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Thread: Bad day at work

  1. #1
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    Angry A Very Bad Day At Work

    Sorry should have posted in off topic!
    :mad2:

    Hi everyone,
    I haven't been around much and havent posted for a long time, but
    I need to get some feedback on my night at work.
    I work in a factory in Indianna.
    When I arrived at work, there were 2 county police cars occupied and parked in the entrance. Sometimes they come looking for specific people.
    Before work started the plant manager held a meeting and stated that they were concluding an investigation into violations of the drug/alcohol policy, 0-tolerance.
    Work starts at 4pm, at 6:30 I wanted to go to my car and get a pack of ciggarettes. No one was allowed to go to their cars. No one was allowed to go out in the parking lot. I felt a bit like a prisoner. After going back to work for a while I realized I was pretty upset.
    There were several people in plain clothes walking about the parking lot and there was a dog sniffing at the vehicles. If the dog reacted to a vehicle it was tagged for searching. My car was tagged!
    Now I have nothing to hide but I was angry and obnoxious. The consent form said
    I must consent to a search or be terminated. The search was for drugs or alchohol.
    They found 4 empty beer bottles in the trunk that have been there since at least January. So now I have to go to the clinic for a test. They took me to a room where we had to wait for a van to arrive to transport us. I was waiting over an hour and I was becoming really mad. I could not leave the room. I was a perisoner at work. There were now 4 of us in there. I was joking with The others
    and trying to keep it light, inside I was fumming mad. I just wanted to get it over with.
    There were 2 men watching us, one of them left, when he returned he told us that we could not talk amongest ourselves.
    That was it, I had had enough!!! I stormed from the room, saw the plant manager, stormed up to him and asked him very loudly what the @#ck was up! We can't even talk? His reply was that I had to return to the room, remain quiet and if I did not do that, what was up was that I was going to lose my job. I turned as he was talking, looked over my and said This is bull s**t. He came after me and took me to a differnt room and said that they would deal with me seperrately and posted another guard at the door.
    I figured that they would fire me, however I went with the others in the van to a clinic, was given a breath test(and I had to pee so bad), returned to work.
    Now I'm supposed to work for these people! Well I gotta make a living.
    To sum up my feelings, I honestly feel that my rights have been violated.
    This goes beond eployer employee relationsips. We are a union shop, however I dont think any of our union personnell qualify as an advocate in this situation.
    If what they did is legal, then it is just barely legal. I intend to find out.
    END OF RANT,
    Mark.

  2. #2
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    Re: A Very Bad Day At Work

    Ring Legal Aid and ask them. You did have a right to seek legal advice as a courtesy, being held like that without real justification, 4 empty beer bottles (they would have had remnants of fluids in them if they were fresh) isn't real justification for that sort of behaviour.

    Certainly I am grateful not working there. But as you said you need to work and earn a living.

  3. #3
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    Re: A Very Bad Day At Work

    Thanks Peter!
    Being forced to consent to a search and being CONFINED against my will really angers me.
    Its a real eye opener for me though, If it had not happened to me I just would not understand it the way I do now.
    Have already downloaded Legal aide info.
    Mark.

  4. #4
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Re: A Very Bad Day At Work

    Hey Mark,

    Sorry to hear about your bad day at work. That is hard core, off the wall BS if I've ever heard it. The consent to search isn't something you can really complain about. But being held like a prisoner, that sounds awful iffy to me. I would contact the Union, the Department of Labor, and any legal advice you can get. You may also want to check with the ACLU. Definitely check into what they did and ensure they didn't trample all over your rights.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member swmdrayfan's Avatar
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    Re: A Very Bad Day At Work

    You guys weren't allowed union representation??? I'd have asked to have a union steward present during the whole process----but that said, I don't know how your company deals with the union, and at a moment like that sometimes emotions get in the way of clear thinking. Seems like a real violation of employees rights here. I hope the union was monitoring the whole process, and involved in every step.

