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Capitalism ruins livesWarning... this is a long post wrought with misgivings and personal information. It has been over a year in the making and I removed the names so it may be a little hard to read... I want to get this out there though and let everyone know that #UPSruinslives -
I began working at UPS as a loader in 2007 and from the beginning knew that it wasn’t a job, it was a career. I was promoted to a driver in 2008 and served the company well in all aspects of the service provider position. On October 30, 2014 , as peak season approached, I was injured on the job as I delivered in the downtown Everett area. I called my on-car supervisor and reported the incident and was asked by him to finish the route if I could and to report to him at the end of the day. I reported the discomfort and was told to ice/rest and to call the center in the morning. I called the center 10/31/14 to inform the supervisor that my knee was too swollen to work and I was granted the day off and simply told to report again Monday. The swelling and pain led me to go to US Healthworks Saturday 11/1/2014 to get my left knee checked. The examination was completed, then Dr. friend and I filled out the proper paperwork. I reported to work Monday November 3, 2014 and presented the L&I paperwork to the center manager. The center manager was furious and demanded that I return to the clinic and have the paperwork withdrawn. The manager went as far as to have a district-level safety manager call me to get me to withdraw the claim. I had also recently considered going into full-time management and was told that having an injury on my record would not look good when it came to a promotion. I agreed to not further seek treatment for that injury and that is when I believe I tore my ACL in my left knee.
I worked for the next six months as a driver in Everett with the assistance of knee braces, ice, ibuprofen, sick days, option days and a high pain tolerance until I was promoted to on-car supervisor in May of 2015. The position of on-car supervisor was much more well-tailored to my declining knee health, however, the degeneration caused by the initial injury caused instability and pain that have been a part of my life since.
I have been to the Emergency room four times because of my knee, had surgery and still performed all of my job functions to the best of my ability.
My first assignment was the Burlington center. The declining health of my knee was a well-communicated issue among the work group. The time commitment of the supervisor position, the physical nature of the job, and four harassment/policy violation reports to HR about two different center managers made the first two years my supervisor job trying on myself, my family.
Approximately 15:00 on 8/24/2017 I received a call at the center from a HR representative with Watcom county in regards to an employee referral for ST. I agreed to participate and answered all questions truthfully and professionally.
At 15:30 on 8/25/2017 I received a phone call from ST on my cell phone. Ms. T was extremely agitated and stated that because of my answers to reference questions for a job with Watcom county she did not get the position. Ms. T was belligerent and yelled many profanities at me. Ms. T also called me an "", contending that I am so forthcoming to help others and that it was "ing ridiculous" that I would give a reference that would disqualify her for the position with Watcom county. Ms. T said that I “ruined her life” and declined my many requests to calm down and allow me to explain what I said to the Watcom county official, continuing to berate me with profane language and eventually hanging up on me. Ms. T then texted immediately at 15:32 stating that "you can finish the rest of my day". I then notified my immediate manager DP. This altercation has affected me emotionally and has put me in a position of feeling psychologically and physically threatened. Ms. T verbally and psychologically attacked me, saying something to the effect that I better hope she doesn’t see me. Ms. T’s conduct was unprofessional, unwarranted and abusive.
Approximately 16:00 I received a call from DB from UPS HR and was asked to give my account of the event and was cut short of completing my statement because she was receiving a call from Ms. T. Approximately 16:15 I called Watcom county to inquire about their reference process and notification procedure and was given very little information as to how or why Ms. T was notified that my reference was the reason she did not get the position and the details of my reference answers.
Approximately 16:30 (as I sat in my car outside the center) I received a call from DB stating that I should refrain from coming in contact with Ms. T. I was scheduled to be on vacation the next week and notified the HR representative and the center management that I would be ready to speak to this event when I returned.
On September 7, 2017 I returned to the Burlington center and spoke with my partner CR about the events during my absence. He told me that while I was gone two HR representatives had been in the previous week to speak with Ms. T. CR was not given any instructions from management or HR as to rules of engagement for myself and Ms. T. Ms. T refused to come to work that day and the day after, leaving me to cover her work.
The next week the center management team decided that because of the lack of information from HR that it would be best to keep Ms. T and myself apart. The center manager was on vacation and I was given the task of reporting to the division manager. This task was difficult given the fact that I was working under the impression that Ms. T and I would have no communication. I reached out to HR during that week and was not given any information as to what to do. I was asked at some point if I would like to close my complaint against Ms. T and I did. As the weeks went by it was difficult to perform my duties and exist in the awkwardness of my relationships with my partners and employees.
