Trader Joe's fires employee who sought better Covid protections

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by wegs, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member


    How did this firing ''letter'' from corporate, make it past Legal/HR?

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    Not sure if there's more to the story...was this crew member written up before this occurrence? I'd imagine that there might be other events listed within the letter, if so.

    But, just based on the facts as part of the article, do you think that this TJ employee was wrongfully terminated?
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
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  3. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    why do you imagine that ?
    are you being hopeful that a brand would not be nasty ?
    putting "hope" concepts of behaviors into a non human entity that gives it the default right of facts
    this is what is called "bias"
    thus i am asking you

    what do you base your bias on ?

    quoting the article here

    "spurring calls to boycott the store and unionize workers."
    the person writing the article is blaming the employee when they are not presenting any proof

    playng both-sides-ism mnd games propaganda here placing the wording & construction
    note putting this sentence after ward
    ""trader joe's just fired me for sending this letter to the ceo, saying i don't share the company values."

    why ?
    because the la on contracts wold state "values" to be a tangible aspect of ideological belief equal to legal employment contracts defining "at their pleasure"
    while hiding the obvious massive flaw in contract law.
    what company would sign up to a contact that has a discretionary out where they can terminate the deal any time the other party wants at no loss or penalty ?

    this piece is more propaganda than news, however such propaganda can be combinations of conscious & subconscious bias & not outright deliberate propoganda.

    trader joes core customer base is right wing
    so they probably rely on trump supporters as their core customers

    the company needs to legally provide proof they are exceeding the CDC guidelines to maintain legal disclosure of fact for customer communication as a standards level
    unless they have deliberately hidden the comment inside staff only literature as a way to exploit un written rules on employees at their discretion.

    basic rule is
    good companys do not make public statements about employees

    trader joes news letter
    "Trader Joe's spokesperson Kenya Friend-Daniel said"

    digging in the propaganda games
    "In a February 26 incident report also shared by Bonnema on Twitter, Trader Joe's cited Bonnema's "suggestion" of a "3 strike policy" and "enforcing the same accommodation for every customer with a medical condition that precludes them from wearing a mask as "not in line with our core Values.""

    their customer base is shrinking
    they need customers from the other side of the political isle
    the 3 strikes idea if publicly advertised would be very bad business as it would extremafy & align the company to the justice system of 3 strike policy which has jailed thousands of people for minor crimes
    and in thus funding massive govt spending into private companys with very little in return
    not to mention massive amounts of false imprisonment claims

    is the question who deserves all the free money ?
    it should not be
    yet ... that is where the concept s being driven

    this says it all
    the company is saying they dont like his customer service style
    ""During his short tenure with Trader Joe's, this Crew Member's suggestions were listened to, and appropriately addressed," Friend-Daniel said. "Store leadership terminated this Crew Member's employment because of the disrespect he showed toward our customers. We have never, and would never, terminate a Crew Member's employment for raising safety concerns.""

    they employ people at their pleasure
    THAT is how the american employment legal frame work is based on a moral principal of capitalism

    underneath that
    the company is saying
    "we expect our staff to take a punch to the face from customers and not complain about"

    based on the fact they probably only pay minimum wage which means they are pushing a rough deal & probably sacking people as quickly as possible while keeping a paranoid work force to fuel the "need instead of greed" aspect of capitalist culture.

    facts are they can fire anyone they like under the clause of "values"
    and it would require significant money to challenge that in court,
    to which they would probably settle out of court.
    but the buy in is expensive
    and they would simply create any complaints they needed to try and win.
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I don't know what the local laws are but when you don't have a contract and work at will, you can generally be terminated at any time for any reason as long as it isn't an illegal reason. What is "illegal" of course depends on local laws.
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  7. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    there was a big shift in the employment law world in the usa where employing someone as an actor became quite widely accepted
    this allowed employers to simply fire employees for any reason.
    job security in the usa seems to be a HUGE issue which is not being helped by the partisan issue where litigation is the only option in a system that is not clearly defined
    the anti gay cake making thing was a clear flag waving event along with the court officer refusing to do their job by signing the marriage license for a gay couple.

    there appears to be not only a lot of church groups, political groups & think tanks working against job security but also concepts of civil social engineering at work attempting to maintain a lack of job security as a form of culture self identification in a liberal context.

    lack of job security in a capitalist country is a recipe for disaster
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Most jobs, especially lower paying ones, are "at will".

