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Fired, and I still don't know why. . .
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:25 AM
silverstaff silverstaff is offline
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Default Fired, and I still don't know why. . .

"Your supervisors feel that you have failed to complete your probationary period. We cannot discuss the reasons other than that."

. . .that's what my bosses, bosses boss told me at about 2 PM today.

I was hired almost a year ago by a State government agency to be an Officer of the law. The rules require a one year probationary period, and after that it basically takes an Act of God to fire an employee.

I just got my annual performance review for last year last month, and it was a good report, no complaints, acceptable everything. Nobody had said anything even slightly negative about my job performance since last August (when I got yelled at for taking time off for military duties, see an earlier thread here I posted).

My probationary period would have ended this Sunday. If I'd walked out the door on Friday afternoon, I would have been golden. Since on Friday afternoon I was scheduled to testify in court, and would be going home straight after that, basically I would have been good as soon as I left for lunch on Friday.

Instead, I get a call at about 2 PM on my office phone. It's my bosses boss (the supervisor over the office)'s number. The person on the other end though is someone I don't recognize. She asks me to come upstairs.

I walk in, a woman I don't recognize is sitting behind the office supervisor's desk, my immediate supervisor is sitting there and another supervisor is by the door.

The woman says that I was called in because my probationary period is almost over. . .and then she says what was said above, and asks for my badge and my gun.

. . .I'm stunned.

I just had my annual performance review a few weeks ago, and got a glowing review. I was apparently the only Officer that had a good working relationship with one of the Judges our office has to deal with. I hadn't received any complaints about the quality of my work, not even an informal verbal statement of anything being wrong.

Judging by the paperwork, the person who fired me was the Assistant Director (over the agency for about 1/3 of the state, who reports directly to the Director), the person who was above the head of the office. This was a person I had never met before, and only knew from seeing her name on some personnel paperwork.

I'm sitting here wondering if there's anything I could have done differently. At least I can get unemployment, and get about 2/3 of my pay for 6 months, and I can start applying around for something else.

I'm sitting here and talking, texting and messaging with former co-workers, who said they've NEVER seen an employee terminated right before the end of their probation like that. If anything, they are terminated early on when it's clear it's not working out, but they are so overworked they hate to lose anyone. Had a 20 year employee tell me by e-mail she'd never seen them wait until a few days before the end to terminate someone, and the times they do you could see it coming, and they'd never, ever seen an Assistant Director to come in and fire someone.

Still, just stunned and wondering WTF.

  #2  
Old 02-25-2015, 12:38 AM
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Could this somehow be related to the incident with the boss who didn't get what military commitments were?
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:55 AM
silverstaff silverstaff is offline
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Quoth Jay 2K Winger View Post
Could this somehow be related to the incident with the boss who didn't get what military commitments were?
That's what I'm wondering about.

I was due up for my next military obligations in April, and my unit wanted me to come in one day next month to give a briefing to a unit that was deploying overseas.

No idea if that's why, but it's the ONLY thing that my employers had seemed even the slightest bit upset about since I was a new Officer last spring.

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Old 02-25-2015, 02:00 AM
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here's a very important question, when did your benefit kick in and what kind of raise would you have gotten after that first year?
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Old 02-25-2015, 02:03 AM
Sandman Sandman is offline
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I would guess that was the reason. The fact that you scored well on your evaluation would lead me to believe it was the military obligation. Nail them!

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Old 02-25-2015, 02:03 AM
silverstaff silverstaff is offline
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here's a very important question, when did your benefit kick in and what kind of raise would you have gotten after that first year?
Benefits kicked in the day I was hired, and it would have been a 5% raise effective March 1st. That would have been roughly $50 every two weeks.

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Old 02-25-2015, 02:28 AM
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I absolutely think they fired you because of the military requirement. They had someone you'd never met do it because they're trying to disguise the real reasons. I don't think they're required to tell you their reasons, most companies don't these days anyway lest someone take offense at the reasons and file a lawsuit, which is expensive to deal with. But there may be other means available.

Were you part of a union? If you were, and no union rep was present, they probably violated the contract even though you were still in your probationary period. If there's no union, check with the state labor dept. to see if they may have violated any legal protections you might have (that they hoped you weren't aware of). The fact that you had glowing reviews and no disciplinary or other problems on your record could possibly be of help to you; and maybe not, but it's worth looking into whether they might have violated contractual obligations or labor law.
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Quoth MoonCat View Post
I don't think they're required to tell you their reasons
Unless a contract or other special conditions required it, no, they don't have to under At-Will Employment law (if in the US) -- in fact, it's safer for them if they do not. I agree that this smells really fishy, and that the military thing may have been a factor. Perhaps someone there had it in for you, whether over the military thing or not.

I'm just glad you're getting SOME form of pay out of it, at least for a little while. If you know any higher-ups there who are on your side, perhaps ask them for a recommendation...?
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Quoth EricKei View Post
Unless a contract or other special conditions required it, no, they don't have to under At-Will Employment law (if in the US) -- in fact, it's safer for them if they do not. I agree that this smells really fishy, and that the military thing may have been a factor. Perhaps someone there had it in for you, whether over the military thing or not.

I'm just glad you're getting SOME form of pay out of it, at least for a little while. If you know any higher-ups there who are on your side, perhaps ask them for a recommendation...?
Yeah, I should get unemployment, which will come out to about 2/3 of my pay, for 6 months.

They also have to pay out my entire vacation time and comp time balances, which comes to 4 and a half weeks of pay there. So I'll still be getting a paycheck basically until the end of next month even though I was fired yesterday.

I don't know if someone had it in for me, I couldn't sleep at all last night thinking about it.

It isn't just an "at will" state, which we are, the way that state law is written, for a state employee in their probationary status it's every bit as "we can fire you for any reason at any time, or no reason at all".

The only legal recourse is to allege discrimination from a Federally protected class, such as military service. . .and that's hard to prove since it had been half a year since they'd griped at me over it, and waited until the very end of the probationary period to drop that one.

  #10  
Old 02-25-2015, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
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Yeah, I should get unemployment, which will come out to about 2/3 of my pay, for 6 months.
Make sure that you have tax withholding on that unemployment.
IANAL, but you don't have much recourse if you were still within your probationary period.
Your efforts are probably better spent looking elsewhere--think about it do you really want to be working with those Dark Helmet crewmembers for twenty years?
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