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Old 11-07-2012, 11:27 PM   #201
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This is precisely my problem. This is my 1st job in this field and now i have a termination on file.
No you don't. You were laid off. Is there someone at your workplace outside of those involved in this mess that can be a reference?
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:39 PM   #202
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One would assume that if using the copier is part of his assigned duties, that reloading it when it's empty is, too. One would also assume that he wouldn't go looking in another employee's personal space, in hopes of finding copier supplies.

Using the command prompt is a duty assigned to someone else, so the analogy to a desk specifically assigned to someone else is a good one.

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My bosses all knew that I was very competent with hardware, software, and networking so they would routinely ask me for help with things.
Sounds like it was part of his job.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:48 PM   #203
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I'm not an employment lawyer, and I am certainly not your lawyer. But the circumstances you specified likely do not amount to wrongful termination. Most workers are "at-will" employees. That means that they can be fired for a good reason or a bad reason, just not an "impermissible" reason (i.e., a reason that violates an employee's legal rights). Employment per se is not a right.
Actually while talking with a (former?) coworker. I may have been fired for being an Atheist.

It came up in conversation once (i am not the douchebag atheist that spouts off condescending things to all believers). I have read that Atheism is not a protected class in many states because you can't be held to the same standard as religious discrimination if you are someone without a religious belief.

I live in the bible belt. The person who did not get fired for installing the router was christian, the person who promoted him and fired me, is also christian.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:57 PM   #204
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Actually while talking with a (former?) coworker. I may have been fired for being an Atheist.

It came up in conversation once (i am not the douchebag atheist that spouts off condescending things to all believers). I have read that Atheism is not a protected class in many states because you can't be held to the same standard as religious discrimination if you are someone without a religious belief.

I live in the bible belt. The person who did not get fired for installing the router was christian, the person who promoted him and fired me, is also christian.

I highly doubt that. As to your research, Atheism might as well be a protected class because a company/manager/supervisor cannot use their personal religious belief to impact employees....and that includes firing. Of course there are managers/supervisors out there that will fire people for reasons that they don't officially list, but unless there is real evidence or a witness that HR would deem reputable over the manager then you would be SOL.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:06 AM   #205
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I highly doubt that. As to your research, Atheism might as well be a protected class because a company/manager/supervisor cannot use their personal religious belief to impact employees....and that includes firing. Of course there are managers/supervisors out there that will fire people for reasons that they don't officially list, but unless there is real evidence or a witness that HR would deem reputable over the manager then you would be SOL.
My coworker actually brought it up, because we couldn't figure out why my boss would want me fired. I'm generally a pretty likable person. And now as i understand it the boss violated confidentiality and told everyone about the investigation and that i was fired before HR even took a statement, over a week before i was officially fired.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:07 AM   #206
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Actually while talking with a (former?) coworker. I may have been fired for being an Atheist.

It came up in conversation once (i am not the douchebag atheist that spouts off condescending things to all believers). I have read that Atheism is not a protected class in many states because you can't be held to the same standard as religious discrimination if you are someone without a religious belief.

I live in the bible belt. The person who did not get fired for installing the router was christian, the person who promoted him and fired me, is also christian.
I'm guessing this is much more likely to be the reason you got fired.

Time to move to a first world country, mate.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:14 AM   #207
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I work (worked?) in a surveillance department. My bosses all knew that I was very competent with hardware, software, and networking so they would routinely ask me for help with things.

An IT position opened up in the department, and I was elated. I could get a $4 an hour raise for doing what i like to do.

Other associates, who were far less qualified, also put in for the position and we all had to wait for interviews.

Two days before my interview, during one of my breaks, i opened a command prompt and ran some diagnostic commands to help me understand how the network was set up. I wanted to have an edge at the interview because I could specifically talk about how our network is laid out and discuss the hardware installed on the machines.

I only used diagnostic commands.

ipconfig /all
tracert
nbtstat
netstat
arp -a

Long story short, my supervisor (whom had also put in for the position, and was far less qualified, he didnt even know how to install a wireless router in his home) turned me for "hacking the network".

HR gets involved, they don't know a damn thing about networking. They take statements from both of us. I ask them to go to IT to verify that I did nothing wrong. They don't.

Boss fires me for "tampering with surveillance equipment" while he is on vacation.

I now have no job and don't know how i am going to pay rent next month. Awesome. I have never been fired from a job in my life. I have never even been in trouble with an employer before.

On a side note, one of the other employees INSTALLED AN UNSECURED WIRELESS ROUTER ON THE CORPORATE NETWORK IN SURVEILLANCE , GOT CAUGHT, and nothing happened to him.

Is this wrongful termination? I don't know how the law works.


