For the folks who are unaware, First Group has a pretty detailed Corporate Social Responsibility Policy and a part of the policy states:
CODE OF BUSINESS ETHICS
This code applies to all of the operations of FirstGroup and its subsidiaries and
sets out the minimum standards which the Board of FirstGroup expects from
staff in their internal and external dealings with colleagues, customers,
stakeholders and third parties.
1.1 Basic Standards of Conduct
(a) We will conduct every aspect of our business with honesty, integrity and
openness, respecting human rights and the interests of our employees,
customers and third parties.
(b) We will respect the legitimate interests of third parties with whom we
have dealings in the course of our business.
(c) We will maintain the highest standards of integrity – for example, we will
not promise more than we can reasonably deliver or make commitments
we cannot or do not intend to keep.
Each FirstGroup company
(a) is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and healthy working
environment for its employees.
(b) will strive to create a workplace in which there is mutual trust and
respect and where every person feels responsible for the performance
and reputation of our company.
(c) will respect the individual and each other’s rights, customs and traditions
including the right to freedom of association and the right to decide
whether or not to join a trade union and will negotiate in good faith with
the properly elected representatives of its employees.
(d) will work towards achieving a diverse workforce, recruiting, employing
and promoting employees only on the basis of objective criteria and the
qualifications and abilities needed for the job to be performed.
(e) will maintain good communications with employees through our
information and consultation procedures.
(f) will assist employees in realising their potential.
Click on the title of this post if you're interested in the complete document. Take a look at 1.1(a) and 1.2(b) in particular. For some odd reason, I don't think First Transit complied with the policy in my case.
Accordingly, I sent the following email to First Group Compliance and Ethics:
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Larry W. Seale and I am an ex-employee of First Transit, Denver/Longmont. Per the Compliance, Monitoring and Reporting requirements, I wish to inform you that I consider there to be a breech of the CSR policy, to wit: Section 1.1 and Section 1.2. I will not go into the full story at this time but I have created a blog with details and document postings. It is getting lengthy so it would be pretty time consuming to read the entire story but you can reference the blog or contact me for details:
There are a couple of points I consider germane to my claim that First Transit treated me in an unethical and unfair manner. I was an excellent employee as my personnel file will show and I always did my job to the best of my ability. I was terminated not because I broke a rule but because I contracted a very serious illness. When the saga started, all I wanted was my job back and I attempted to present my claims in a logical manner. I now sense a "circle the wagons" mentality with First Transit management because they refuse to admit there were serious breeches of Federal Law, my Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and Company Policy (if there was actually a formal policy in effect at the time).
Here are some facts:
I was out for five months before I was ever contacted by HR and that contact was a letter which was later dismissed as a "mistake" and is now ignored as if it were never sent. I complied with all conditions of the letter. That letter, and all letters I have received from First Transit, have a link in my blog.
My next contact with HR almost a month later. Ms. Mitchell-Robson, First Transit HR manager, called me, told me I was terminated and that she had sent a letter to that effect. After a number of attempts to determine what "just cause" (defined by my CBA), I contacted First Group by email and Ms. Therien, HR Director Central Region called me. In the end, both she and Ms. Mitchell-Robson have taken the position that I was terminated per the CBA. I am sorry, but unions are in place to protect jobs not fire employees and the CBA does not in any manner state I should have been terminated. I understand that the company is allowed to implement rules (as it should) to cover situations not addressed in a CBA and on numerous occasion, I have have asked for the specific rule or policy that allowed for my termination and I keep getting the same tired answer, "per the CBA". Is it possible that the company did not have a formal policy in effect? How hard would it be to say "Rule XYZ" covers your situation and show me that rule? It is interesting to note that First Transit issued a new Employee Handbook in February, 2009 (after I was terminated) and that handbook goes into detail and would have allowed the company to administratively terminate me.
I was given a set of rules that I had to follow as a condition of employment. I did so! It is a two way street, the company also has a set of rules and I demand that they follow them. Anything less is certainly a breech of the First Group CSR Policy, my CBA and potentially applicable State or Federal law and regulations.
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