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  • Help Please

    My friend was suspended for 1 year from his job and the reason marked in the paper is Performance with no other explanation. He works for a casino in Puerto Rico

    He has no prior warnings in his record.
    What happens is that he dropped a glass bottle in the pantry area and a glass piece was found in a customer drink and the customer is taking legal action against the casino. There is video that shows that he is the one who dropped the bottle, but also shows him cleaning the area. In the scene there is also two more waitress, none of them helped in the cleaning of the glass pieces. One of the waitress was the one to prepare the drink, she didn't empty and cleaned the blender as supposed to be done every time you prepare a drink even though she was aware of the broken bottle in the area. There was no disciplinary action taken against her. The casino asked both waitresses and the security manager to write statements of the accident, and ordered them to leave out his presence in the scene at all, claiming that they have no idea of where that glass piece came from.

    I dont know if this can help or has something to do, but he was in treatment ordered by the casino for haveing a positive drug test, he was assisting constantly to his therapies and got a negative result on the first drug test assigned after that.

    I think that it is not fair to get fire/suspended for a year based on performance after more than one year with no warnings at all, but Im almost sure you cant fire an employee who is in treatment for drugs and having successful results.

    Can anyone let me know what if anything we can do in this situation?

  • #2
    First of all, there is no "we" here. YOU cannot do anything at all. Your friend is the only one with standing to do anything.

    While you cannot be fired BECAUSE you have undergone successful drug rehabilitation, having undergone successful drug rehabilitation is NOT a get out of jail free card. You can still be fired for reasons that any other employee would be fired for, including dropping a glass which resulted in a lawsuit for the company.

    The company is not obligated to discipline the waitress who made the drink. Whether she did or did not help clean up, or whether she did or did not clean the blender, is immaterial. It was your friend's actions (dropping the glass and missing the piece that evidently went flying and landed in the drink) that caused the lawsuit, not hers.

    It may not be fair to fire him for one incident, but nothing you have posted appears to be illegal. Unless you are claiming that another similarly situated employee, who had the exact same thing happen but who had not undergone drug rehab, would not have been fired.
    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
      Since he has been suspended for a year, he might want to try filing for
      unemployment ins. & look for other employment.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

      Comment


      • #4
        I can't believe an employer would "suspend" someone for a year! Why not just fire the person? Who wants to keep an employee on their rolls who is not working for that long? Isn't there some liability involved in that? Doesn't sound like a wise business decision.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by TSCompliance View Post
          I can't believe an employer would "suspend" someone for a year! Why not just fire the person? Who wants to keep an employee on their rolls who is not working for that long? Isn't there some liability involved in that? Doesn't sound like a wise business decision.
          Agree, it's stupid. But there are a lot of stupid employers out there.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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          • #6
            I think the employer's entire position is stupid. But it's legal based on the information we have.
            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TSCompliance View Post
              I can't believe an employer would "suspend" someone for a year! Why not just fire the person? Who wants to keep an employee on their rolls who is not working for that long? Isn't there some liability involved in that? Doesn't sound like a wise business decision.
              Trying to avoid a UI filing maybe. I have heard of employers that NEVER fire people, just do not schedule them to work. More ominious, maybe the employee is still on the payroll, just not receving the payments.

              The problem is that employers, especially small employers, are just people. And there are some really strange people in the world. Making a strange person into the boss does not make them any less strange (maybe the opposite).
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TSCompliance View Post
                I can't believe an employer would "suspend" someone for a year! Why not just fire the person? Who wants to keep an employee on their rolls who is not working for that long? Isn't there some liability involved in that? Doesn't sound like a wise business decision.
                Puerto Rico has very strict laws regarding wrongful termination. Also, employees are required by law to be paid severence if terminated unjustly. A long term suspension, such as this one, is a way of getting around this.

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                • #9
                  Thanks, I had forgotten about that. Would they still have to pay him his Christmas bonus?
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                  • #10
                    & does he still get his free Thanksgiving turkey?
                    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Seriously, Betty, there is a required Christmas bonus in Puerto Rico. Would I kid about that?
                      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                      • #12
                        Agreed on the mandatory X-mas bonus in Puerto Rico, but there are also rules. Assuming that the rules have not changed from say 5 years ago, then ...

                        Employees that worked during the 12 months from 10/1 to 9/30 and worked at least 700 hours, the bonus is 2% of total wages to a max of $10,000.
                        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
                          Seriously, Betty, there is a required Christmas bonus in Puerto Rico. Would I kid about that?
                          You were serious but I was just joking/kidding.
                          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                          Comment

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