Finally, on 10/16/2017 I decided to head the advise of my direct report, his boss and HR and resume my duties, putting myself in direct contact with Ms. T. That day I stayed in my office when Ms. T reported to work and there was another hourly employee in the outer office area. Ms. T got on the phone at approximately 11:30 with an unknown party and was speaking about my presence and that she believed there to be an agreement preventing our encounter. She then made three more phone calls within earshot of myself and the other hourly employee within that same vein, speaking about me without mentioning my name.
10/20/2017 I reported to work at 06:00. My center manager arrived at around 07:00 and notified me that it would be my last day in Burlington as I was being transferred to Redmond. I asked the center manager DP if this transfer had anything to do with the HR complaint and he indicated that was indeed the case even though no one would admit it.
I reported to the Canyon Park center at 07:00 10/23/2017. The Canyon Park center manager, JB, took no time to brief me as to my responsibilities or introduce me to the driver group I was to be responsible for. I returned that evening and presented my paperwork to Ms. B. Ms. B proceeded to review the forms line-by-line, admonishing my work and making it clear that it was unacceptable. I left that evening at 20:00.
On 10/24/2017 I had the day off to have a medical procedure. That day I contacted my HR representative to inform him of the difficulties of my transition (longer commute and previous difficulties in dealing with Ms. B and the opinion that I had of the circumstances of my transfer. I also shared the tone and content of the previous nights conversation with Ms. B. The HR representative informed me that I was merely “rotated” and that my transfer has nothing to do with the HR complaint and that I was expected to continue to report to the Canyon Park center.
10/26/2017 I called in sick as was the case 10/27/2017. I contacted HR 10/30/2017 and requested time off to deal with my medical issues after suffering chest pains and severe/chronic pain in my left knee. My leave of absence lasted 3 month and included a knee surgery in which my previously torn ACL and meniscus was removed from my left knee. I checked in weekly with my HR representative as to my status. Many of my calls to HR were not returned as I tried my best to communicate with them. In two of my communications with HR I requested to be put in a different center because of my previous interaction with Ms. B or a move to another business unit. I was told by HR that I must return to my previous assignment.
2/12/2018 I reported to the Canyon Park center at 07:00 as instructed by HR. I met with Ms. B shortly after arriving. In our meeting I informed Ms. B of my condition and circumstances of my leave and she informed me that both herself and TY were “extremely disappointed” in my lack of communication with them. Also, during that meeting I expressed interest in exploring other positions within UPS that have fewer physical requirements because of the affects of my surgery. Ms. B made it clear that neither her, or Mr. Y would support me. Ms. B also informed me that Mr. Ysent her “problem people” and that I was in need of structure and discipline. Our meeting concluded and I was given my work assignment for the day. I attempted to complete my tasks but found it nearly impossible because all of my UPS contact information (ADID and RacF)had been deleted as of 1/29/2018. I was again admonished by Ms. B later for not completing my tasks in the order they were given to me and she offered no help to reinstate my contact information. I called the HR representative that I had been working with and left another unreturned message.
2/13/2018 I reported to the Canyon Park center at 07:00 and was given my tasks for the day. I completed my tasks and turned my work into Ms. B at approximately 16:00. Ms. B informed me that my work was completely unacceptable and started into a tirade the included asking me if I was an adult, saying that my ego needed to be put in check, that my sense of entitlement was ridiculous and that she wondered what my parents were like to fill my head with such things that would lead me to believe that I was owed anything. Ms. B also reiterated the fact that Mr. Y sent me to her center because I was a problem that needed to be fixed. She then instructed me to stay with another supervisor to learn the Center’s PM routine. I worked as instructed and left the center at 20:00.
02/14/18 I reported to work at 07:00. I was given my daily tasks at the 07:45 meeting. I left the center, completed my tasks and turned my paperwork into Ms. B at the end of the day. Ms. B glanced over the three observation forms and proceeded to emphatically admonish me once again behind closed doors. She indicated at that point that she really did not understand how I have been allowed to turn such work into previous management and that I had better step it up. She indicated that I was to correct the paperwork and return it to her.
2/16/2018 I reported to the Canyon Park center at 07:00. I was given my task for the day in the morning meeting and left the office. Shortly after leaving I engaged in a conversation with an employee of a personal nature. Ms. B overheard our conversation and called me into her office. She proceeded to demand that I engage in no such conversation with that particular employee and explained that he was someone that cannot be trusted. I tried to communicate the reason and intent of the conversation to Ms. B and she became belligerent, telling me that she expected things to be done her way and that I could either conform willfully or by her force.
