Termination for Off the Clock Harassment

MC4YOU2

Wherever I see Trump, it smells like he's Putin.
Yeah I've asked lots of people and no one has any answers for me. They just keep telling me that it's valid and I have to move on. and that's annoying.

Welcome to BC. Here, you'll always find answers. Some helpful, some funny and some neither.

A couple of points I'd recommend for your consideration. First, you may or may not realize that South Carolina is a Right to Work state. This fact will have a definite impact on your work place environment. Likely, there are quite a number of your Co workers who are being represented by the Teamsters but do not (and are not required to) pay dues. This thinking will sometimes permeate hourly and mgmt ranks and you'll end up with "nobody here cares about that" with regards to supervisors working. It sucks but that's likely. It can be changed with a strong work group, but it won't come close to WA state. No way.

Also, you really need to talk to your BA. If your steward was not helpful or informative, go around that person and straight up the food chain.

I have not personally seen an employee fired on the spot for cursing, and we've all heard it happening. But, in the wrong context, yes, it can be a big problem. It's really some kind of insubordination charge they were trying to qualify, I think. But no matter now if it's been resolved in a suspension.

Definitely talk to your BA about this "agreement" they had you to sign. See if it's binding or not in your area.
Try to get rid of it.

As for the suspension. Lots of employees get those over time. Not really a big deal unless a person is a repeat offender.

Learn how to play their game and beat them at it. Read your contract and all its riders and supplements.
 

MC4YOU2

Wherever I see Trump, it smells like he's Putin.
Also. You've provided a great deal of detail in a forum that is mostly anonymous, but realize there are those who could and would use anything identifiable in your situation against you. Do not reveal anything more specific than you have and consider deleting anything you may have wished you'd not revealed.

Good luck.
 

UnconTROLLed

perfection
Hence the “By that logic”

But it’s okay, I know logic is not something you’re familiar with
on a 6 year old cell phone that takes minutes to switch pages and make a post on, mistakes happen, like exactly what I was responding to in the first place

However, I have an advanced college degree...far beyond your reach..edge feeling obtained, cya ;)
 

Wally

BrownCafe Innovator & King of Puns
So here is my story. I started working for UPS in Washington state in October 2015. In August 2017 I make an educational transfer from Washington state to South Carolina. For the first month I was working in surepost and occasionally scanning in unload and helping with DAs at a center that had a temporary chunk of another center on the lot until it's new building was about to open. One day I was approached by the Head and Assistant managers and the big boss started yelling at me because I had informed a supervisor the day before that I can't really load trucks because of a previous work injury to my wrist from my UPS center in WA which is documented with Insurance and UPS. I was trying to warn them that I am a liability and a hassle to have on the load line because anytime something over 70 comes for me, I'm going to have to stop the belt and get someone else to load it for me. So this manager is yelling me saying "You aren't going to come up in here and tell me how to run my center, stop the belt whenever you want. Work at your own pace, no. You don't get to work in this cushy surepost position as a new hire..." etc after over a month of working there at this center. So he gives me an ultimatum and tells me that I can either go to the new center opening the following monday to work as a clerk, or I can load trucks at his center. I was not about to further injure myself on the load line, I already have this pop in my wrist now that I doubt will ever go away and I was not required to be able to lift over 70 lbs when I was hired, so why should it be a reason that "I shouldn't have been hired in the first place"? He said this to me, knowing that I was a transfer and after I told him it was a pre existing injury to which he verbatim replied with "I don't care, I don't want to hear your excuses, if you can't do the job, you shouldn't have been hired." I asked him for the number to the center and the contact information for my union rep and he said if I wanted to clock out for a break he would give it to me, otherwise "not on company time. report back to work."

From this whole experience I decided it wasn't really worth fighting because I didn't want this guy to be my boss anyways, I just want to be a part of a team where everyone has the same goal (Efficiently finish the sort and get the trucks out on time) and mutual respect for each other despite their position. Focus, no drama, and no added stress for no good reason. At this first center, all of the supervisors were touching packages: some helping in unload, some were full on loading trucks, and sometimes there was only a supervisor stationed to split the belt, etc. If I were to say I want to file a grievance, the steward's response would be "No one really cares around here." I even have video evidence of the supervisor as the only employee splitting the belt one two separate days. Still, no one wants to file.