    I don't think you mean "actor". There are a lot of jobs that hire people as "independent contractors". There are also some jobs that are temporary just so that more benefits don't have to be given that are given for "permanent" or "full-time" workers.
  9. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    The facts of the article, as I read it, are that an employee sent a letter to a CEO, and was fired. There is no evidence in the report that the two are linked through cause/consquence. It might be that the employee was arrogant, obnoxious, and basically looking to cause problems, and not great with customers. That he sent a letter to the CEO regarding Covid security is perhaps a red-herring with regard his firing. Certainly the article doesn't show that the two are linked (the letter and the firing).
  10. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    The media may be leaving out those details but there’s nothing to suggest that this employee wasn’t fired for directly approaching TJ’s CEO with his concerns about the safety conditions in how TJ is handling Covid. That’s why it’s news. People get fired everyday - if this guy was in fact fired strictly for voicing his concerns about store safety in the midst of a pandemic, that’s wrong. Regardless if TJ has an “at will” policy, they shouldn’t be permitted to put their employees and customers in harm’s way and terminate employees who complain about it, imo.
  11. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    I think it should be considered illegal for a corporation private or otherwise, to put employees in harm’s way, and fire them if they complain about those conditions.
    rainbow - I don’t have any “bias.” I’m talking about how if there were other extenuating circumstances to the firing, the media would have reported it. So, my assumption is this firing was based on complaining about store safety in how TJ is handling Covid. That should be illegal and TJ shouldn’t be allowed to fire “at will,” because an employee disagrees.
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Based solely on the facts of the story, there is no evidence that the firing was because of the letter. There are two facts: he complained about the safety, and he was fired. Of course the papers and even the employee will want to connect them in a cause/effect relationship because they will both benefit from people making such a connection and being outraged about it.
    Note: I am not saying that he wasn't fired for that reason, only that there is nothing in the story to suggest that he was. People simply jump to that conclusion.
    You unfortunately even go further and make the assumption that simply because it is in the news means that the implied link must therefore be true ("That’s why it’s news") yet nothing in the report states that the firing was indeed the result of the letter, nor has the employee proven it to be the case.
    The news outlet, and the employee, are simply creating a perception of a causal chain to create headlines / outrage / readership/ sympathy, and make the employee our to be a victim, portraying him as the little-guy beaten on by Big Bad Company.
    But based on the story there is nothing to support that he was fired because of the letter he wrote.

    Of course, if the company did fire him as a result of the letter - that's terrible. But we can't judge what actually happened by judging only on what might have happened. And there is no evidence in the report that they did actually sack him as a result of the letter he wrote.
    Of course the company should not be putting their employees at risk over Covid (nor anything else), and there is no real evidence in the report that they are. But that is a separate matter to him being fired. It could be that they took his note seriously, but other things he'd done simply forced their hand.

    Put simply, I think you have been caught up in the sensationalism of the story, and are outraged at what might have happened as if it had actually happened (the inferrence that the story clearly wants people to make). Show me the evidence that demonstrates that it actually happened, and I'm sure I'd be as outraged.

    If you're only talking hypothetically: "Oh, if he has been fired for that reason, that's terrible!" then okay. But that's a far cry from "he has been fired for that reason (it's in the news as a suggested cause, so it must be true!) and therefore I'm outraged!"

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  13. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    So you feel it’s just a he said/they said scenario? I realize that this story is based on the employee’s opinion that he was fired because he stood up to corporate and voiced his concerns. Of course, corporate will offer their version of events and suggest that the employee was disrespectful to customers, asking them to wear their masks (properly). That’s part of the story but if the store has a policy that everyone who enters their stores, needs to be wearing masks, who is responsible for enforcing that? If you’re an employee and follow proper precautions, you should have the right to remind customers to wear their masks. Employees shouldn’t have to fetch a manager to remind customers - everyone’s lives are impacted by Covid so it becomes a matter of safety.

    Regardless of their position, any employee should be permitted to ask customers to wear masks. Frankly, they shouldn’t be allowed in the store. From reading further, it sounds like TJ is taking precautions to ensure the safety of employees and customers but there are always going to be customers who try to get away with whatever they can. If TJ doesn’t back up their employees, then their stance on Covid is for optics. If you don’t enforce mask wearing, then why say you care about employee and customer safety?

    The arrogant push back of the anti-mask crowd in the US, has been overwhelming and makes headlines every day. We may not know all the facts but of what we know so far, it seems the firing was tied to Covid safety precautions. If the employees are reminding customers to wear masks and corporate is taking the “side” of the anti-maskers, which is what can be assumed here, where does that leave employees?
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Yes. And I think you going on about what CoVid measures should/shouldn't be in place is not what the story is about. It is simply about why someone was fired: the employee claimed it was about raising concerns, the company says otherwise, that it was about his lack of sharing company values etc.
    I don't really disagree with any of this, but it's simply not what the story is about. It's only about whether he was sacked for raising concerns, or for the reasons the store states. If he was sacked for raising concerns, be outraged that he was sacked for such an act. If he wasn't, what's there to be outraged for?

    Going on about what store policy is or isn't, the whats, whens, and hows of their Covid safety measures, is irrelevant to this story - or at best an entirely separate debate about whether such measures are appropriate, sufficient, etc. But the specific measures they had (or don't have) at that store have nothing to do with whether or not he was sacked for raising concerns.

