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Jury Duty = Lost Job

Discussion in 'Personnel' started by DirtHauler, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. DirtHauler

    DirtHauler Senior Member

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    Seattle WA
    So I got drawn for jury duty last july while working full time for a non-paid leave type of company. Since we in WA you are allowed to postpone your service once, I resceduled mine for Jan of 08 thinking that I would be off of work for the winter. Not that I like to be off for the winter, but that is just the way I always seem to end up, on the short list for layoffs. (I don't kiss ass or work for free). I end up working for a major player in the area who has enough winter work for good people as well as the back stabbers (read ass kissing snitches who spend half the day on the hotline to the boss squeeling on other drivers).

    Fearing that taking time off for my jury service might disrupt the project, I begin telling the dispatcher and my direct superviser in Nov. about my date. (Three people since we are a more chiefs than indians type of company when things get slow in the winter) Most just seem annoyed about the advance notice and ask that I just remind them a few days in advance. Well, my date to appear for service is WED JAN 9th. So MON JAN 7th I notify the 3 people again and even tell the Superintendant on the job about it. I inform them all that it is my intention to request to be dismissed so I can work.

    I show up at the courthouse with the ~200 or so other people drawn for the same date and sit through the orientation. This is when I first got worried, they said the MINIMUM service is 2 days and that is only if you are not randomly selected by the computer or have a conflict of interest with the case that you are drawn to hear. Remember that I had only requested one day off as that all they had to do when they were drawn... Little did I know that the proceedure had changed on the first of the year when the new laws regarding jury duty were enacted.

    They call 60 people for the first case, expected to last 6 weeks min. Not called, YAY. Second case is called for 35 people with a one week expectation. DAMN I got called 20th. They outline the case and I am sure that I am gonna get dismissed due to conflicts of interest (civil case that has both a construction element AND a truck driver element) WOOHOO I am glad that it looks like I am gonna be able to get out of there after all. NOPE I got bumped up to the box by all the other people who are dismissed for various legitimate reasons.

    I called my Superintendant first, since he is the only one that seemed to even show the slightest amount of interest in my absense, when I got home. He get VERY UPSET and ask why I did not tell him sooner that I was gonna be gone so long... Well, I did not have even the slightest idea I was gonna be gone that long, and I called him as soon as I got home. (between 5-6pm) I guess he did not really want me to answer him because he interupted me and said I got to get someone for your truck, call me later and hangs up. Now I konw for a fact that we have 10 other trucks sitting right now with drivers laid off due to lack of work, and there are LOTS of independant trucks dieing to work which we hire all the time.

    So I called tonight to tell him that they dismissed the jury till Monday because they have to do administative stuff tomorrow. I called to make sure that he was gonna have work for me, and I made sure to call him at 4:07, as soon as I possibly could. He gives me smug voice and says that he has replaced me cause he needs to keep that truck working. I call the dispatcher to see if he has any other work for me at any of our other locations and am told that I am back at the bottom of the driver list because I got fired from that superintendants job for not giving him notice that I was gonna be gone that long. :beatsme BTW this superintendant is very old school and what we call a screamer. One of the "Good ole' boys" did I mention his son is also a forman on this job? :rolleyes:

    Oh and as far as going the hardship route with the judge, someone said there wife had a cat scan for lung cancer that was gonna conflict and he needed to take her to the appointment. Judge told him to have her take a cab or rescedule :eek: And at that point I was sure I was gonna get dismissed for my conflicts.

    So here I am, pissed off as hell since this is not legal or ethical for the company to do to me. We all know what raising a stink about this will achieve... nothing, since they can lay you off without cause at anytime, and will just blame it on work slowdown. Anyway, here I sit biting my tounge feeling raped for not only doing that is required of me by law, but doing something that is fundamental to our government. :usa

    KK now I think I will go find a hobby till spring/summer when I got a chance in hell of getting an other dispatch. :rolleyes: Thanks for reading this far and letting me vent my frusterations.
     
  2. surfer-joe

    surfer-joe Senior Member

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    I understand the companies position, however it sounds as though they still gave you a raw deal. Can the Teamsters help you out any?