So less than a weeks notice and very little understanding of the area let alone the dynamic of the new center, I agree to transfer yet again into the new building in order to clerk. My first day is the first day the building is open so it is crawling with construction workers, upper management, security management, new employees, old employees that had never been to the center before, etc. It was a mess. I get moved around to three different positions. At the first spot I am told that my outfit is too revealing. I was wearing all black, none of it see-through, and no skin was showing so I asked for clarification and I was told for the first time after two years that I am not allowed to wear leggings. This is annoying and upsetting but whatever, I get moved to the second spot and I automatically sign into a few DA computers at the smalls section to show some new hires the scan and print program (in case the slaw machine misses a scan, which we all know is often) and then I am approached and told that my bag needs to be transparent. Again, a rule I had never been told after two years of always bringing a bag to work with me, But I told them I would try to find one for tomorrow and they are welcome to search my bag if they so desire. Then I am moved to my third and final spot and there is a guy standing on the platform where I am told to be (a clerk station located at the top of the belt right before the splitters). I went up the steps a little irritated and I exclaim out loud "Like wtf is going on down here in the south? UPS is FROM Washington and we don't have to deal with nearly as much bulls*** as the employees here have been since I've been here" and the guy on the platform replies "Well maybe you should just go back there then" (Or "go back to where you came from" or something) and I had had it... It was too early on a Monday... so I said "Effing Excuse you?" and he then identifies himself as the security manager and says "well you come up here cussing up a storm in front of a manager and you have a bag that's not see through in front of the security manager of all people... it's all in the handbook so I suggest that you get more familiar with it." I ask him for a copy, he doesn't know how to get one for me. But as he is speaking, he is splitting the belt right in front of me. Why is the supposed security manager splitting the belt preaching to me about what we can and can't do as employees of UPS? so I ask him to stop touching packages and to please let me do my job (In a snooty voice, but I definitely said please). Again he exclaims "You can't talk to me like that" and I said "Since effing when?! Have you ever even stepped foot in a UPS preload sort? This is America, people cuss all the dang time. Even my supervisors cuss. It's freedom of speech in a high energy and sometimes high stress environment" and he tells me again that I better peep the contract and that it's never been allowed. I go on to ask for clarification since he can't provide me a copy and he replies with "I'm not speaking to you anymore," splits a few more packages on the belt, then walks away to find someone that would approve my termination. I work the whole day thinking that it was over and done with and I focus on my work. I even get pat on the back for some of my ideas to keep volume flowing as the mechanics figured out bugs in the belt that created jams. I became familiar with several supervisors as I was asked to return to smalls to sign into the computers. I was a brand new hire and I was a helpful asset to the team and my work was never an issue the entire day. When the shift was over I was asked to stick around. I accepted that I would probably get written up for my attitude or talking back, I was prepared for this. But instead I was fired without warning, with my union rep in the room telling me it was about to happen.

Even though people in the building tried to convince the security manager to forget the whole ordeal and let it slide, he literally called outside of the building to follow through with making sure I was terminated. I did not receive a warning, it was my word against his, and I was fired for "off the clock harassment" I'm assuming because the clocks weren't up and running on the first day of operation but technically I was fired for off the clock harassment for cussing *in front of* a manager (not at) at the beginning of a full work day (but after the sort had already started).

Today, two weeks later, I was called back in to the center to be reinstated as long as I write a letter committing to behaving professionally and appropriately and sign an agreement to not receive back pay for the previous two weeks of missing work. So I had to do that in order to get my health insurance back so that I can get my prescriptions and blood test done and now there is a suspension on my record that can be used against me in the future? I feel like I should be in a position to make them quake in their boots, not make me feel threatened in my job. Now i'm scrambling to pay for my rent, car payment, car insurance, and they can't back pay me for two weeks of part time preload work? For dropping the friend-bomb? I feel like the union should have done a lot more for me. What do I do. what CAN I do (now that I've signed so I can get my job back)? I think I've forfeit my right to go to the panel with this but they told me that process would take 6-9 months and I'm still not guaranteed to be back paid for anytime at all let alone to be out of work and or insurance for the length of the process. I literally don't even have a copy or a link to the contract or handbook, so much of my stuff is displaced from moving across the country.

