Trader Joe's fires employee who sought better Covid protections

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

  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Of course, other articles, other reports, will add details. My position was with regard the story as written in your link. And needless to say, IF they sacked him for raising concerns then it doesn't look good for them.
     
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  3. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I hear you. What intrigues me about this story is that many companies promote their employees, regardless of their role in the company, to speak their minds. Then, when they do, it's often met with opposition. Of course, we don't know if that is the case here, or if there are other possibly ''unmentioned'' circumstances that we'll learn later. But, if that's the case, it shines the light on that many companies say one thing, but do another.

    Time will tell...
     
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Why do you assume the PR person is a woman?
    You still haven't provided a link to the mass labeling of employees as "actors or models".
     
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    No. The statement from Trader Joe's was that "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." If that is indeed true, then it's not a wrongful termination.
     
  8. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Do you believe that is the full story?

    If you read additional articles, he was considered an excellent employee and it sounds like he asked customers to wear masks, and customers complained that he was being disrespectful. It’s wrong imo to put employees in harm’s way and not back them up when they take it upon themselves to speak out. Obviously there are gracious ways to gently remind (do they need reminding, seriously?) customers to wear their masks but if customers were roaming around the store maskless, employees shouldn’t have to tolerate that. I have a job where I work from home but my heart goes out to grocery store workers etc who have to put up with the obnoxious anti-mask crowd.

    That said, don’t know if there are other incidents and management gave him opportunities to correct his behavior. Interesting how some of you immediately take the corporation’s side as if this guy is totally fabricating what happened. Yea, because CEO’s never ever lie. lol
     
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Does it seem reasonable, on it's face, for TJ to terminate a good employee who just wrote a respectful letter to headquarters asking about Covid protocols and preventative protection measures?
     
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know. You asked "based on the facts of the article" and the employee in question never denied he was being disrespectful in the article. So just based on the article I'd say it was justified.

    There may of course be more to it than that, but that would be from a source outside the article.
    Here's how to do that right:

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/28/us/starbucks-barista-mask-amber-lynn-gilles-trnd/index.html

    Is that how he did it? Did he say "please put your mask on" and leave it at that? Did he tell the customer that and then follow him/her around the store harassing them? Did he say "PUT YOUR F*CKING MASK ON NOW!" Those would all precipitate different reactions from customers (and management.)
     
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    It also looks like the customer in question had the mask on but it was not "over the nose" which I take to mean that it was covering the mouth.
     
  12. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    No but I don’t believe that is the full story. Does it seem reasonable to tweet that you’ve been fired for asking your company to increase safety precautions to further protect employees, if in fact you know you weren’t fired for that reason? Chain retailers and grocery stores have a lot to lose if someone blows the whistle on them for violating Covid precautions and/or not protecting their employees, so much so...I can totally see them firing an employee for shining the light on them. Happens every day. Companies don’t like whistle blowers.
     
  13. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Why assume that? He was praised for excellent customer service in reviews ...even during Covid. He all of a sudden...snaps? More than likely the customer was the rude one. This is why stores should be vigilant about not allowing anyone in the store who refuses to wear a mask. It was reported that TJ allows customers to shop without a mask. Are we shocked that corporate America cares more about profits than its employees?

    I’m channeling Rainbow.

    I’m not advocating being rude to customers but they shouldn’t be in there without a mask. It’s really not that hard to enforce that rule - all of the chain grocery stores where I live, won’t let you in without wearing a mask. The workers in these individual stores shouldn’t have to tell customers to wear a mask - there should be a company policy and you are not allowed in without one. TJ should be understanding that they’re placing their employees in harm’s way by being passive about customers wearing masks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    That seems . . . more reasonable, since as you mention "chain retailers and grocery stores have a lot to lose if someone blows the whistle on them for violating Covid precautions." So using such a letter as a way to get your job back after yelling at a customer makes sense.

    Consider it purely in terms of this person's self image. Will most people want to believe they were fired because they screwed up? Or will they prefer to believe that they were fired for being brave and standing up against the deadly SARS-CoV-2 pandemic?