  6. #6
    Analog Photographer, Digital World Axle's Avatar
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    Re: A Very Bad Day At Work

    Damn, that sucks. I would've done the same thing gone and ranted and raved at management. But yeah, go and seek legal help.
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    Re: A Very Bad Day At Work

    Speed,
    I went to ACLU site. They only deal w/Government trampleings. They do have a weath of links to others that can help though.
    swmdrayfan, There was union representation, But it was inadequate IMO. I'm sure I will be speaking to more qualified people today.
    Axle, Yeah, I'm gonna check it out.

    I'm pretty sure the company was within their rights, but I need to be positive.
    Thanks for support,
    Mark.

  8. #8
    Viewfinder and Off-Topic Co-Mod walterick's Avatar
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    Re: A Very Bad Day At Work

    Quote Originally Posted by mdmc
    Sorry should have posted in off topic!
    :mad2:
    Mark, no worries. PJ intended for their to be "cross traffic" between the forums, but I'll stick this in OT for ya. I'm glad you got a fast response here in Viewfinder though.

    I hope that you get answers to your legal questions and I hope that your management was operating within the law. Either way, their behavior was "inhumane" in that it sounds like you guys were being held as guilty until proven innocent.

    GL
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  9. #9
    GoldMember Lava Lamp's Avatar
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    Re: A Very Bad Day At Work

    Friend, you gottta find another job. Even if you have to take a pay cut to go somewhere else, do you really want to work for those A-holes? Take your time and find the right place and don't screw yourself by quitting without a job, but go. There are better places.

    Also, your experience is a reminder of one thing we can do to protect ourselves -- don't carry opened beer bottles in our cars -- no matter how old. I thought for a moment you might get popped for having an open container.

  10. #10
    Poster Formerly Known as Michael Fanelli mwfanelli's Avatar
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    Well...

    A bad experience but...

    The constitution is a deal between the government and citizens. When dealing with private citizens, the issues are not very clear. For example, the government can not tell you to shut up, I can.

    An employer has the right to ask for these tests or to order an investigation. You were not held against your will, you were given the choice to stay or quit. Not a great choice but not illegal restraint either.

    I was involved in a federal lawsuit that was very similiar. It dealt with a contractor who was fired because he would not stop his steady stream of vulgarities while at work. He was also given an option and was fired when he refused to give in. He claimed a violation of his constitutional rights and was shot down in court. He claimed unfair labor practices, but Colorado is a right to work state so he lost again. He also had a choice and made the bad one (at least in my POV).

    Find another job!
    "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." --Mark Twain

  11. #11
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    Re: Bad day at work

    Wow...a real bummer Mark. Sad to say tho', they were well within their rights. In most states, you would have gotten a citation for an "open container". Sad thing is, the US Supreme Court usually holds with the police in these situations, and they have ruled many times that the companies have the right to hold these searches.
    I for one would have told them to stuff their job up their wazoos and walked out as I personally don't believe in it. I used to work for a company called Andy Granatelli's Tune Up Masters, in Phx, (yes the Indy Racer). We had a breakin one night and a lot of tools and equipment was stolen. We were required to take a polygraph test. I had never had one before and never will again. It hit on me that I had forged a warranty receipt, which I had never done, and even though the company said it was probably a glitch, I still got run around the grinder.
    Anyway, I have to say that I do believe in random testing for certain professions and I do think that a company has the right to make sure their employees are safe from stoned and/or intoxicated persons. But to make people feel like criminals is a bit overboard. Our country tends to do too much of that. It's like our laws are set up to make everyone a criminal. I would be willing to bet that there is not a single person in the United States of America, that hasn't broken at least one law in their lives.
    You've learned a valuable lesson...TAKE THE BEER CANS OUT OF THE CAR IMMEDIATELY!!!! Also, when preparing to buy a used car, do 2 things...take it to a reputable mechanic and have it checked over and then take it to the police dept. and have it sniffed for contraband or residue. Residue can remain in the car for years and no one ever know it until you are sitting on the side of the road in handcuffs while a search dog continues to find seeds, needles, beer cans...etc....that you never even knew existed. Good luck in the future...
    Ken
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  12. #12
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    Re: Bad day at work

    Wow, haven't heard of something like that before. Sounds like a private matter between employer and employees, but the police were involved? I have to agree about the empties in the trunk - not good even if dry. I'd start the job search...

