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Can I appeal my termination

Discussion in 'Termination: Firing & Resignation' started by wilsonan1, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. wilsonan1

    wilsonan1 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Washington

    I have been working for this large auto group in the Washington State for over three years. I am very well respected and liked among my peers and supervisors. I have never had issues with performance or attendance and my employee file was clean with no complaints or write ups.

    My first stint there I was sales manager and back up finance manager. I had logins and access to everything that allowed me to do my job along with a login to fix employee time cards. One of my job duties required me to fix everyones timecards. Everyone was required to clock out for lunch, but no one did and I would have to manually fix it myself so payroll can process everyones hours. Many of my co-workers would rely on me to help with day to day operations of the dealership because I had access to everything and I was also the best versed in all the programs.

    I left for a short period of time and came back a couple months later in a different role. I was hired on as their pre-owned manager and was responsible for managing their pre-owned inventory. Since my return the department doubled their inventory in size and reached new records for monthly gross profits. I do take credit for my contributions as I felt I had a big impact on their recent success. I did have limit access and logins to certain programs as my job did not require me to have them. I do not need to edit timecards as I was not in a managerial role that had employees under my supervision.

    When I initially was hired my pay plan had a base salary plus commissions. Just like other employees I was not very good at clocking in and out as it was the first time I had to clock in and out there. I did not pay attention to my hours because I was not paid hourly and it did not matter when I was there or not.

    Along with me being rehired a new General Sales Manager was hired also. He would often ask me to help him with tasks or show him how things are done at the dealership. One of those tasks was to help fix timecards, this was also his first time having to ever fix a timecard. I offered to fix all the employee timecards so he can focus on more important tasks, I had more downtime than others so I was always willing to help. He would give me his timecard login so I can fix everyones timecards before payroll could finalize them.

    Last month my pay plan was changed to an hourly plus commissions structure. My hourly pay was so minimal that it would of been less than 20% of my monthly income. They had a policy that I had to have two employees report to me in order to be paid salaried in the auto group. I agreed to take the new pay plan because it calculated to pay me more than what I would make on my old pay plan, based on my previous performance.

    My work week would be roughly 40 hours, give or take a few from a busy weekend or late night. Some days I would forget to clock in and out, I would also forget to clock out for lunch everyday. Being in the car business for so long clocking in and out was something I never did previously and it is common for most people to forget. I was getting paid hourly so I did have to make sure my hours were reported. When I forgot to correct my timecard I logged in under my General Sales Manager logins and I fixed my time card based on the hours I was there, along with my lunch clock outs.

    When timecards came out there was a note on my time card that I had too many overtime hours. My timecard showed I had worked 49 hours one week and 51 the next. These were the true hours I worked and I did not "falsify" my hours. I know my store meticulously watches employee overtime hours and I did not want to get disciplined by Human Resources. I then logged in again with my Manager's credentials and I peeled all my hours back to a reasonable 40 hours.

    A couple days ago I was called into a meeting with my supervisors and Human Resources. They did an audit and saw that I was using my supervisor's logins to manually "fix" my timecard everyday. They said I had to be fired because I violated the timecard policy and also the using of another person's logins policy. I stated my case and I was using the login to make sure my timecard showed the correct lunch punches. I had no intention to "pad" or increase my hours as the extra few dollars would not be noticeable on my check. On my termination papers it shows I was terminated because of "dishonesty" or "theft." Neither terms I believe is something appropriate for what I did.

    I do admit I did violate the policy of using my supervisor's logins to correct my timecard. But I do feel I corrected it to make sure my hours were reflected properly, and also took hours off so it did not show overtime hours. Is there anything I can do to appeal this with Human Resources? Is there anything I can do to state my case in a better light? If anything I would at least want the theft or dishonesty term taken off my employment record for future employers.

    Please let me know if there is anything I can do to reverse this. I did enjoy my job and I would like to work there again. I felt the reasoning for termination was very unfair.
  2. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    You never should have offered or used the manager's login to correct ANY of the time clock in/outs once you came back to a different job. If he wanted to assign that duty to you, he should have given you that access under your own login like before. That was red flag #1. You and your manager BOTH violated policies.

    Red flag #2 was the fact that you were messing with your own time. At minimum, if you were editing others, your GM/supervisor still should have made all the changes on yours.

    Red flag #3 is that you decreased your hours to 40 due to overtime issues actually puts the employer at a HUGE liability.

    Honestly, you made many mistakes and I don't see any ability to appeal anything. If you had just made one, possibly...but 3 in the end are a few too many for a duty that wasn't even yours to begin with. You overstepped.
  3. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    "Appeal" to whom?
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You agree that you violated your employer's policies.

    Whether the punishment was appropriate is something over which you have no control.

    Your employer wasn't required under the law to hold a hearing over the issue of termination.

    Neither would you been forced to hold a hearing if you no longer wished to work for your former employer.

    You, as are MOST employees termed "at will" employees.

    That simply means you can quit anytime you desire, and you need not give your employer notice.

    Let's say you hit the lottery for $300,000,000.

    If a person did hit a large lottery, she would most likely quit her job without discussion.

    The employer has that same right to terminate an "at will" employee, and could do so without explanation, other than, "You're fired, now get!"

    Bottom line, your energies should be focused like a laser on obtaining new employment in this booming economy.

    Think of it this way, after a thunderstorm the sun appears, things warm up, and life goes on.

    Merry Christmas, mate, and I bet you have a new job within the next 30 days.
    Zigner likes this.
  5. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    You can appeal in the sense that there is no law prohibiting you from doing so.

    However, if you are looking for something that the employer did wrong that you can use as leverage, I'm not seeing anything.
    army judge, hrforme and Zigner like this.
  6. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Firing you for violating the computer policy of the employer is not a wrongful termination so you'd have no recourse for this in the courts. There is no government agency to which you may appeal terminations by private employers either. Whether to rehire you is entirely up to the employer. You can try talking to the senior management officials of the company and see if they will agree to take you back. But in the end it is entirely up to the employer.
    hrforme, army judge and Zigner like this.

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