Monday, April 21, 2008

With Temperate Prejudice

I am going against a personal policy of mine and writing about my actual work.  I am taking care to not name the companies or the people involved.  Doing otherwise would be a disservice to all involved.

A man that I am replacing within my company was recently fired for cause.  In the State of Texas, a right-to-work state, employees have the right to quit at any time without notice, regardless of any notification requirements in their contracts (this does not apply to independent contractors though - just "regular," W-2 employees).  Additionally, an employer may terminate an employee for any reason or no reason at all.

I do not know all of the particulars related to the case but I do know that the man I am replacing really upset several employees of my company's client.  In the consulting profession, this is a Cardinal Sin.

This is not to say that a consultant should be unreasonable in accommodating an client or even tell them things they want to hear instead of what they need to hear.

From what I have been able to ascertain, the client has several key employees who are upset with specific actions of his.  He was not faulted for his performance.

Once the complaints against him were made, problems that were tolerated when the client was pleased with him were no longer accepted.

He was terminated with cause but I was not privy to the reason given for his termination.

Late last week, I was shown two pieces of information that I found disquieting.  One was something that had I seen, without any point of reference,  compel me to fire someone.  The other was a filing against my company and our client with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charing both with racism.

I cannot definitively say that racism was not a factor with the client.  I have not been on site with them nor have I talked with any of them in great detail.  I can say with near certainty that race was never even discussed by employer in any conversations involving me or that I had overheard.

I am a big believer in the right to association in personal and business matters.  I believe that employers have the right to hire and fire whomever they can attract or disregard.  I believe if race had been an issue, he would not have been hired in the first place.

* Side note:  I understand that some people believe that race transcends the color of skin and that "they didn't know what they were getting but didn't like it once they found out."  This really does not apply here.  I actually disregard that view entirely.

Cream will rise to the top.  Artificial barriers have been destroyed.  Pretending that they exist not only wastes time and money, it deafens the ears against legitimate complaints.

I may have to write more on this later.
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