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Unethical or Illegal Termination Process? Iowa

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  • Unethical or Illegal Termination Process? Iowa

    Co-worker was placed on paid leave Tuesday. At HR Tuesday, she was given reasons for probable firing - pending an investigation and finally a meeting with the Director of the lab to determine her status.

    The firing reasons were justified, however...

    I was friendly with the co-worker and was in contact with her on Friday, when she was to have her meeting with the Director at 12:00.

    This is the time line -

    7:30 am - Our Manager began informing the lab members that the co-worker had been fired.

    8:00 am - The coworker receives a call from HR that the meeting with the Director is postponed due to illness. The meeting is rescheduled for Monday.

    9:00 am - Co-Worker goes to a prescheduled appointment
    with Employee Assistance Program.

    10:00 am - Co-Worker bumps into Manager in the parking lot and HE SAYS - "Well, are you fired?". and says he is just asking because no one has told him anything.

    CoWorker says she is not allowed to talk about it and he goes to his car and begins talking on his cell phone.

    10:15 am - Manager comes back to the lab and has a meeting with the folks he had told earlier about the fired co-worker, and tells them NOT TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT HE HAD TOLD THEM. THEY WERE TO FORGET HE SAID ANYTHING BECAUSE HE COULD GET INTO A LOT OF TROUBLE.

    10:30 am - Manager walks back out to the co-worker who happened to be in her car ready to go home. He approached her and told her they had been called to HR where she was fired.

    This manager is a bully, for the record. But, is the handling of this termination illegal or just unethical?

  • #2
    It is not illegal. And given the specific timeline, I'm not 100% convinced that it was even unethical.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      Thank you.

      We were just a bit upset that the announcement was made and yet many of us knew she had not yet been let go.

      The ethics part is simply that a manager would tell us all to lie about his announcement.

      She was let go for hearsay - this manager is known for making hearsay gospel.

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      • #4
        Could it have been handled better? Sure.

        But asking you not to mention something is not the same as telling you to lie about it.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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