lmcjaho wrote:I guess I am the only one with the possibly dissenting opinion that maybe the guy has a case?
IF he can prove that the company rules don't prohibit that sort of thing, that there have been others who have received lesser punishments for similar offenses recently, that his work did not suffer (since apparently he had "dead air" time to work with) or any of a dozen other points that could make it look like a personal vendetta or age-discrimination type attack then I think he should have his day in court and they should have to pay him if the judge (and jury?) agrees with him.
Just because you and I don't think an adult chat site is appropriate for at work surfing doesn't mean the company has the right to use that as an excuse to dump an employee who has been with them for 19 years...
I get calls like this every day at my job. Someone did something wrong and the company fired them. They’ve been working there for X number of years and “how can they take away MY job like that?” The answer is, it’s not THEIR job. It’s the company’s job. They can do what they want with their job whenever they see fit, because it’s at-will employment.
At-will employment means that we work at the will of our employer. At any time and for any reason they can hire us, fire us, promote or demote us, change our hours, change our wage, whatever. They can tell the company president that tomorrow he’s the janitor and he’s making minimum wage. Perfectly legal. It is their job. They can treat it however they wish.
There are exceptions to at-will terminations. Predominantly those exceptions deal with discriminatory firings, or firings occurring because of a person’s age (if they’re over 40), race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, marital status, pregnancy and/or retaliation. Now, simply because you happen to fall under one or more of these categories means nothing. Every single person with a pulse falls under a minimum of six of these categories, but simply being in one of these protected groups is irrelevant. You, the person filing the discrimination charge, must show some kind of evidence that the discriminatory factor you choose is in fact the reason the employer fired you, and not any other legitimate reason.
To speak about this person in particular, the fact of the matter is that he was fired for a wholly legitimate reason. It is NOT acceptable workplace behavior to browse porn chat rooms. The company does not have to have a specific policy against this. It’s common sense, for goodness’ sake! This man is not a child and he does not have to have everything spelled out for him like a child. This kind of allegation has little or no chance of seeing any kind of recompense.
I’ll go into the technical reasons why if you really need me to, but if you would, just trust me on this. I see stuff like this every day. 99.9% of them go nowhere.