employee who was coddled by their previous manager.

To the OP, you are smart to get out in front of this and plan for the worse and hope for the best. (We've heard that a lot lately.) All work situations are putting more work on people as they cut back on resources. Be careful to not beat yourself up and add stress which would have a negative effect on your health. No job is worth it. I've seen too many people get sick and even die for their employers.
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:51 AM   #28
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right on the money with being in front and planning, and also for not beating yourself up over the situation.
when you leave, no matter how hard you have worked, for most of the future employees you will just be an unknown name on some memo or policy somewhere.......remembering that puts it into perspective!
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Old 09-16-2011, 04:15 PM   #29
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Thanks, everyone. I'm looking at the employment attorney as a means to making sure I understand what's at stake. At this point, I'm not hot to call in legal guns or make allegations of discrimination. I just want solid information on the consequences of taking ER vs. getting fired.

I agree with Midpack and Harley that most likely my employer would be reasonable if I put ER on the table. I gave them a written response to my letter of reprimand in which I pointed out that I am just three years from eligibility for retirement and have had great evaluations up until now (that wasn't the main point of my response, but I made sure to include those facts). I didn't propose anything regarding ER in my response, and my supervisor has not given me any indication that this option has occurred to her.

She is a fair amount younger than me and may not be thinking that this could be the final phase of my career. We get along fine, other than the issue of errors -- she feely acknowledges my job skills and expertise in all other matters and is pleasant enough to work with. All of which leads me to believe that she is getting pressured by someone above her to "do something" about me.
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Old 09-16-2011, 04:44 PM   #30
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Fair point. I meant, and should have said, once an attorney contacts the company everything is likely to change, and not necessarily in a good way. The company will have no choice but to harden up a little (or a lot). I agree there is nothing wrong with consulting an attorney to get your bearings.

However, it's sad that so many of the replies the OP got were immediately defensive and confrontational. I can't imagine not being able to have a civil conversation with my supervisor before lawyering up. Though you hear a lot about bad management, I still believe most management teams want to be fair - flame away.

I also realize the OP would know best for his/her situation...the rest of us are just offering up options. Best of luck to the OP, there is a lot at risk.

I agree with you on this..... even the worst managers that I had usually would give you a straight answer to your questions....

I only had one that did not... she was the one who laid me off... not for performance, but because she wanted everybody in the same location... she got rid of a number of people around the country... we did see it coming as she got rid of a few people 6 months before me and someone else that worked with me...

Still, I had 90 days to find a job somewhere else or go my merry way... I choose my merry way...
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:00 PM   #31
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+1 I know from first hand experience how under one manager you are God's gift to the world and under a new manager you are the devil's spawn. It happens, and especially, it happens to older workers.
Yes Indeed!
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:27 PM   #32
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I don't know what it's like in the USA, but in Canada you are not allowed to terminate anyone who is on any kind of leave (vacation, medical, etc.)

What has happened here is that the ones who are on the edge find doctors who are willing to give them "stress leave". Difficult to prove, and can be extended until all the sick leave is used up - and even then they can go on long-term disability insurance.

That could be an option - be sick for the next two or three years.

One other option might be to give written notice that you intend to retire in, say, 18 months. I strongly suspect that lawyers would have a field day if someone was terminated AFTER they had advised their employer that they were going to retire, so it would give you some breathing room. If the employer wants you out sooner than that, they may come back with an early retirement package that would see you through until your pension kicks in.

Here's another one: once someone has passed their probationary period (after initial employment), we cannot extend it. The probation period was part of the initial contract - forcing an extension is a breach of that contract.

You would have a very strong case for stress leave, given what they are doing to you.
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:47 PM   #33
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. . .
Though you hear a lot about bad management, I still believe most management teams want to be fair - flame away.
Yes, I agree that most employers want to be fair. But if you happen to be employed by the minority who want to screw you as much as they can, you are out of luck -- smaller places. Remember, at any point in a career, on average most people have one employer -- if you are self employed this is not true, but it does apply to most employees.

I once w*rked in a place where the owner typically sent out emails with terms like "so-and-so in {sales} was terminated today. I have had my attorney file a restraining order preventing him from having any contact with any of our customers or prospects for {some finite or even INFINITE period of time}. I also prohibit any active employees from having any contact with this person." This happened, and it is true.

Small company -- really small management (small meant in terms of being a good person or entity) -- but there are people that have to put up with this bullsheet so they can have a j*b -- it just ain't right.
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