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View Full Version : Constructive Termination and/or Reverse Discrimination?


pacman2541
03-28-2005, 12:22 AM
I was employed for nearly 10 years with a company in Ohio. I was recently given the option of resigning in lieu of termination or be fired on the spot. When I asked if I could be transferred to another department, I was told No. Here is a brief history of my questions:

In this company, my title was a Senior Logistics Engineer. Below this level were two other titles and above me were Project Manager, Sr. Project Manager, Manager, Director. So essentially I was in the middle of the pack and was actively being groomed to become a Project Manager.

In October 2003, I was assigned a project at noon on Friday that would require me to be out of town for the next two weeks. The reason that I was assigned to this project was to be a backup in the case that another co-worker's wife would go into labor during the project. (On a side note, they knew she was pregnant and due during that time. The last time I checked, a pregnancy takes 9 months, so there should have been enough time to have a backup plan and not the Friday before). I took on the project, even with a newborn at home myself. Once the two weeks were completed, we could not implement the project for the customer and brought the tasks back to our office to run. This project required me to work a second shift from noon until it was completed (sometimes 9:00pm and sometimes after midnight). This lasted for 6 months. Greatfully I was able to move back onto the first shift, and a normal timeline in March of 2004.

The second of three items began 5 months later. In August 2004, I was asked to sit in a learn a process similar to the first one above, but with more crazy hours. Again, short notice was allowed me since the associate I was replacing gave her two week notice (I found out later that her original 2-week notice had already passed and that she "gave" them another two weeks to train me) I worked on Monday's from 9:00pm until 5:00am. On Tuesday's I caught up on my sleep. Wednesday's I worked normal 8 - 5 hours. And Thursday's I worked from 6:00pm until 3:00am and then finished the week on Friday by working a couple of hours on Friday. I performed this project until the end of October.

Now, the jobs that I was performing in both examples was creating routes for trucks to deliver freight - normally the job of a dispatcher at a customer location. This job, in my mind, could have been done by someone in a lower job title since I was being groomed into a manager. With that said, the final project that I was given was project management.

In November 2004, I was assigned a project in Canada that ate up 339 working hours in 26 business days (because of the holidays) until January 7. I gave up a week of my vacation during the holiday's to ensure completion of this project. While this project was meant for someone who was going to become a project manager, it ended up ending my employment.

There are two other items to detail before getting to my questions: The Canada project that I was assigned was originally assigned to a counterpart of mine, in the same situation and job status as myself. The only difference is that she just came off of maternity leave just two days before this project was to begin. Management had essentially asked a new mother, still breastfeeding her daughter, to take on a project that would require her to leave the country for three weeks (orginal project estimate). She refused, thus I was quickly assigned the project.

Since my departure in early January, she and another woman that I worked with, have been asked to consider their employment with this company and whether or not they would continue. The first woman (new mother) was told that she 1) had 3 months to relocate to our office's city (she worked from home for 6 years), 2) begin traveling up to 80% of her time, 3) find another job and resign, or 4) be terminated at the end of 90 days. The other woman was told that she had 90 days to begin working up to the level that she was titled or be terminated at the end of 90 days. The new mother has accepted another job with another company and the other woman is on medical leave (stress). In the past, when associates seem to be in trouble, there is a probation period that the employees can be given to rectify any shortcomings they may have. It has been used in the past, but not offered to any one of us.

Whew. Now to my questions:

1) Does this seem like constructive termination against me since no other associate has been asked to work the same hours as me or the same types of projects?

2) Since the women were given some time to make decisions before their termination, why was I not given that option? (Yes, I am male and for the double-whammy, Caucasian).

3) Is any of this worth persuing through the legal system?

I appreciate any feedback...
:confused: pacman2541

PS: Just as an FYI, the company did say that they would not contest the unemployment claim and I have been collecting since my resignation.

LConnell
03-29-2005, 07:22 PM
1) Does this seem like constructive termination against me since no other associate has been asked to work the same hours as me or the same types of projects? I don't believe so. While they may have shown poor judgement in the way they assigned the projects, there are easier ways of terminating an employee.

2) Since the women were given some time to make decisions before their termination, why was I not given that option? (Yes, I am male and for the double-whammy, Caucasian). You could file a claim of discrimination. However, chances are that the EEOC will not pursue your case. The reason? There are too many variables which may explain the reason for the lack of notice.

3) Is any of this worth persuing through the legal system? I don't believe there is. You would have a better chance of remedying this situation by appealing the termiantion through your management chain.

pacman2541
03-29-2005, 07:46 PM
I had a feeling that those would be the answers. While I'm okay with not being with that company any longer, I wish it would have been on my terms and not theirs. There are still questions that I have as to why it came down to this or what did I do wrong to deserve such a fate. I am still working with the HR Rep to sit down and review my personnel file to see if there are any other clues to find a way to find closure to this. Too many sleepless nights where I'm not sure what happened. Thanks for your time.

pacman2541 :)

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