Any ideas how to document discrimination or how to classify.

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Latest post Wed, Nov 7 2012 10:11 AM by Drew. 3 replies.
  • Tue, Nov 6 2012 3:50 PM

    • Suzen001
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Tue, Nov 6 2012
    • FL
    • Posts 1

    Any ideas how to document discrimination or how to classify.

    Hello All, Just to give a brief run down on the situation.  My husband started to work as an Irrigation Technician for a large company in Florida back at the end of March 2012.  He has been working in Irrigation and Landscape supervisor positions for around 16 years.  He is a hispanic born to American (mother) and Venezuelan (father), and has been a citizen since birth.  Upon taking this recent job, he was told with all his experience as a supervisor in the field, plus past management jobs, he would be a irrigation technician at this point but they saw him as future management and supervisor material.  The compay planned on expanding and had a new irrigation company they were purchasing, and bids were on the table.  The manager specifically said he would like to see my husband as its supervisor in the future. In order for my husband to start working ASAP they made him a generous offer on pay and he started immediately. 

    Upon his first weeks in the field he was the ONLY Irrigation technicians bringing in new sales to the company and had rave reviews from the owner and manager.  I would see emails passed daily commending him on his good work, clients who praised and bringing in new sales.  This went on for months on end, all while one of the other technicians were asking him "WHY he bothers to help expand business". He thought my husband was working way to hard.  Plus the company had my husband working alot of overtime and long days. 

    However, as time went on, the company purchased a couple of small businesses and became tight with money spent.  One day around a month and a half ago my husband was told not to go into the Friday morning meetings with everyone else.  He started to feel left out and did not know what was going on in the company.  During his ousting he found out that the company had offered employees incentives for bringing in new workers and clients, obviously my husband was excluded from any of these benefits. 

    Then one month ago, they COMPLETELY took my husband off of irrigation, without any explaination.  When he would call to the managers they avoided talking to him and would walk by.  They began to send him out on pure labor jobs such as laying sod (alone), digging up weeds and loading and unloading heavy barrels of dirt and old grass (alone), running around being the filler for all other departments when people call into work.  From one day to the next he does not know where he is, and all his original irrigation rights and duties were given to a new worker they hired, who is a white man and paid less.  When asked the manager said it was only business, and my husband said "well I feel like I no longer have a home", with this simple remark the manager yelled at him that "THIS is your home and you do what we say".  The other manager now calls my husband "Consuela" and his last name "Rodriguezzzzzzz" using a mexican accent.  Someone told my husband they are trying to get him to walk out so the company does not have to pay unemployment.  They now want only cheap labor since the company has spent so much accumulating small businesses.  Then another manager was told how much my husband is paid and when my husband asked, "What do you need me to do today", that manager said, "Does it really matter, you make more than me anyways".  It seems as if people are holding that against him, plus the main manager said, "If you take a large pay cut I will let you work Irrigation again."

    Now to add insult to injury the irrigation worker who questioned my husband, "Why would you work so hard for this company and WHY do you try to help make this company money", has been offered the supervisor position in the irrigation department, which originally my husband had been told, when opened he would receive it.  This is a bit funny because there is another worker who has been with the company for 4 years (mexican w/ citizenship) and he too was over looked for the white man. 

    I am not sure what rights my husband has.  He just does odd chores all over town, like today he was cleaning the trash out of the office. 

    Does this show any form of discrimination?  If so how would you prove it?  It seems like the 2 main managers are doing this manipulation and then the one already went into HR and told her to remove my husband from Irrigation and put him onto the "Pest Control" crew (but he still works everywhere, not just pest control). 

    Please help, I am being witness to such unfair tactics and cruel remarks.  My husband doesn't say anything in fear of losing his job.  He feels he has no rights or security.

  • Tue, Nov 6 2012 4:09 PM In reply to

    Re: Any ideas how to document discrimination or how to classify.

    What folks will say in interview-hiring process doesn't mean that if it doesn't come to pass, that it's because of unlawful discrimination.  Just saying (not clear how many places you and your husband have worked at over the years, but it's best to think of employers trying to hire folks to used car salesmen trying to sell cars).

    "... all while one of the other technicians were asking him "WHY he bothers to help expand business"."

    It would be an awfully naive person not to recognize jealousy and/or disgruntled coworkers here that don't want someone raising the bar on performance vs. unlawful discrimination/harassment.