    I served on jury duty once. It was a funny deal because several of the jurers wanted to act like we were deciding John Dillinger's fate. (all it was was some drunk taking a pee in a park bathroom except he was peeing on the wall just inside the door and some little girls saw him through the doorway) It was a farce and I quickly said so.

    Fortunately several others saw it the same way and we only had to spend two hours deciding he wasn't guilty of being a pervert. A couple of those people acted like they wanted to send him to the gas chamber.

    In your case however, it sounds like maybe that company isn't so good to work for no how. Try to pick a better one next time.

    Good Luck!
     
  3. DirtHauler

    DirtHauler Senior Member

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    I am gonna wait to see what happens when its time to actually go back to work. I have seen people change there minds in the past and I am not gonna try to get all spun out on what someone says they might do. I will take the apropriate steps when the time comes. Some times I just hate the disposible attitudes the employers in the industry have at times. In the end it will be their loss if they let me go, I am one of the guys that not only enjoys his work, but takes pride in doing a good job. I can not stand the guys who show up just because its a job, I have my heart in it and do an honest days work for an honest days pay.
     
  4. 544D10

    544D10 Well-Known Member

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    I think jury duty is total BS. All I ever get is dismissed and $5.00 to show for it. It should not even be required unless you are retired or watch Matlock.

    BTW you are union? Welcome to the game of we dont care who you are, to the bottom of the list you go. :Banghead
     
  5. GaryKelley

    GaryKelley Well-Known Member

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    Red Bluff, California
    This reply might be taken the wrong way

    I'm guessing, that if you don't want to bother with Jury duty, there are PLENTY of countries out there, that don't have jurys. Perhaps they have jobs available?
     
  6. DirtHauler

    DirtHauler Senior Member

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    Well, I do not have a problem with jury duty at all, to tell you the truth I am glad that I have the opertunity to serve. What I have a problem with is losing my employment for doing something that I have a duty and legal obligation to do. I did not volunteer for jury duty, or actively seek it, thus I feel as though the company should in no way take action against me for being randomly selected to serve. If nothing else, it would not be too big of an assumption to say that it appears the company is upset that I did not purger myself by lieing to the court in an attempt to forgo my obligation to serve if called. Perhaps this clears up my personal opinion on the situation. I mean in the end I am losing over $1000 in wages alone and risking my employment. And if the court saw fit, I would serve as often and as long as they needed again.

    Bottom line: A person should NEVER have to even consider their employment in jeoperdy due to jury service. I wish all companies were like the one that employs 5 of the 13 of us serving in this case, they pay FULL wages for their employees while serving on a jury. And they have 70,000 employees which most make a pretty good wage (aerospace employees make $$$$), then you have companies that not only do not pay wages, but fire employees who are called to serve. IMHO its in the companies best interest to have people serve on juries, since the company I am employed at is often the victom of theft and vandalizm and complains about how messed up the system is for dealing with the criminals. :beatsme
     
  7. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member

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    Union not union jury duty it is not legal to fire you. Now they may want to try the ol lay you off crap. But any lawyer worth anything would get you plenty in damages. I hate lawsuits and lawyers but in this case totally justified and I would rake them over the coals.
     
  8. jhill

    jhill Well-Known Member

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    I agree with PSDF350. I'll bet a call to the court would get a return call from the judge to your bosses pointing out the error of their ways.

    Jerry
     
  9. dirtwhore

    dirtwhore Active Member

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    Im guessing you work for ICON Materiels? Sounds like some thing those Oldcaste jerk ass folks would do!
     
  10. DirtHauler

    DirtHauler Senior Member

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    Close, but no, correct color of truck only ours have a Peterbilt logo on the hood and we have a concrete division as well as a heavy haul division ;)
     