    "Companies don’t like whistle blowers." - I agree. But in this case they didn't fire him for being a whistleblower, since he didn't share the email with anyone outside the company before being fired.
     
  15. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    copy write theft its poor working class being stolen from by rich corporate so nobody challenges instead the concept of knowledge is seen as power when it relates to making more money and so the upper class steal the ideas, then sack the lower class employee, or bully them until they leave.
    Seattle probably spent his entire professional career doing that consciously & unconsciously
    through toxic patriarchal masculinity culture in the world place.
    women were seen as open targets right up until the mid to late 90s.

    it was all very pack animal feral type power structures where displays of physical domination & intimidation were required as part of the culture.
    (im not singling Seattle out as being the worst person in the world, it was a compulsory behavior by men right up until the mid 90s).
    unfortunately many western modern people still promote that culture through their religion in the work place.

    roughly 70% of all global corporate culture is still the same culture & values

    they also state he was out of line with thier values so they could no longer continue the contract of employment.

    reason = values miss match
    with no proof and no company record to show they have attempted to help re train

    the company has a duty to train its employees on their values
    each company has their own values
    they hired him to begin with so he matched their values

    why and how by the nature of the wording of "termination"
    becomes irrelevant once the facts have been created
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    It does happen. I wouldn't even call it a snap. It could just be that someone pushed his buttons (we all have them) and he responded somewhat angrily.

    (Also note I am not assuming anything; there isn't enough information here to know exactly what happened.)
    That's almost certainly true. But as a customer service type of person, you have the responsibility to be able to deal with rude customers.
    Agreed there.
    Who stops them? What do they do if they say "I refuse to wear one and I refuse to leave, and if you touch me I will defend myself?" Most cops won't get involved. So it falls on the workers. I've seen that handled well and I've seen it handled poorly. Which one was it in this case? Can't say without more info.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  17. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I hear you, billvon. Valid points, but it's not fair (for lack of a better word) to expect store workers to shoulder the chaos that sometimes ensues from anti-maskers. No, employees don't need to shout, be rude, etc to get a point across, but this is why customers should be greeted by someone at the door, ensuring all people entering these stores are wearing masks. This is what Disney does, and other large corporations who serve the general public. TJ sounds like they're getting lazy and don't want to upset their customer base.

    Here's an update, and the guy's got a lawyer now.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/mar/01/trader-joes-employee-fired-covid-protections

    And...

    https://www.sfgate.com/coronavirus/...otest-at-California-Trader-Joe-s-15988484.php

    Can't make this stuff up. You've got folks on both sides ...TJ is too strict, an TJ is too passive. *shrug*
     
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Who would it be fair to burden then?
     
  19. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    The company itself should have a non-negotiable policy that no one can enter the store, without wearing a mask...unless there is a valid health reason for not wearing one. Once you allow customers to enter without masks, it's a slippery slope. Employees that work in these stores shouldn't have to request customers to wear masks. Of course, people could remove them once they enter, but perhaps security needs to be hired. Seriously. We're all dealing with this pandemic, after all.

    I've seen some of these obnoxious anti-maskers in stores, and a teenage employee is politely asking them to wear their masks, and they refuse. Like I said earlier in the thread, some of these stores know exactly what they're doing. They're all about the optics, but when you actually go into their stories, they don't enforce their rules. And top management leaves it to the minimum wage earners to handle the brunt of the fall out? That's just gross, imo.
     
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    From the letters posted, they have such a policy. I checked on line and here's what they say:

    "we require all customers wear a face covering that meets the standards of applicable health authorities while shopping in our stores, without exceptions."
    That could work. Stores already suffering from the loss of business are going to have trouble affording that. I wonder if the recent COVID relief bull contains funding for such protections.
     
  21. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    If TJ doesn’t enforce mask wearing from every single customer, then they’re not doing everything they can to protect their employees and customers. Actions speak louder than their words.
     
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  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    What does the fact that they make minimum wage has to do with this issue? Are you suggesting that the CEO come to the stores to deal with customers who refuse to wear masks? A security guard is probably also making minimum wage.
     
  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    You want them to enforce it (I have no info that they don't) but you don't want the employees to enforce it. How does that work?
     

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