February 16, 2012 in Features

Annie’s Mailbox: New CEO fires worker with record

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar Kathy Mitchell

Dear Annie: After eight years at my job, I was let go. I have a felony record. The CEO who knew of my background retired last year. He felt I had proved myself and had no problem with me. When he retired, we got an interim CEO. I told him about my record as soon as he came on board. Today, he decided our company would have a zero-tolerance policy for any criminal records, so I was fired.

Annie, I voluntarily told my supervisors of my conviction. I worked hard to show that I had overcome my record. Was this a fair thing for the temporary CEO to do? Shouldn’t I have been “grandfathered” in? I was told if I kept to the straight and narrow, I would be fine. I have not done one thing out of line and don’t plan to. My conviction was more than eight years ago. But apparently, my honesty didn’t pay off. No one forgives. No one believes me. I am devastated. What can I do? – Think I’m a Good Person

Dear Good Person: If a company fires you because of your race, sexual preference, gender or religion, you would be able to sue them for wrongful termination. If the zero-tolerance policy was implemented solely to skirt around one of the reasons listed above, you might have a case. Otherwise, there doesn’t seem to be much recourse, although you could consult an attorney. Please know that your eight-year record as an exemplary employee should help you land another job at a more tolerant company. Also contact the Safer Foundation ( saferfoundation.org) for suggestions and assistance.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailboxcomcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

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