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On a tightrope

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  • On a tightrope

    My wife feels that her job is in danger. She has been employed for 7 years. 3 of those years were as an intern. My wife signed an employment contract with this company for 5 years, with full benefits, including medical and 401k. The agreement is that at the end of 5 years, she will be vested for her 401k. There is a year and a half to go.

    In the last year, there have been changes in the company. There have been favors granted to another employee by my wife's boss, even to the extent of hiring the other employee's wife, just to keep the employee from leaving the company, even though it is against written company policy to go behind the scenes to get one's spouse or other family members employed.

    One of the changes in the company has been my wife's boss's attitude towards her. She is a little overloaded in her job, but does a very good job, gets along with executives well, was given a raise this year, and has never had any reviews below average. Her boss has recently become very aloof to her and other employees, and has been very ambiguous about the future of her job. The boss has hired other employees for my wife to train to help my wife with her job and to ultimately take over my wife's responsibilities. When my wife has asked her boss what she will be doing, her boss smiles and says "keep your options open". Her boss will not tell her what the plans are for her, if inded there are any. My wife is afraid that she is going to be replaced by interns who will not be eligible fro benefits, and she is afraid this will happen before she can be vested. Her boss has been ver secretive and will not give her fair warning, and the boss is using my wife like a pawn. This is very stressful for her.

    What rights does she have?

  • #2
    Unless her employment agreement rises to the level of a valid, enforceable contracrt, the employer is free to fire her for any reason that is not prohibited by law. I recommend she have an attorney review the document in its entirety.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


    • #3

      Thanks for your reply. My wife is afraid to go to HR becasue there is so much cronyism at this company. Her boss is friends with HR Director. She doesn't even know what rights she has to se her file, make any copies of her contract, etc. She is afraid that if she does request any of these things, she will be fired in retaliation for just looking into her rights, if that makes any sense.

      What rights does an honest, hard-working employee have against the cronyist, high-school whims of a boss such as this? Telling an amployee to "keep her options open" while holding her 401k hostage isn't grounds for any kind of action?


      • #4
        I didn't say she should go to HR. I said she should have an attorney review her employment contract. But if she didn't keep one, guess she'll have to go ask. None of what you posted is illegal. It may be worrisome, uncomfortable, etc., but not illegal.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


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