Termination without any warning or precedence for cussing at a unionized job in America. This place is really going to the dogs.
Did you try upping the the fiber intake?

th
 

clean hairy

Well-Known Member
Finally, if you find yourself starting to get into it with a person identifying themselves as a supervisor, ask them if the conversation could lead to discipline, and get a steward involved right then, not after the fact. A decent steward could have defused the situation, and put the supervisor in his place. If no steward was available, then the conversation is over.
Or if the employee requests, another employee can be brought in as a witness of the conversation.
However, you are right, the conversation is over if no stew is available.
 

Over disciplined0123

Well-Known Member
4) You are not required to pick up Over 70's by yourself. You can ask for help so you don't injure yourself.

5) Not receiving back pay during a termination is commonplace and will only be paid if the company was in the wrong.

6) You have video evidence of a supervisor working? You can be terminated for using your camera phone in ANY UPS facility.


Would you like me to go on ??????????????????????????????
 

zubenelgenubi

Living for Lunch Break
It seems that managers have way to much latitude to claim insubordination, harassment, and unproffesional conduct just because an employee hurts their feelings. No investigation, just straight to termination. When an employee claims harassment, the union has to get involved, and an investigation must be conducted. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. As in the case of the OP, it's too much of a disruption in a person's life for to be forced out of work for two weeks just because an overly sensitive manager with way too high of an opinion of themselves gets butt hurt over an employee not bowing down to worship them. That's the real issue here. At most this situation warranted a warning, the company didn't follow the rules for discipline, thus, they were wrong.
 

Mugarolla

Light 'em up!
No investigation, just straight to termination.

Welcome to the present day UPS. Terminate first, ask questions second.

Only in this case, they did an investigation. They asked the manager and the OP what was said. The OP did not deny it.

Yes, I know, he said he didn't swear "at" the manager, just swore in his presence.

Do we believe him?

But yes, too much leway as to what constitutes gross insubordination.

When an employee claims harassment, the union has to get involved, and an investigation must be conducted.

It does here, don't know why it does not where you are at.

it's too much of a disruption in a person's life for to be forced out of work for two weeks just because an overly sensitive manager with way too high of an opinion of themselves gets butt hurt over an employee not bowing down to worship them.

And UPS knows it. They use it to keep employees in line. Even in the rare instance that they have to pay backpay, they don't care.

Can you afford to lose a months pay?

At most this situation warranted a warning, the company didn't follow the rules for discipline, thus, they were wrong.

Were they?

What rules didn't they follow?

Why were they wrong?
 

zubenelgenubi

Living for Lunch Break
Only in this case, they did an investigation. They asked the manager and the OP what was said. The OP did not deny it.

But what the OP admitted to doesn't amount to a terminable offense, she was only fired because a security manager demanded it. He demanded it because he was offended that she didn't kowtow to him. And, in actuality, his actions escalated the situation, which in an of itself made him just as at fault in the situation as the OP. But the OP was the only one who suffered any damages. A supervisor should be held to a higher standard of conduct, and should have had the decency to recognize that an employee was in distress, and taken steps to calm the situation, not make it worse.

Where they?
I don't know what you mean.

What rules didn't they follow?

Why were they wrong?

Progressive discipline. Maybe it's not a requirement in that region.
 

HEFFERNAN

Huge Member
Welcome to the present day UPS. Terminate first, ask questions second.

Only in this case, they did an investigation. They asked the manager and the OP what was said. The OP did not deny it.

Yes, I know, he said he didn't swear "at" the manager, just swore in his presence.

Do we believe him?

But yes, too much leway as to what constitutes gross insubordination.



It does here, don't know why it does not where you are at.



And UPS knows it. They use it to keep employees in line. Even in the rare instance that they have to pay backpay, they don't care.

Can you afford to lose a months pay?



Were they?

What rules didn't they follow?

Why were they wrong?
But what the OP admitted to doesn't amount to a terminable offense, she was only fired because a security manager demanded it. He demanded it because he was offended that she didn't kowtow to him. And, in actuality, his actions escalated the situation, which in an of itself made him just as at fault in the situation as the OP. But the OP was the only one who suffered any damages. A supervisor should be held to a higher standard of conduct, and should have had the decency to recognize that an employee was in distress, and taken steps to calm the situation, not make it worse.


I don't know what you mean.



Progressive discipline. Maybe it's not a requirement in that region.

You both only heard one side of the story yet management was over the line ????
The OP's novella showed she has a lot to learn and admitted she went over the line. You don't just go on a tirade at work and not face consequences.
Do you think this OP would have learned her lesson with a written warning ?? Bet you 99% of the members here say no !!!!
If she wants that "free" healthcare, she'll start realizing quickly she can't do what she wants, like she did in Washington state.


