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Provided equipment for unfair advantages

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  • Provided equipment for unfair advantages

    I was wondering what the legality of some employees having better equipment to perform better is. Some of the senior call center people (same job though) have cordless headsets and they were provided by the company itself. Us newer employees don't, which does give us an unfair advantage. We now have a company wide initiative which states we can't use excessive "call work" which is basically making it so you can't take calls, which is tracked. When I first started working there it was stated that since some of us were "corded" they would be more lenient on the call work scene, but now that the company is trying to reduce it, we're not allowed to use it for bathroom breaks, or food, or anything else, so we are planted at our desks, whereas the senior employees with the cordless headsets can not only do that (well maybe not bathroom breaks.. getting a call on the john wouldn't be good, but getting food or having the freedom to go make a copy, or pick up a printed item, and just generally be more productive in one way or another). Our call work times and our "fulfillment" (work we do other than taking calls) both factors into our raises, so technically they DO have an unfair advantage. I didn't have a problem with it, and was even willing to purchase my own even though they didn't have to, however, then when I stated I was going to purchase one, they informed me that it's a possibility someone on first shift could attempt to use it (even though it's mine) and it could be possibly damaged, and they would not be liable. Well, my question is if I'm trying to buy something that's for work, and to give myself a production advantage, and stay on par with my co workers, why wouldn't it be covered by the company that's too cheap to provide me one in the first place? Or are they legally obligated to provide me the same equipment to give me the same advantage? I don't really want to cause their freedom to go away which is why I was going to just shutup and purchase one, but now with this little comment that they won't cover it if it is damaged by another employee, I just don't know. It seems kind of biased to me.

  • #2
    There is nothing illegal about having some employees provided with better equipment than others, so long as who gets what is not determined by race, religion, national origin etc.

    It is perfectly legal to base who gets the best equipment on seniority.
    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
      Well who's to say it is or isn't? All I know is that they have the better opportunities to shine based on the equipment. What about the fact that they say they won't cover equipment that make me purchase? If it's work related equipment, shouldn't it be covered?

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      • #4
        The company didn't make you buy it. You chose to buy it, based on your perception that it would give you an advantage. They are not responsible for that.

        I say again, they are not legally required to provide all employees with exactly the same equipment. The only requirement is that they not choose who gets what equipment on the basis of membership in a group protected by law.
        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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        • #5
          Guess I should become homosexual or black.

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          • #6
            Wouldn't do you any good.

            Since by your own admission the distinction is being made on the basis of seniority, which is legal, even if you WERE black or Hispanic or whatever, they wouldn't be required to give you the equipment you prefer.
            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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