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    Re: Bad day at work

    was there some sort of issue that set this off? Or they just woke up one day and said, "hey, this is a good idea, let's do this today?"

    Usually, for something that extreme, there is an incident that triggered it.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member cyberlord's Avatar
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    Re: Bad day at work

    Dude!! We don't get treated that bad even in the Military (USA).

    We do have random searches at the gate for drugs and drunk drivers w/ dogs etc, but it's pretty uninvasive.

    Then there are the random drug test too. They are controlled but we are allowed to move around the room and get drinks from the vending machine or water fountain and there is a TV in there. Above all, we are allowed to talk to each other.

    You may have consented to searches and drug/alcohol tests, but you do still have rights as a human being and should be treated as such.

    Chin up old man, we're rootin' for ya!

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    Re: Bad day at work

    I want to thank you all for your support. I will try to reply to each post at some time.
    Right now I just meed to ride this out as there could be some repercussions to my behavior. (ie. me fired).
    Thanks P.R., Espeacially PJ and all of the mods, for providing me a space to blow off some steam.
    Mark.

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    Re: A Very Bad Day At Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed
    Hey Mark,

    Sorry to hear about your bad day at work. That is hard core, off the wall BS if I've ever heard it. The consent to search isn't something you can really complain about. But being held like a prisoner, that sounds awful iffy to me. I would contact the Union, the Department of Labor, and any legal advice you can get. You may also want to check with the ACLU. Definitely check into what they did and ensure they didn't trample all over your rights.
    Yeah Speed, I was actually releshing the thougt of being fired. That seems to be the only way to get the union to help you there.
    Mark.

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    Re: A Very Bad Day At Work

    Quote Originally Posted by swmdrayfan
    You guys weren't allowed union representation??? I'd have asked to have a union steward present during the whole process----but that said, I don't know how your company deals with the union, and at a moment like that sometimes emotions get in the way of clear thinking. Seems like a real violation of employees rights here. I hope the union was monitoring the whole process, and involved in every step.

    Yes we had union representation, but I Don't think they were qualiofied to handle what went dwn that day. In fact I'm not sure that the union reps even know what side of the line(compny- emplyee) they stand on.
    Mark.

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    Re: A Very Bad Day At Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Axle
    Damn, that sucks. I would've done the same thing gone and ranted and raved at management. But yeah, go and seek legal help.
    I'm gonna check it out.
    Mark.

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    Re: A Very Bad Day At Work

    Quote Originally Posted by walterick
    Mark, no worries. PJ intended for their to be "cross traffic" between the forums, but I'll stick this in OT for ya. I'm glad you got a fast response here in Viewfinder though.

    I hope that you get answers to your legal questions and I hope that your management was operating within the law. Either way, their behavior was "inhumane" in that it sounds like you guys were being held as guilty until proven innocent.

    GL
    Thanks Rick, for help with the thread move and the support .
    Mark.

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    Re: A Very Bad Day At Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Lava Lamp
    Friend, you gottta find another job. Even if you have to take a pay cut to go somewhere else, do you really want to work for those A-holes? Take your time and find the right place and don't screw yourself by quitting without a job, but go. There are better places.

    Also, your experience is a reminder of one thing we can do to protect ourselves -- don't carry opened beer bottles in our cars -- no matter how old. I thought for a moment you might get popped for having an open container.
    Thanks for the reply L.L.,
    A long time ago I realized that I don't work for those *******s, I work for me & mine! Its hard to lose respect for peopler that I have no respect for!
    Mark.

  21. #21
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    Re: Well...

    Quote Originally Posted by mwfanelli
    A bad experience but...

    The constitution is a deal between the government and citizens. When dealing with private citizens, the issues are not very clear. For example, the government can not tell you to shut up, I can.

    An employer has the right to ask for these tests or to order an investigation. You were not held against your will, you were given the choice to stay or quit. Not a great choice but not illegal restraint either.