    "... as time went on, the company purchased a couple of small businesses and became tight with money spent. One day around a month and a half ago my husband was told not to go into the Friday morning meetings with everyone else."

    If they wanted him to work on other things and are economizing on overtime, it is what it is.  The company offering incentives to other people who you seem to imply don't work as hard as he does makes sense, no?  He's putting in X effort without promise of more than his pay; they possibly weren't.

    It also may be that the other coworkers were griping about his stellar behavior to the point where company didn't want to hear it anymore and decided to take the illogical step of easing your husband out rather than deal with the underlying problems that are their fault.

    "From one day to the next he does not know where he is, and all his original irrigation rights and duties were given to a new worker they hired, who is a white man and paid less."

    The "paid less" kinds makes sense, no?  So why the knee-jerk presumption that race/ethnicity has anything to do with this?

    Humans in general when called on the obvious truth, esp. managers that aren't suited for human resources, get defensive.  Thus, yelling is a silly, but logical reaction to being called on nonsense.

    This "other manager" now being petty and mean and deciding to call your husband Consuela ought to be reported to higher-ups and say that your husband doesn't appreciate this petty behavior ... and, oh, by the way, it can be construed as unlawful harassment.  (I presume your husband has politely asked him to knock it off to no effect.)

    "Someone told my husband they are trying to get him to walk out so the company does not have to pay unemployment."

    Maybe so, but given the employer doesn't "pay unemployment" but only a percentage of tax on payroll amount, I'm not sure I'd listen to that person.

    "They now want only cheap labor since the company has spent so much accumulating small businesses."

    They are free to lower anyone's wage as they please, so long as they pay min. wage.

    Resentment for your husband making more than someone else isn't unlawful.  A manager with power to lower or raise wages is stupid if they think your husband has to "accept" working for less.  The employer is free to change wages, and if the worker doesn't like it, they may seek life elsewhere.

    Unfortunately, suck-ups and mediocre workers can manage to get ahead.  Surely this is just reality.  It may be that this person is a suck-up or a personal friend of a manager.

    "I am not sure what rights my husband has.:"

    Plenty, but you need to be more specific.

    In your post, I'm not seeing a pattern/thread of them treating him badly because of his ethnicity; I only see that one untoward manager saying things because he's resentful of X or taking something out on your husband (and your husband's free to ask the employer to tell him to knock off with "Consuela" and, if he won't, to file a complaint with the EEOC and state equivalent).

    No at-will employee has any job security regardless.  If your husband can't abide the situation and can't seem to find a way to work it out with upper management, then he ought to start looking for a place that appreciates him.

  • Tue, Nov 6 2012 5:15 PM In reply to

    Re: Any ideas how to document discrimination or how to classify.

    I'm afraid I have to agree with Chancey1.

    Other than the name thing, I don't see any illegal discrimination there.

    Your husband is the victim of the economics of business. When a business is run on a shoestring it does what it can to get rid of high paid employees when low paid employees can do the same job.

    Unless your husband has a recording of the disparaging remarks I doubt that an EEOC complaint will get him anything but more misery.

    It's time for him to start looking for another job.

    And, by the way, any time an employer offers a job based on how great the "potential" is, don't believe it.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Wed, Nov 7 2012 10:11 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 49,650

    Re: Any ideas how to document discrimination or how to classify.

    I agree-- in part --management is free to make lousy decisions, to reward mediocracy, and to cut costs in nonproductive ways and for that matter to assign folks who work harder than the norm to menial tasks and other foolish things--nothing illegal about poor management. Nothing improper about seeking cheaper labor

    I don't see ethnicity as being his basis for poor treatment  --its not uncommon that harder workers or producers get sabotaged ---However I have seen were a handful of ethnic  comments from a manager have killed the management side  IF discrimination case arises ---big time.  Example : Black female boss made several comments about too many white guys around here  --management paid big time for that.  Example White male boss made several comments about  no Black would get ahead of his level while he had anything to say  --management  paid big time for those loose lips.

    Me, I'd keep careful written records someplace safe off site  of each such name slur by a boss and each meeting I was excluded from.   May or may not be useful downstream.

    Time to seek better options elsewhere?  Vote with his feet when he gets better slot lined up elsewhere.

    Do not get huffy and 'quit"--that's fatal to UC issues.



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