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Nepotisism in the freezer

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  • Nepotisism in the freezer

    I work for a national frozen foods wholesaler and we have 2 product lines, a nationally recognized product and a generic product that we let certain stores sell as there generic food. Our national product team get compensated considerably more than our team for doing the same job. The work is identical except for a few small features that are added to premium products and is in now way a specialized skill. A coworker of mine went to our department manager and asked that we be compensated as the packers in the premium line for doing the same job. Soon after our manager stopped talking to her and ignored her while offering advice and support to the rest of us. She would always talk about how she might get fired for doing this and just recently went to our hr department and told them of her concern. The HR manager is the wife of one of the people in my department but works on another team. The husband's boss's boss is our boss's boss. From what I understand she felt confident that she was going to be ok however the hr "generalist", who works for the HR manager, was sent to meet with the 2 of them. After their meeting my coworker became hysterical because they were picking apart her performance and refused to talk about her complaint.

    I understand the right to hire part but is this not a conflict of interest for the HR underling to administer policy with her boss

  • #2
    Nepotism is not inherently (or generally) illegal.

    Paying employees for selling a higher profit margin product a better compensation rate is not inherently (or generally) illegal.

    Terminated an employee who claims about their employer talking legal actions is not inherently (or generally) illegal.

    I understand that this is not what you want to hear.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DAW View Post
      Nepotism is not inherently (or generally) illegal.

      Paying employees for selling a higher profit margin product a better compensation rate is not inherently (or generally) illegal.

      Terminated an employee who claims about their employer talking legal actions is not inherently (or generally) illegal.

      I understand that this is not what you want to hear.
      Not illegal but what about ethical? If she said its unethical, is she protected by the whistle law? Also, who says what is ethical vs what not? Is there a standard that companies have to follow?

      Comment


      • #4
        There is no "whistle law" per se. There is no law that says if an employee chooses to complain to their employer about a perfectly legal action their employer has taken, that the employee is somehow protected from being terminated. There are whistle blower provisions in some laws, but what all of such laws have in common are:
        1. The employer is actually violating some law.
        2. The employee complains to the governmental agency in charge of enforcing that law.
        3. The employee is terminated because they complained to governmental agency.

        If I am reading your post correctly, this is not what you are saying happened.

        -----

        "Unethical" is not the same thing as "illegal". Also, you (or anyone else) saying that something is unethical is just your opinion. There are no generic ethics laws that cover the situation you describe.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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        • #5
          Das ist in der Doktor!

          Originally posted by Johnsongotcanned View Post
          Not illegal but what about ethical? If she said its unethical, is she protected by the whistle law?
          No.

          Also, who says what is ethical vs what not? Is there a standard that companies have to follow?
          No.
          There are laws that say what is legal and what is not, and very rarely if ever what is unethical.

          .._________________________
          ~ The difficulty is to know conscience from self-interest. - William Dean Howells
          Last edited by drruthless; 12-16-2010, 12:43 AM.

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          • #6
            Minor quibble with DAW's post:

            There are a few exceptions where complaining to the employer, and not a government agency, provides whistleblower protection, but without exception these refer to ILLEGAL behavior, where there is an actual law that is being violated. Unethical is not covered in these exceptions; what is and is not ethical is subject to opinion in many cases.
            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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            • #7
              Except in NJ, where the whistleblower only has to demonstrate that he reasonably believes the employer was doing something against a law or regulation, or in healthcare, something that resulted in poor quality of care.
              Wouldn't you love to be in my world?

              Comment


              • #8
                In less favorable employee markets, is it better to simply file a grievance and move on?

                It seems, to me, that a labor market participant may not want to incur the "cost" of litigating a political process that is not already fully established in law.
                Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer or qualified to practice law in any state. I only argue legal theory and politics, from an economics perspective.

                Comment


                • #9
                  the hr "generalist", who works for the HR manager, was sent to meet with the 2 of them. After their meeting my coworker became hysterical because they were picking apart her performance and refused to talk about her complaint.

                  When you said "the 2 of them" - did you mean the husband and wife? A meeting to discuss job performance shouldn't be held in front of your spouse. So I'm not sure what the point of that meeting was, from the HR generalist's perspective.

                  I agree with other posters that nothing illegal is going on. On its most basic level, it sounds like your co-worker has a problem with her salary and she has complained to management, and may have even claimed to speak for the team. If everyone has concerns about their salary, they should speak up. If they don't have a problem with it, now is the time to say so. They should not leave the complainant twisting in the wind by herself, so to speak.

                  Everyone should also understand they are risking losing their job by complaining about their salary. You all knew what you would be paid when you started the job. You all accepted the job anyway. Management is now understandably surprised by the complaint about the salary not being high enough, and that is a perfectly legitimate reason to end the employment relationship.

                  Personally, I think HR should be a little more direct in dealing with the co-worker who complained. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. But I don't see anything illegal going on in your post.

                  Comment

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