BTW, swearing at management can be construed as creating a hostile work environment. Walking her out of the building is justifiable.
 

fedx

Extra Large Package
So here is my story. I started working for UPS in Washington state in October 2015. In August 2017 I make an educational transfer from Washington state to South Carolina. For the first month I was working in surepost and occasionally scanning in unload and helping with DAs machine misses a scan, which we all know is often) ..........
Termination without any warning or precedence for cussing at a unionized job in America. This place is really going to the dogs.

I read it all, but it took over an hour and I fell asleep twice. In fact, it was so long I forgot what it was about. Anyway, instead of actually swearing with friend bombs, say "frick" next time. I don't think you can get fired for that word since it's not an actual swear word. I personally don't like being around people that say the actual friend word. They sound like low lifes when they say it all the time. It sounds like you rubbed people the wrong way. Maybe it was because you were new there and they thought you acted like you ran the place. I would stay more under the radar this time around.
 

zubenelgenubi

Living for Lunch Break
You both only heard one side of the story yet management was over the line ???

I realize that we only got one side. With very few exceptions the responders on this thread were very quick to support the management side. Just thought I'd at least try to offer moral support to a fellow union member. I'm not wrong based on the information available, and I'm also drawing on my own experiences. I know not all managers are self-important dbags. But I faced a similar situation in which I was being disrespected by a manager, but I was the one who got a warning letter without so much as a chance to tell my side of the story. So I know some managers will pull stuff like that.

BTW, swearing at management can be construed as creating a hostile work environment. Walking her out of the building is justifiable.
Anything can be construed as a violation of the anti-harassment policy, even if it has to be made up. Just saying the work environment is hostile doesn't mean it is in fact. Legally hostile work environment protections are established for the employee. You would have to have a pretty air tight case to establish that an employee was creating a hostile work environment for a supervisor. Extenuating circumstances need to be considered. OP was frustrated about being moved around (work assignments should have already been set, which is a management failure), and needed to vent, nearby supervisor hears the venting and escalates the situation by being disrespectful towards the employee. Even if the OP is outright lying about the situation (why?) I hope that anyone who finds themselves facing a similar situation to the one described will be better prepared to handle it.
 

Mugarolla

Light 'em up!
But what the OP admitted to doesn't amount to a terminable offense,

Maybe UPS didn't believe her.

And maybe it can be construed as a terminal offense, depending on her attitude and demeaner.

I don't know what you mean.

Sorry, spell checker. Fixed it.

Were they at fault?

Progressive discipline. Maybe it's not a requirement in that region.

It is, but not everything follows progressive discipline. There are cardinal sins that are subject to immediate termination.

You both only heard one side of the story yet management was over the line ????

Where did I say that management was over the line?

I believe I asked what rule UPS actually violated.
 

zubenelgenubi

Living for Lunch Break
Maybe UPS didn't believe her.

And maybe it can be construed as a terminal offense, depending on her attitude and demeaner

Based on the information offered, I don't believe it should have been.

Sorry, spell checker. Fixed it.

Were they at fault?

I would argue that the supervisor was at fault for being disrespectful and intentionally escalating the situation. And the managers responsible for the discipline were at fault for not following progressive discipline.

It is, but not everything follows progressive discipline. There are cardinal sins that are subject to immediate terminatio

And I was arguing this shouldn't have fallen under that category.
 

Mugarolla

Light 'em up!
Based on the information offered, I don't believe it should have been.



I would argue that the supervisor was at fault for being disrespectful and intentionally escalating the situation. And the managers responsible for the discipline were at fault for not following progressive discipline.



And I was arguing this shouldn't have fallen under that category.

Not saying you are wrong, but there is always more to the story.

You would be a good Steward, if you are not already.

All good arguments trying to get discipline reduced or eliminated.
 

zubenelgenubi

Living for Lunch Break
Not saying you are wrong, but there is always more to the story.

You would be a good Steward, if you are not already.

All good arguments trying to get discipline reduced or eliminated.
Thank you. I try to not give out too many personal details, but I will say that I may be a steward. Yes, my thoughts on the matter could change if new facts came to light. If the OP wasn't being truthful, any advice given here would likely be useless for this situation. But it's a good mental exercise either way.
 
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