Un#%$^ing Believable! :-( - Jemsite
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-11-2007, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Un#%$^ing Believable! :-(

Could not believe it yesterday. I get an email from my wife yesterday morning. She's just had her probationary period meeting (started a new job at a training company recently) and they are laying her off because she hasn't meet their goals. They never mentioned these goals to her initially, they changed what she was supposed to be doing, and even admitted to not providing her any support when she needed it. They promised full training and bailed out on her.

Now the toughest part is that we are expecting, and also that we just bought a house. She left her position in the public service where she would have got paid maternity leave and everything for this job, which would have been brilliant for her career.

We have a feeling that basically as soon as they found out she was pregnant (she told them pretty much straight away, which I warned against) they decided that they wanted to cut their losses and gave her unachievable targets so as to not look like they were getting rid of her due to the pregnancy. They'd be in a heap of trouble if that were their only reason.

She's taking this really hard as she has always been an extraordinarily hard worker, and is always first to try and get help if she needs it. This is a real morale crusher, and she's really stressing now about the baby, whether she should have it because she feels we may end up struggling. I'm telling her not to think like that because we will work out something.

They are giving her some time to find a job, not sure how long, but this is still really tough. I hope we can get through this ok.
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-11-2007, 06:31 PM
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Re: Un#%$^ing Believable! :-(

Well, I can't speak from experience, but I don't know a couple that didn't have a tough time making ends meet with their first kid. The whole deal with her new job sounds like total BS. I hope things smooth out for ya bro.
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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-11-2007, 06:36 PM
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Re: Un#%$^ing Believable! :-(

sorry to hear that is really infuriating since she was basically fired for being pregnant, which is discrimination (impossible to prove). that happened to us 5 years ago and probably alot of other people ...glen
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-11-2007, 06:41 PM
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Re: Un#%$^ing Believable! :-(

thats bad **** mate.think the word descrimination springs to mind.yeah maybe your wife shouldnt have told them about being pregnant.but it sounds like your wife was just being straight with them.if shes in early pregnantsy (no showing yet) try other interviews and keep quiet about being pregnant.(sorry about bad spelling) hope everything turns out ok for you and your wife.all the best and regards rob
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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-11-2007, 07:02 PM
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Re: Un#%$^ing Believable! :-(

Start there.
If it is like you tell it she should fill out a complaint form and also get her to pass a copy to HR at her work so they know she's doing it.


Probation is all good but if they really didn't do anything to try and train her and prod her on then it's all a sham.
I've got new starters all the time (2-3 a year) and we have 6 months probation - believe me, if they don't preform I keep them informed with weekly stats and chats, monthly meetings and also there are monthly performance reports sent to HR.
To let someone go at the end of the probation you need A LOT (at least 3 of the 6 evaluations logged with HR to be unfavorable with 2 of them being logged during the last 3 months) of paperwork and they had to have ignored good 5-6 times of being told they're not up to scratch, from several different people... all of whom would have pointed out what has to be improved and would have come up with a plan of how to achieve it (more training, new buddy, more support, etc, etc).
You don't just spring this on to someone 7 days before the end of the probation period.

Last edited by dex; 10-11-2007 at 07:42 PM.
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-11-2007, 08:47 PM
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Re: Un#%$^ing Believable! :-(

Sure there are financial pressures having a baby, but everything we needed initially was covered by the $4,000 government baby bonus - just make sure you get it as soon as you can after baby is born. We're finding that now that our baby's a year old, most of the baby-related spending is on things like food and clothes, but when you have a newborn, the food is all free thanks to nature, and a week's worth of Wondersuits will cover you for a few months.

Everything will work out, and the government does tend to throw money and tax breaks at families. Hell, if 15 year olds with no job can raise kids, you guys will kick ass at it.
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-11-2007, 09:07 PM
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Re: Un#%$^ing Believable! :-(

Was this as a result of our wonderful new workplace agreement laws? If so I'd definitely be seeking legal assistance, they are a horse's *ss as a set of workplace relations laws go, and it sounds to me that you have got plenty of reason to take action.

For example - if your wife did not "meet goals" that she was set - she has every right to see those goals, in print, and to be informed, in writing, of why those same goals were not actually issed to her, in writing, as part of her initial employment agreement. I really, seriously, think you should advise said ex-employer that you are considering going to the anti-descrimination board, as all the evidence points to your wife being descriminated against simply for being honest and up front with them, and that you will be seeking the above documentation from them, along with proof that said goals existed at the date of her employment, as legal evidence of their actions. This is often enough more than enough reason for a company to change their mind.

We got into a really tough spot with a bank here a few years ago (selling us a mortgage at a fixed interest rate which actually didn't exist - they put it ALL down of bank letterhead too!), and after initially saying to us, "tough luck", a letter to them from The Banking Ombudsman resulted in a turnaround in attitude so fast that there were sprained necks all round.

