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They are bullying me, what can I do? Tennessee

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  • They are bullying me, what can I do? Tennessee

    Help! I don't know what to do! I accepted a management job 10 months ago from a national company. They paid me $20,000 to relocate, but I had to sign a statement saying I would pay it back if I didn't stay 12 months, for any reason, including termination.
    Two months after I started, they asked me to move again, this time to Tennessee. They gave me another $5,000 because of the higher cost of living.(I was staying in a company-paid apartment while my husband was trying to sell our home).
    But my boss in Tennessee did not like me. Three months after I got to Tennessee, he told me to hurry and buy a home as the apartment was eating into his budget. So we hurried and bought a home even though our home out of state had not sold. Five months after I got to Tn, he gave me a written warning of low performance, which I felt was not accurate, (but I did not argue). I was incredibly shaken and asked him for a list of ways to improve. I did every item on the list, and worked 65 to 70 hours each week. He even acknowledged my "improvement" saying I was the only manager he had ever seen change everything so rapidly.
    One month later, he called me in his office and demoted me 3 levels, to an entry-level job due to " insubordination and dishonesty". He had statements from 2 employees saying they overheard a conversation I had with my employee. The statements were inaccurate, taken out of context, and totally twisted to mis-represent the truth. But I had no way to fight it. I was not permitted to discuss it. Needless to say, I am devastated, with a new house, and now no way to make the mortgage.
    I requested a meeting with the person who hired me (my boss' boss), but my boss showed up as well. In that meeting, I requested they help me find another department to work in (they said no), to release me from the non-compete I signed when hired (they said no) and to be released from the payback of the relocation money (they said they would think about it and get back to me, and in the meantime, I have this entry level job to do.) It has now been 16 days, and no answer has been given. But the handwriting is on the wall. I am being set up to get fired! I have been doing the job for 2 weeks, and my boss said he has noticed my "performance is not where it should be", and that I "don't smile". I think my boss has every intention of adding the relocation payback to his bottom line-except we spent the money moving here! Help! Is there any advice for me?

  • #2
    You haven't been fired yet but if you are, it would not be illegal to terminate you for the reasons listed. Tn. is an at-will employment state & you can be terminated at any time for any reason not protected by law (ie age, gender, religion) or unless you have a bona fide employment contract or CBA to the contrary.

    If they would terminate you & request the relocation money back & hold you to the non-compete, I believe I would contact an attorney & have them review the statement you signed re the relocation money & the non-compete to see if they would be enforceable in your case. You relied on the job to be there for you so, therefore, naturally you moved & accepted the relocation money. However, you do mention that the money would be paid back even if terminated. Therefore, I think your best bet would be to talk to an employment law or contract attorney & have them review the "agreements" you signed.
    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.

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    • #3
      Thank you. Your advice is well noted, and what a nice site this is!

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      • #4
        You're welcome & thank you from all of us re your compliment of the site.
        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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