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  • Terminated? Pennsylvania

    I am (was) an employee of a local (retail chain) store. I was originally hired by a friend of mine last November, working part-time. When she left to be with her baby boy, a new manager was hired. I thought she was going to be fine. However, I soon learned she had little management skills. Another employee was being mistreated by someone. This manager brushed it off. When I heard firsthand how this person treated the employee, I mentioned it to the manager. I got my head nearly chewed off! She also yelled at my son for wanting to use the bathroom (something we let anyone in need do). I was so caught off guard that I took my son's hand and we left. To make a long story short, I went "seasonal" in April but still worked part-time hours until my son was out of school. I have always done the job that before me, often going above and beyond. I am not a slacker. I had asked for more hours, telling the manager that I'd like to work more hours since my son was going back to school and was told that was great. Meanwhile, she had asked an employee who quit to come back. I was told by the manager she wasn't sure how many hours she could give me and I told her that was okay (I'd take whatever she could). She ended up calling me rather abruptly and saying she didn't have any hours for me for September and probably wouldn't for October. I called her and asked if she was letting me go and was told, "Absolutely not." A few days later I was told to bring my keys back the next time I was in the store. Again I asked if I was being let go and was told, "We already discussed this. I told you before you were not." I talked with her manager to let her know what was going on, because I didn't understand the treatment I was given. It's been 3 months. Yesterday, I got a phone call from the store manager stating, "[her manager] said you were under the impression that you were being called to work for the holidays. I have enough staff and everything is covered, so if there's something else you'd like to pursue..." In the meantime, I found out a few weeks ago that she posted a help wanted sign on the store door and there was a new employee working there. Is this legal? How can she advertise for help wanted but not work me?

  • #2
    Because there is no law requiring her to rehire you before hiring new help. Unless you were operating under a bona fide contract that specifically states that you have guaranteed rehire rights, she is operating legally. She has no legal obligation to bring you back to work.
    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
      Nothing that you have posted is illegal. None of it. There is nothing in the law that says a manager has to be polite, nor have to give you the hours you request, nor discharge you and hire someone else. "At-will employment" means that you can quit at any time for any reason and that your employer can fire you at any time for any reason that does not specifically violate the law, and none of this does. Sorry, but file for unemployment and move on.
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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      • #4
        To cbg and Pattymd

        That's just the thing, cbg; I was never fired or laid off. Instead, she insisted that she wasn't letting me go. While it may not be illegal in PA to post a help wanted sign and not give an employee hours, it is unethical. But, as we are all aware, lying to someone is no big deal these days. As a manager, she is disrespectful and cannot handle conflict. Knowing the owners of the stores (family owned), she won't last long when customers have had their fill of her. "Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord." She will reap what she's sewing. It's just a shame that people have little scruples these days! What I liked about this store when I was hired, was that it was a family atmosphere. The prior manager treated everyone fairly and with respect. Oh, well. Another life lesson learned. I just turned 50 (though I look 30ish), and I still get an education! It's also a shame that states adopt this "at-will" policy.

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