It sounds kind of sketchy on your employers part. I find it ridiculous for firing because of what you did. I would request an appeal with the HR department and be specific and honest. It sounds like you did an ok job at trying to convince them that what you did was harmless and purely to gain knowledge for an interview, but you'll have to be more forceful (in a nice way). If that doesn't work, either find a lawyer or give up and find a new job. If you do an appeal and they deny it, them throw out the labor lawyer threat and let them know you tried to do what you thought was right and now they are being purposely obstructive with your livelihood.

Sorry dude, that's a shitty situation that you're in.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:17 AM   #208
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It sounds kind of sketchy on your employers part. I find it ridiculous for firing because of what you did. I would request an appeal with the HR department and be specific and honest. It sounds like you did an ok job at trying to convince them that what you did was harmless and purely to gain knowledge for an interview, but you'll have to be more forceful (in a nice way). If that doesn't work, either find a lawyer or give up and find a new job. If you do an appeal and they deny it, them throw out the labor lawyer threat and let them know you tried to do what you thought was right and now they are being purposely obstructive with your livelihood.

Sorry dude, that's a shitty situation that you're in.
I was not allowed to appeal.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:21 AM   #209
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something very similar happened to me at work
it happened because the boss manager "didn't trust me" and thought that I was snooping around with no proof of anything whatsoever
in the end, he just didn't like me and found an excuse to fire me

I said fuck that place and just moved on
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:26 AM   #210
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I was not allowed to appeal.
Sorry dude. Maybe someone else can give advice. I don't know what I would do besides inquire with a lawyer and see if I could afford it and get on unemployment ASAP. Good luck.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:29 AM   #211
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I highly doubt that. As to your research, Atheism might as well be a protected class because a company/manager/supervisor cannot use their personal religious belief to impact employees....and that includes firing. Of course there are managers/supervisors out there that will fire people for reasons that they don't officially list, but unless there is real evidence or a witness that HR would deem reputable over the manager then you would be SOL.

QFT. Per the civil rights act of 1964, employers cannot discriminate against their employees based on religion (and, I'm guessing, lack thereof).

You might have case. Consider calling an employment lawyer (or 2 or 3) and requesting a free consult.

Note that having a case and proving a case are two different things. Also, you might want to consider what you hope to get out of a lawsuit? Getting your old job back probably shouldn't be a goal. Who wants to work for a company that they were just fired from, knowing that their boss is "out" to get him/her"?
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:34 AM   #212
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QFT. Per the civil rights act of 1964, employers cannot discriminate against their employees based on religion (and, I'm guessing, lack thereof).

You might have case. Consider calling an employment lawyer (or 2 or 3) and requesting a free consult.

Note that having a case and proving a case are two different things. Also, you might want to consider what you hope to get out of a lawsuit? Getting your old job back probably shouldn't be a goal. Who wants to work for a company that they were just fired from, knowing that their boss is "out" to get him/her"?
I wouldn't want my job back at this point.

Lost wages, pain and suffering.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:39 AM   #213
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Updates with some FAQs:

I will not be allowed to take unemployment because i was fired for misconduct.

Getting another job in this field may not be easy because of the bad reference.

Upon conversation with another employee tonight, I learned that the boss that fired me leaked that he was going to fire me before my statement was even taken by HR.

I may have been fired for being an Atheist in the bible belt. I have proof that someone did much worse things with the network (i didn't do anything wrong) and he was promoted. He is the same religion as the boss that fired me.
I think you need to stop listening to a number of folks here.

Apply for unemployment - most states allow you to do it over the phone and you don't have to tell them that you were fired for misconduct. Just tell them that you were let go. If the company decides to fight it, request a hearing and tell them your story.

Again, when you apply for new jobs, you were laid-off due to the company downsizing.

Again, is there anyone at your work place outside of those involved with your departure that you're on good terms with and can ask them to be a reference?

You're not the only person that has been fired over bullshit and these people have been able to find work in the same field.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:40 AM   #214
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I wouldn't want my job back at this point.

Lost wages, pain and suffering.

Agreed. Pain and suffering (not a lawyer) should include you not getting a great reference to your next job(s). Although potential employers are only allowed to ask certain questions like "would you hire this person again?" and not "tell me what you think of this person", the latter question really does happen. In both cases, it puts you at a disadvantage. When I get the answer NO to "would you hire this person again?" then I usually place that applicant below others. Of course it might not be fair in that person's eyes, but all the prospective employer has to go on is the application/resume and answers from your old manager.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:43 AM   #215
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I think you need to stop listening to a number of folks here.

Apply for unemployment - most states allow you to do it over the phone and you don't have to tell them that you were fired for misconduct. Just tell them that you were let go. If the company decides to fight it, request a hearing and tell them your story.

Again, when you apply for new jobs, you were laid-off due to the company downsizing.

Again, is there anyone at your work place outside of those involved with your departure that you're on good terms with and can ask them to be a reference?

You're not the only person that has been fired over bullshit and these people have been able to find work in the same field.