2/19/2018 I reported to the Canyon Park center. I was given my tasks for the day in the morning meeting and went on-road with a pre-seniority driver. As the driver and I reviewed the training paperwork she indicated that she wanted to resign. Ms. B was in her office so I sent the employee in to speak with her. Immediately after the employee left Ms. B’s office I was called in and asked to close the door. Ms. B indicated that she was extremely disappointed that I had not given her any warning to the fact that the employee was going to resign and that I had better figure things out because she did not have time to “baby” me. Ms. B also said that she had done some calling around to other managers about me and that she had come to the conclusion that I was “sloppy” and that I had made several promises to people that were left unfulfilled. Ms. B continued to speak sharply and in a degrading tone for approximately 30 minutes, indicating that I must “grow up” and take control of my feelings of betrayal by management and HR. Ms. B said that she did not have time to coddle me and that she expected that I change or my situation would continue to get more difficult. I left the Canyon Park center that evening at 20:00.
I then called and left a message for IC (Director, Employee Relations
EDR, MNUS, Concerns Line Administrator) 2/13/2018 at 14:37. Ms. C called me back at 10:10 2/14/2018. Ms. C asked me to email her the notes I had in regards to my complaint. I sent the email as requested at 11:15 on 2/14/2018. On 2/15/2018 I also submitted my notes through the EDR as outlined by Ms. C. On 2/16/2018 at 05:55.
At 20:55 on Sunday 2/18/2018 I received an email from LC
(Region Employee Relations Manager) stating that my concern was in her receipt. At 06:46 Monday 2/19/2018 I emailed Ms. C stating again, “The detrimental effect that my current assignment has on my psychological and physical being is unacceptable to me and my family.” Ms. C emailed me at 13:44 on 2/19/2018 stating that I “should be hearing from” DJ that day. After having no communication with Ms. J as indicated by Ms. C, I again emailed Ms. C at 23:22 on 2/19/2018 stating, “I am having a tremendously difficult time making sense of why I am expected to continue to report to a workplace that I have found to be intimidating, hostile and offensive. It is UPS’s duty to prevent these workplace conditions.”
It was not until 18:51 on 2/20/2018 that Ms. J emailed me stating, “Good Evening David, I apologize for not calling you today. I am just getting to a point of returning calls and responding to emails for today, but I didn’t know if it was too late to reach out. I wanted to provide you with my contact information so that you can reach out at a good time. I am available to speak with you this evening or anytime tomorrow. Please call my cell phone as I am in Seattle this week covering for JG who is on vacation. You can also text me and let me know when you are planning to call. I look forward to speaking with you.” I then emailed Ms. J the following at 22:03 on 2/20/2028, “Good Evening D, I was under the impression that I would be contacted yesterday. Today would have worked well, as I did not leave the Redmond facility until after 19:00. I will not be available this evening as I am not feeling well and I have put in two twelve hour work days already this week . I report to the Redmond facility at 07:00 tomorrow, 02/21/2018. I will be available before then or after 09:30. Please let me know what time is good for me to call you. Thank you for your time.” At 22:34 on 2/20/2018 Ms. J emailed me apologizing again and asking me to make myself available at 10:00 2/21/2018 for a phone call with her. At 05:58 on 2/22/2018 I emailed Ms. J and confirmed I would be available for the phone call at 10:00. In my communication with Ms. J I again stressed the urgency of my situation and the effects it has been having on me psychologically and physically. Ms. J indicated several times that her schedule was very full, but that my case would be given the proper attention and that I would hear back from her that evening with an update. The update call never came .
On 2/22/2018 I had experience extreme discomfort in my chest and upper abdomen on the way to work. I reported to the Redmond facility, notified my superiors of my condition and proceeded to the Swedish Medical Center Emergency Room. Following my admission, treatment and release I again emailed Ms. C the following, “LC,
As I write this I am at home resting after suffering an anxiety attack this morning at 06:30 on my way into work. I notified the Issaquah center manager, KH at 07:10 that I had been experiencing chest pain and nausea. Mr. H and I went to Mr. Y and I then went on my own to notify Ms. B. Ms. B listened to my expectation of symptoms and very rudely asked “why did you not get seen yesterday?”. I left the Canyon Park center at 7:25 and checked in to the Swedish Medical Center Emergency room my heart rate was elevated and my blood pressure was high. I was given an EKG test, a chest X-ray and IV fluids. The diagnosis upon my discharge was “chest pain/stress reaction” and I left with instructions to follow up with my primary physician and make a counseling appointment as soon as possible. I arrived home at 11:00 and made an appointment to see my primary doctor Monday 2/26/2018 and was able to secure an appointment to see the counselor at 14:00 today. I went to the counselor at 14:00 and was at that appointment for an hour. I texted Ms. C at 15:08 2/22/2018 and stated that I would be able to speak any time after 16:00. Ms. C called me at 18:43 and she offered to contact me at or around 08:30 on 2/23/2018 to which I agreed to. Ms. C called me at 08:43 and our conversation last about one hour. She asked questions about my claim and offered to have other HR management call me in regards to some questions I had. I was contacted three more times that day, by Ms. C once and an occupational specialist twice. Each of those calls lasting no more than 5-10 minutes.