  11. RollOver Pete

    RollOver Pete Senior Member

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    With all due respect....
    The reason your employer treated you in the way that he did is because you allowed him to.
    He has more then likely gotten away with it in the past and unless someone finds the testicular fortitude to stand up to him, he will continue to get away with it.
    Now I don't mean to offend you in any way but think about it...
    What makes him or the screaming kind any better than the rest of us?
    What right does he or the screaming kind have to.......to scream?
    They have no right....unless his puppets give it to him.
    So....
    If you are OK with getting fired from the supers job, going to the bottom of the list and letting the management know that you are willing to accept this kind of treatment, keep right on biting.
    Your (ex)company isn't the only rodeo in town.
    Maybe its time to move on?
    For a new hobby.....how about a new employer?
    Theres lots of them out there....
    You just gotta be hungry enough to hunt one down.
    And yeah, I know about the teamster thing.
    I'm also an operating engineer who knows all about climbing the ladder only to get shoved off by someones step son, someones brother or someones puppet.
    Brother....
    You gotta keep the faith.
    Look out for # 1 and do what you gotta do.
    Everything happens for a reason.
    I'm sure theres a better gig with a better employer right around the corner.
    The ball is in your court now.
    Best wishes for ya.
    :cool:
     
  12. DirtHauler

    DirtHauler Senior Member

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    I appriciate it, the screamer is only a few years from retirement so I really doubt that there is any changing that old dog. I might just give him the bite he deserves but will have to see what happens come the end of the week. I anticipate a little pressure from the dispatcher on him this week as I have advised him of my displesure in being treated this way by no fault of my own. I have not been able to have a face to face with the super yet, that is coming, I don't take getting fired over the phone by cowards. I am a big boy 6'7" tall and 300+ and I have a VERY quick wit about me. I often find that I can out lash most people when they are not thinking reasonably. I even got assulted at work by one somoan who got called out on the carpet when he tried to bully me. HOWEVER I am not ready to take any action that will perminatly end my potiental for future employment with this employer. They are one of the 5 or so MAJOR players in the area and I have already burned up 2 of the others in the past 10 years. This particular company also seems to have the best ability for keeping people busy year round since they also have a concrete and aggergate manufacturing division, as well as a recycling division. Anyway if he sticks to his story about having replaced me come the end of the trial, HE will know that he is dead wrong and I will let the dispacture know exactly what I am going to do (note that EVERY other person at this company knows what an ass the super is and dreads ever having to deal with him) its about time all these old timers retire, their rodeo has been over long ago. I just might get lucky and he might say something that can get him in trouble in this new politicly correct world. I appricate everyones input and look forward to more. I will try to take a few steps back and carefully negotiate my move.
     
  13. Eric

    Eric Senior Member

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    I will try to take a few steps back and carefully negotiate my move.[/QUOTE]

    Good Idea. I'd like to start a thread naming the brown nosers I work with but I don't wanna stsrt a fire!
     
  14. stumpjumper83

    stumpjumper83 Senior Member

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    how to get out of jury duty

    pls delete
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2008
  15. DirtHauler

    DirtHauler Senior Member

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    well, I am kinda glad I did not get DQed, its for a worker who was injured on the job. I would want a fellow construction worker on the jury if I was injured.
     
  16. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member

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    Unless of course he was an idiot that brought the hurt on himself.
     
  17. tonka

    tonka Senior Member

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    Longview WA
    Um you know you have legal recourse here!
    Washington State law says employers, "shall provide an employee with sufficient leave of absence from employment when that employee is summoned" for jury duty. It also says employers, "shall not deprive an employee of employment or threaten, coerce, or harass an employee or deny an employee promotional opportunities" for serving as a juror. It does not say your employer has to pay you while you serve.

    where i got this from http://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/resources/index.cfm?fa=newsinfo_jury.faq#Q8

    Hope it all works out for you!
     
  18. DirtHauler

    DirtHauler Senior Member

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    THANK YOU very much, I Am gonna print out the page from the link and put it in my car so that if the company follows through with the threat I can show the human resources officer exactly what the law says. If they still decide not to reinstate me, I will send a note the judge who presided over the case, as he has requested to be advised should anyone have any issue whatsoever with their work situation. I wonder if a call from the Honorable Superior Court Justice William Downing to the superintendant would convince him that its in the best intrest of the company to reinstate me. :drinkup
     
  19. tonka

    tonka Senior Member

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    Anytime bud thank google for that!
     
  20. bear

    bear Senior Member

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    Any update? Just curious, hate to see someone get shafted like this. I agree with RoP Don't take it and you won't get it. Know your rights and they can't be taken from you iof you're willing to fight for them.