Don't give up without a really good fight - if nothing else you will have the sheer pleasure of watching them squirm.
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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-11-2007, 11:44 PM
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Re: Un#%$^ing Believable! :-(

Sorry to hear that. Hopefully the old saying "What comes around, goes around" finds these guys.
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-12-2007, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Un#%$^ing Believable! :-(

Thanks for the advice guys. I don't think we want to fight though, it's stressful enough for my wife, and trying to fight would make it even worse. She's already been fearing that she will mis-carry from the stress, the fight wouldn't help things one bit. Plus it's a small business, she wouldn't even want to work there even if she won. Maybe if they had to pay her out a years worth of pay it would be worthwhile, but I doubt that would happen.

Believe me I would love to see her boss squirm, but that would be while I'm beating the crap out of his face with a crow bar. I definitely wouldn't do that, but the thought is oh so tempting.

And to top it all off, their version of supporting her while she finds a job is by saying that today was her last day, and they'll pay her for next week, and 32 hours leave loading. We've got money for the next couple of weeks if they stick with their end of the bargin, hopefully she can get a temporary contract somewhere half decent so she doesn't have to step back in to retail.
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-12-2007, 12:23 AM
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Re: Un#%$^ing Believable! :-(

That sucks man, I hope everything works out for you guys.
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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-12-2007, 01:22 AM
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Re: Un#%$^ing Believable! :-(

I hear this kind of thing and wonder what kind of worker protection there is in Aus (the States too, reputedly?)- as far as I can see, none whatsoever. Is there no organisation geared at handling this kind of thing? Unsatisfactory performance can't ethically be used as an excuse unless previously highlighted.

Sorry about that, the whole situation stinks.
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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-12-2007, 03:13 AM
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Re: Un#%$^ing Believable! :-(

its a really unfortunate and annoying fact of life, the rules are there to protect the rights of employees and are twisted and abused by HR employees.

in the last week where I work TWO people have been constructively dismissed in the last week... and HR recruited IT to "lose" evidence for sure.

I wish you all the luck in finding a new position "stepping back" to anywhere is better than the alternatives.
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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-12-2007, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Un#%$^ing Believable! :-(

Originally Posted by DavyH View Post
I hear this kind of thing and wonder what kind of worker protection there is in Aus (the States too, reputedly?)- as far as I can see, none whatsoever. Is there no organisation geared at handling this kind of thing? Unsatisfactory performance can't ethically be used as an excuse unless previously highlighted.

Sorry about that, the whole situation stinks.
There is some kind of worker protection in Australia, but it was severely compromised just in the last year by the Federal Government released their new "Work Choices" system. It's bordering on hilarious if it weren't real. You are no longer even able to use the word "union" in any workplace agreements, whether it be to discuss workers union organisations, or just using the word in a general context!

I'm at least going to put through a complaint under the Sex Discrimination Act for my wife to at least have it lodged, and at least maybe put some heat on the business. She doesn't want to fight it though, but I'll try and at least get a few words in on behalf of her and hopefully have the Government give them a good slap around.
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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-12-2007, 05:10 AM
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Re: Un#%$^ing Believable! :-(

I'm gonna get shot for this, but here's the other side of the coin: Small businesses want people in their employ who're going to actually be there working. It's a massive strain on the business to hire someone who then takes off for maternity leave, because the boss and the other workers have to work harder to cover the work not being done.

I'll put it in guitar terms. You've just secured a World tour which will see you go from local hobbyist to superstar and you need to hire a drummer. Are you going to hire one who's going to do a month then go off on maternity leave?

Sorry dude but them's the breaks. Your Mrs should try for a larger company, since they're more easily able to provide cover for pregnancy situations.
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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 10-12-2007, 07:21 AM
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Re: Un#%$^ing Believable! :-(

Originally Posted by DavyH View Post
I hear this kind of thing and wonder what kind of worker protection there is in Aus (the States too, reputedly?)- as far as I can see, none whatsoever. Is there no organisation geared at handling this kind of thing?
The Mob is the only organization I can think of that's sucessful at "handling" these kinds of things.

I'm so sorry to hear about your troubles Lone Phantom... a very similar thing happened to me as well, strangely enough. Here in the US, we don't get any kind of baby money from the government and we're pretty much on our own unless we're desperately poor and then we can get some help from welfare, and yet in spite of the lack of support it all still works out somehow.

When you have a baby, people buy and give you alot of stuff! And people who have children already are selling baby stuff all the time so even if you have to buy a stroller or a crib, you can usually find them used all day long and with a good cleaning and possibly a paint job you'll be good to go. Baby registries are wonderful things! You and your wife can put down exactly what you need and people will buy it for you!

I'm so sorry for your wife. I hope that she can find a way to stay calm through this. It might help if you can handle the things with the job yourself and not tell her too much about how it's going so as not to stress her out more and keep her mind dwelling there. Tell her it will all be okay, because it will be, even if it seems right now that it won't. Most miscarriages happen in the first 3 months of pregnancy so if she is beyond that point, chances are she's going to be fine, although the less stress in her life the better. The temping sounds like a good idea to me since any place she works is going to be temporary anyway and if her medical care is provided independently from her employment, that's even better. It will all be okay, you'll see. Life wouldn't be life if it didn't knock you on your ass from time to time. My best wishes for you, your wife and your little one. Blessings.
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