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Hostile Work Environment? Oklahoma

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  • Hostile Work Environment? Oklahoma

    I have worked in a retail business as an asst. mgr. for over two years. When my manager gave her notice, I applied for the store manager's position. A former co-worker who had gotten her own store less than a year ago wanted to transfer back and eventually got the position. This person and I were not on good terms prior to this, but I was determined to remain professional and respectful and quietly seek employment elsewhere.

    It's only been a little over a month since she officially became our store manager. In that time (and even before when she was "helping out" in our store) this person has treated me with open hostility via public confrontations of what she claims to be "corrective measures" and leaving notes addressed to me for all other employees to see that contain hateful tones in her directives. She has repeatedly verbally baited me in front of customers and employees in an attempt to provoke me to become so angry that I walk out on my job. Recently, she became so angry that I would not give in to her provocation, she slammed out the front door screaming "f*** you!"

    I've noticed that the majority of times she is at work and either I am off that day or am scheduled later in the day, customer's returns are charged against my commission, and there is no proof that I was the sales person. (The company policy requires all staff to meet particular sales goals. Sales staff are required to make commission above their standard hourly rate or lose their jobs after 4 consecutive weeks of not making commission. The asst. managers make 2% commission above their own hourly rates.) The company policy and procedure requires that refunds are accompanied by the original sales receipt (which would also contain proof of who made the actual sale), the customer's name, address, and phone number, and the signature of the customer who made the return. If the return is an even exchange or the customer owes the store more money, no customer information or receipt is required. However, the customer's signature on the return receipt is still required. My manager is not following these directives when she returns merchandise against my sales commission. I suspect that she is doing this to prevent me from making my weekly sales minimum (which has never been a problem for me since I am a very hands on person regarding customer service) so that she can feel justified in firing me. It is also rare that returns are against other sales staff when she processes them.

    Last night I received a note from her telling me I was no longer allowed access in the file cabinet. I did not know where that came from, although as part of the management team, I normally did have access to it for the purpose of filing business records. However, I have had no reason to be in the file cabinet recently, therefore, I haven't opened it. I responded to her note with the assurance I had not been in the file cabinet, did not understand her sudden banishment, and suggested if she were concerned about unauthorized access to the cabinet by anyone, she should invest in a lock.

    I found out later last night that the neurosis about the file cabinet is due to the manager instructing all three sales staff to independently record the sales of merchandise when they assist customers and secretly leave it in the file cabinet for her. The purpose of this is to "prove" that I am stealing sales from them. Sales have been down partly because this is typically a slow season for us. Sales have been impacted even more lately because of the awful shape of our economy. Yet, it is my fault that sales staff whose school and extracurricular activities restrict their work hours to short increments and during the slowest periods of the week have not made their commissions regularly during the past month. The sales person who was working with me informed me of this after he submitted his resignation. He told me he feared for his job because he was not making commission and refused to conspire against me, especially because he knew I did not steal his sales from him. I knew the other two sales staff were unhappy with the manager, had felt she put undue pressure on them, and no longer wanted to work in our store. I have a great working relationship with everyone but the manager, and they have difficulties with her placing them in this terrible position.

    Yes, I have documented incidents and informed our district manager via two e-mails, phone calls, and a face-to-face meeting. The general response is in effect to "play nice with each other."

    I have been applying for jobs and more jobs. I am at a point where I will take just about anything legal because this is a miserable, horrible environment that is negatively affecting my health. I cannot afford to be unemployed, but I also cannot afford to damage my health. I have a lengthy and stable employment record. Frankly, I cannot stand any more of this, and in spite of the financial crisis this will put me in, I don't see an alternative to leaving this recipe for a stroke or heart attack before I have secured another job. If I leave with only a few days notice (the remaining four days of this week's schedule), will I be eligible for unemployment? HELP!!!!!!!!