AJN contacted me at 12:45 on 2/27/2018 from the district HR office and asked questions about my absence and what my plans were moving forward. I asked if Mr. N knew that I was in contact with Ms. C and he indicated that he knew but that he still needed information to pass on to the center team. Ms. C contacted me at 18:30. We spoke briefly and I shared my concern with her of this process not moving at an acceptable pace. Ms. C said that she would be in contact with me by the end of the day 2/28/2018 and that it would be a call involving AJN.
Ms. C contacted me at 07:21 on 3/3/2018 and apologized for the lack of communication and indicated that I would receive a call from her and AJN by the end of the day or Monday. At 16:00 on 3/3/2017 I was contacted by Ms. C and Mr. N. The call was of a inquisitive nature, gathering of information and establishment of communication expectations. Ms. C said that they would be in contact with me again by the end of next week.
AJN, district HR manager, contacted me 3/8/2018 at 16:40. Mr. N indicated that he had been in contact with Mrs. C and that the investigation was still ongoing. Mr. N indicated that he had interviewed two people thus far and that someone would contact me when a resolution had been decided.
AJN contacted me at 10:47 on 3/26/2017. Mr. N stated that a determination had been made that supported my claims of a hostile work environment. Mr. N stated that corrective action had been taken but was unwilling to disclose the full details.
I returned to UPS in May of 2018 to serve in the Issaquah center in Redmond. After the events of the previous nine months had left me with a damaged knee, anxiety and depression, I looked forward to putting my best effort forward to serve to the best of my abilities. My attendance, performance and execution with the Issaquah center was certainly most satisfactory. My declining knee health and pain was a well communicated issue with my center Manager KH, district manager JH, and HR manager AJN. I endured many days of physical activity above and beyond what I communicated being comfortable performing because of my limitations with my knee. I spoke countless times with upper management about duties more suitable for the pain and discomfort I was enduring. I suffered through extreme limping that affected other parts of my leg and continued to stretch the physical limitations of my damaged knee to the point of collapsing in the presence of employees. Furthermore, I went to the Emergency Room 05/31/2017 due to pain from excessive physical activity at work, I received a cortisone injection 06/04/2018, visited an orthopedic surgeon on 7/31/2018 and again on 8/16/2018.The final visit to Dr. R on determined that I would explore knee replacement with Dr. friend. My knee issues, pain, pending replacement, and scheduling was well communicated between myself, upper management and HR. I communicated that I would continue to serve in all aspects of my job duties as long physically possible.
At my appointment on with Dr. friend my left knee replacement surgery was scheduled for October 29, 2018. I reviewed the information with upper management and HR. On August 13, 2018 I reviewed the information with the division manager JH. On August 20, 2018 I was transferred to the Everett center. The physical demands in the new assignment increased due to understaffing in management and operational demand. I communicated several times my concern about the pain and over exertion of my left knee with my center management team. I missed two days of work due to pain and over exertion and used a cane to get around on more than one occasion.
The first three weeks of September 2018 were exceptionally physically tasking and I felt that the pain was to a point that I would once again seek an appointment to discuss pain management until surgery. I sought a remedy September 26, 2018 through my surgeon’s office, but was told that ibuprofen, Tylenol, ice and rest were my only option being so close to surgery day. I stayed home September 27, 2018 due to the pain in my knee. September 28, 2018 I notified my management team and division manager JH that as of October 1, 2018 I would no longer be able to go on-car and perform duties in training or delivering. I offered to serve in a more administrative role until my surgery date or obtain proper documentation to start my short term disability. Mr. H indicated that he would get back to me as soon as he spoke with his boss.
October 5, 2018 I had scheduled a FMLA day to take care of medical appointments. At the urging of another supervisor I contacted the division manager, JH at 14:27 and he requested I report to the Everett center immediately. I arrived at the Everett center shortly after 15:00 and was met by Mr. H, two members of UPS security and AJN by phone. Mr. H started the meeting and turned it over to the HR manager, Mr. N. Mr. N informed me that I was being terminated because of policy violations in August of 2017 and another in September of 2018. I left the meeting abruptly due to emotions and confusion of the allegations. It is quite clear to me that because of my past HR complaints and physical inability to perform all of my essential job duties, I was discriminated against and terminated from UPS one week after I told them I couldn’t go on-road any more and three weeks from knee replacement surgery that would put me with physical restrictions through peak season they decide to terminate me. I am literally unable to get any financial compensation until after recovery and I have to pay COBRA just to pay for the recovery. I was on a FMLA scheduled day off the day I was fired I was sick and the offboarding process policy was also violated and took more than 36 hours after I was terminated.