    And there is nothing in the report that confirms one way or the other on that matter. As you put it, it is a case of he said/they said. It could simply be a case of sour grapes on the part of the employee. "Boo hoo! I was sacked, so how can I make them look bad? Oh, I know, I wrote a letter to the CEO raising safety concerns! Now they've sacked someone who raised concerns!"
    But unless we know all the details (which we don't) we can't come to such conclusions.

    Edit: actually, I do disagree with some of what you say in the bit I snipped...
    There is no reason to assume that that is what the company were doing. How do you know that the employee wasn't simply abusive to customers that refused? There are ways and means of doing things and maybe he crossed the line too often in how he dealt with customers.
    No, assuming that the store is taking the "side" of the anti-maskers is not warranted - not without facts that we don't have from this report.
  15. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    If you read other articles now trending, he seemed to be an excellent employee, praised in a review last summer for his customer service. We will see what comes of this but it seems to point towards he was disrespectful to customers who weren’t wearing masks or wearing them properly. TJ should take those allegations (that there are customers refusing to wear masks) seriously. If that proves to be true, then TJ would be at fault for firing a concerned employee who seems to want better precautions for employees. Sounds like they don’t permit employees to keep anti-maskers from entering the store. I hear you in that we don’t have all the facts but it seems like TJ is in the wrong from what I’ve read so far.
  16. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    do you keep up with employment law & civil rights laws ?
    (doesn't sound like it)
    there was a massive shift in USA hiring policy by businesses some years back where they changed the employment status of employees to become "actors or models"
    this allowed the usa company's to dictate sexual & gender based concepts of clothing & behavior
    the fact you do not know this clearly shows your not up with the modern situation

    "at will" at his pleasure" (irony its male only "his") did they change the wording so a female president can hire "at her pleasure" ?

    i cant be bothered re-doing all the back logging to educate you on something you can easily locate yourself.
    unless your spinning propaganda in which case we shall see by your next response to my post.

    (i may change my mind later when i have time again & start digging in the internet for human resources links and legal issues around the change in employment law and social shift & business shift just to see if the stuff has been deliberately buried by some company)
    moving along
    evidence versus
    i think you may have confused the 2
    facts are always subjective by the nature of the issue being in contention to have an unknown present value
    so evidence true or false becomes a fact
    what evidence we have is the public statement by the trader Joes' PR manager
    her public statement is an admission of intent & purpose
    regardless of any previous facts or evidence
    her statement becomes fact AND evidence
    so there is no need to look for any other evidence & her statement is her own defined company fact.

    now the only question is
    how much will trader joes settle for out of court
    and how much will the lawyer demand a cut of from that settlement
    i doubt trader joes want to be embroiled and branded with a case of employment law that runs al the way to the supreme court
    the implications of the companys statement is evidence & fact
    the company PR women has sunk the company position by making the public statement.
    foolish attempt at some type of ego(company management) position instead of a customer 1st position.

    i will respond to the other posts later i need to go to work & earn some money to pay the bills(i like my job but the money is complete bullshit)

    1st link i found that vaguely touches it
    i have not read it
    i will read it when i finish work
    but thought you might like to comment on it
  17. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    how it could roll
    employee hired because they obviousely match trader joes values
    covid19... stress... customer stress on employee
    failur of company to put in place proper assistance for thier employees suffering stress
    employee writes letter to ceo because they are stressed and not getting employer on the job support
    employer tries to covr it all up by sacking employee instead of paying for proper employee assistance and risking work place investigation

    company use word |values" but fail to define what values are
    employer consequently has failed to train and assist and re educate employees values to the company values
    no system is in place
    so this is a sudden move that shows no assignment of values being practiced by the company to train the employee into.

    company fails to address employees under pandemic stress
    no due process or training, or re-training process
    company statement public humiliation emotional damages

    * damaged his ability to gain future employment
    * emotional damages
    * failure to recognize & manage employee on the job stress
    * un justified dismissal

    money money money

    company is found liable
    PR women is culpable
    employee can sue for emotional harm and lost wages

    company must now put in place proper on job employee support system and show they have a re-training process in place

    and everyone home for dinner
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I'm "guessing" that there may be more to this story. I've worked at enough different places to know that sometimes there is an employee who is just "trouble". Maybe that's the case here and maybe it isn't.

    Maybe conditions at TJ are worse than elsewhere and maybe they aren't. Maybe TJ will be sued and maybe they will lose (or not). An employee at will doesn't have a lot of say so when they are let go...generally speaking. No one likes to be let go.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Why don't you provide a link to the claim that a major shift resulted in mass numbers of people being categorized as actors and models just for the reasons you mentioned?

    Your rant about "at will" is just that.
  20. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Agree. We don't know, what we don't know...

    Suppose it turns out that the guy was fired because he simply wanted additional Covid safety precautions in place - do you think that is unfair on the part of TJ? (despite being an ''at will'' employee)
  21. Seattle Valued Senior Member

  22. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    none of my questions answered ...
  23. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    I have not confused the two, but if you really want to get into the semantics of what a fact is, please take it to the linguistics thread.

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