    I was involved in a federal lawsuit that was very similiar. It dealt with a contractor who was fired because he would not stop his steady stream of vulgarities while at work. He was also given an option and was fired when he refused to give in. He claimed a violation of his constitutional rights and was shot down in court. He claimed unfair labor practices, but Colorado is a right to work state so he lost again. He also had a choice and made the bad one (at least in my POV).

    Find another job!

    Michael, you are the salt and pepper here at P.R. I love to read your posts.
    I made a bad choice 8.5 years ago when I went to work for these guys.
    I'm stickin with it till it goes under or I get fired.
    Mark.

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    Re: Bad day at work

    Quote Originally Posted by ken1953
    Wow...a real bummer Mark. Sad to say tho', they were well within their rights. In most states, you would have gotten a citation for an "open container". Sad thing is, the US Supreme Court usually holds with the police in these situations, and they have ruled many times that the companies have the right to hold these searches.
    I for one would have told them to stuff their job up their wazoos and walked out as I personally don't believe in it. I used to work for a company called Andy Granatelli's Tune Up Masters, in Phx, (yes the Indy Racer). We had a breakin one night and a lot of tools and equipment was stolen. We were required to take a polygraph test. I had never had one before and never will again. It hit on me that I had forged a warranty receipt, which I had never done, and even though the company said it was probably a glitch, I still got run around the grinder.
    Anyway, I have to say that I do believe in random testing for certain professions and I do think that a company has the right to make sure their employees are safe from stoned and/or intoxicated persons. But to make people feel like criminals is a bit overboard. Our country tends to do too much of that. It's like our laws are set up to make everyone a criminal. I would be willing to bet that there is not a single person in the United States of America, that hasn't broken at least one law in their lives.
    You've learned a valuable lesson...TAKE THE BEER CANS OUT OF THE CAR IMMEDIATELY!!!! Also, when preparing to buy a used car, do 2 things...take it to a reputable mechanic and have it checked over and then take it to the police dept. and have it sniffed for contraband or residue. Residue can remain in the car for years and no one ever know it until you are sitting on the side of the road in handcuffs while a search dog continues to find seeds, needles, beer cans...etc....that you never even knew existed. Good luck in the future...
    Ken
    Don't think open container laws apply to contents of the trunk, unless of course you are drunk and they search the vehicle.
    Mark.
    Yore situation with the polygraph sounds worse than mine.

  23. #23
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    Re: Bad day at work

    Quote Originally Posted by another view
    Wow, haven't heard of something like that before. Sounds like a private matter between employer and employees, but the police were involved? I have to agree about the empties in the trunk - not good even if dry. I'd start the job search...
    Thanks Steve, apparently --it happens.
    I heart my f'ing job!
    Mark.

  24. #24
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    Re: Bad day at work

    Quote Originally Posted by adina
    was there some sort of issue that set this off? Or they just woke up one day and said, "hey, this is a good idea, let's do this today?"

    Usually, for something that extreme, there is an incident that triggered it.

    adina, I work second shift, and I honestly think that the people on first shift thumbed their noses so much at management they got really pissed off and just dropped the big hammer. BTW, This happened 18 months ago, but did not involve me.
    All of the people that got fired got their jobs back.
    Thanks for your post. It certainly makes me wonder WHY!

    Mark.

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    Re: Bad day at work

    Quote Originally Posted by cyberlord
    Dude!! We don't get treated that bad even in the Military (USA).

    We do have random searches at the gate for drugs and drunk drivers w/ dogs etc, but it's pretty uninvasive.

    Then there are the random drug test too. They are controlled but we are allowed to move around the room and get drinks from the vending machine or water fountain and there is a TV in there. Above all, we are allowed to talk to each other.

    You may have consented to searches and drug/alcohol tests, but you do still have rights as a human being and should be treated as such.

    Chin up old man, we're rootin' for ya!

    Tim
    You've been lucky! The military can treat you as they wish to a point, and you cant quit or get fired. Just busted!
    Mark.

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