Not a good idea (bolded). Get caught lying or stretching the truth on an application is a guarantee to not get a job. It is very easy to find out.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:47 AM   #216
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Not a good idea (bolded). Get caught lying or stretching the truth on an application is a guarantee to not get a job. It is very easy to find out.
And I strongly disagree. I've done it and got a senior position. Odds are low that they'll even inquire your former company about it, especially if you have references from the company that you're friends with.

And you'd rather get a job offer dependent on background/reference checks than not even get past the initial screening b/c you told them that you were fired for misconduct. The stupidest thing would to say that during the screening process.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:56 AM   #217
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I think you need to stop listening to a number of folks here.

Apply for unemployment - most states allow you to do it over the phone and you don't have to tell them that you were fired for misconduct. Just tell them that you were let go. If the company decides to fight it, request a hearing and tell them your story.

Again, when you apply for new jobs, you were laid-off due to the company downsizing.

Again, is there anyone at your work place outside of those involved with your departure that you're on good terms with and can ask them to be a reference?

You're not the only person that has been fired over bullshit and these people have been able to find work in the same field.
The company is too new to have been downsizing.

Two of my immediate supervisors liked me. My Manager above them is the one that seemed to dislike me.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:58 AM   #218
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The company is too new to have been downsizing.

Two of my immediate supervisors liked me. My Manager above them is the one that seemed to dislike me.
Start-ups/new companies downsize all the time due to limited financing/revenues. And companies that you interview at, won't know it nor are they going to check.

You don't want to give any perspective employer any negative information about your employment at your previous company.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:15 AM   #219
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I think you need to stop listening to a number of folks here.

Apply for unemployment - most states allow you to do it over the phone and you don't have to tell them that you were fired for misconduct. Just tell them that you were let go. If the company decides to fight it, request a hearing and tell them your story.

Again, when you apply for new jobs, you were laid-off due to the company downsizing.

Again, is there anyone at your work place outside of those involved with your departure that you're on good terms with and can ask them to be a reference?

You're not the only person that has been fired over bullshit and these people have been able to find work in the same field.
Wont the unemployment office and anywhere he applies see his employment record (by checking references) and see that he was fired? Lying would only make things worse. It's best to just say what happened. Most companies will have someone competent in the interview/screening process and when you say you were fired for executing (say the exact commands) they will laugh and realize it was a silly thing to be fired for, at least hope for that.

It's sad that so many companies have IT managers who are completely ignorant about technology. I had to deal with one before, and it was a nightmare. I was so glad when I saw an exit point. I ran for it.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:21 AM   #220
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File for unemployment, if the co. challenges take an IT person with you to the hearing (make sure the person has some certs and is currently employed in IT), then said person could be considered an "expert" and he/she could then tell the arbitrator that the commands you typed in are simple system status/setup checks and in no way harmful to your ex co...
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:40 AM   #221
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My suggestion to the op:

It is obvious that your boss/the company does not want you to work there anymore, so your chance of working there again is pretty much zilch. Even if you can hold on to your job, do you really want to work there??

If you want to start legal war with your old company, the question you ask is whether its worth it (benefit vs cost of not having income/unemployment benefits). If you leave on good terms with your boss (even if he doesnt like you), you might still be able to salvage a recomendation letter, or he might be able to refer you to his network.

My advise is not to burn bridges.. even if it has burned you. Always go in the game for the long term. Chalk this up as expensive experience, ask yourself why you got treated this way. Yes you can always play the "law/legal" game, but if you have to resort to that, it means that you are already in a very precarious position

Just my 2 cents
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:03 AM   #222
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holy crap OP, that's pretty fucking messed up.

I work in an IT department and if one of the architects or engineers used any of those commands I'd hug them for actually knowing their way around a computer unlike the vast majority of those people.


and sue, sue their fukcing pants off.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:28 AM   #223
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Wont the unemployment office and anywhere he applies see his employment record (by checking references) and see that he was fired? Lying would only make things worse. It's best to just say what happened. Most companies will have someone competent in the interview/screening process and when you say you were fired for executing (say the exact commands) they will laugh and realize it was a silly thing to be fired for, at least hope for that.

It's sad that so many companies have IT managers who are completely ignorant about technology. I had to deal with one before, and it was a nightmare. I was so glad when I saw an exit point. I ran for it.
See his employment record? You mean one that he creates? And why would a personal reference say something you don't want them to? Obviously, he would tell his references at this workplace, if asked to say he was laid-off. Telling the truth is the last thing he wants to do.

Lay-offs are commonplace. Nobody is going to question or investigate it.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:22 AM   #224
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ok sorry op, I just read that you are fired for "misconduct"
If you really think that you felt really wronged, and the only way to right this wrong is via legal means, please feel free to do so (it also sounds like the company you worked for really acted in a unprofessional way)
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:22 AM   #225
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You needed a command prompt to get there. Just like opening an unlocked drawer.
i use command prompts all the time. some things are easier and faster to do by scripting.
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