YOU’RE FIRED! Should You Sign a Non-compete?

Should you sign a non-compete? Just asking this tells me you are on the right path. Read below, see what The Ladders has to say about it (below), and seriously consider consulting a lawyer.

Employers talk about not getting loyalty from the workforce, but guess who created that environment (hint: it rhymes with m-plaw-r)? All of the ra-ra team spirit stuff is fun, but when you get terminated what happens to those hours of team-building warm fuzzies? Should they evaporate? I guess the employer misses that part sometimes, when they FIRE you, you will be upset, and perhaps even see them and their team building exercises as hypocritical at best.

I had never been let go before so when it was my turn I wasn’t that savvy on what or how to negotiate. I walked away with a severance that was okay, I thought. But man it runs out fast! It would have been nice to have someone walk me through this process to help me understand that (a) it would take longer than I think to get a job, (b) perhaps I could have negotiated for some important things, and (c) be careful what you sign!

Should you sign a non-compete? Be careful!

Instead of telling you what I signed (long story) I’ll share the experience of a buddy from last week. He got terminated and was given a “great offer”:

If you sign this one-year non-compete, we’ll give you two weeks of severance.

So should you sign a non-compete? Is this a great offer? What the heck are they thinking? Two weeks of severance (remember, you still get taxes and all the goodies taken out) just to promise that you won’t compete with them? Unbelievable. Now that is a company that really respects its employees – not! It should be noted that this one employee can recreate what the company has, but do it better, and knows all the places to market it, and market it better!

Should You Sign a Non-compete?

Here’s the top of an internet search on “should you sign a non-compete.” I feel like this sums it up:

should you sign a non-compete? Apparently not!

What are some of the things that you have seen, or been through, or heard of? What do you recommend people do when they get terminated? What should we watch out for? Share your thoughts here… this is a tough issue and I have no answers (but I can smell a crappy offer a mile away).

34 thoughts on “YOU’RE FIRED! Should You Sign a Non-compete?”

  1. Jason, good subject to talk about as it impacts so many people. As a career coach who’s provided outplacement/career transition services to scores of terminated employees, here are a few ideas that others have found helpful when they got THE NEWS, just like your buddy did…and just like I did (a lot of years ago)!

    1. Clarify with the employer the reason for your departure. (Sometimes the surprise & the emotion get in the way of remembering this piece of information).
    2. Ask the employer if you are eligible for unemployment benefits.
    3. Ask the employer for company-sponsored outplacement (career transition services) to help you move through the transition process. (This means that the company, not you, pays for such services of career coaching, resume writing, interviewing, etc.)
    4. Ask the employer for a letter of recommendation.
    5. Ask the employer what will be said about you when a prospective employer contacts them. Are you eligible for re-hire if the prospective employer asks this question?
    6. Ask the employer who the contact person will be regarding reference verification matters.
    7. Do not sign anything “on the spot”.
    8. Do not sign anything until a “qualified” third party has reviewed the severance package / offer.
    9. Think, think, think with your head, not your heart (right now) because the emotion gets in the way of clear thinking and you may say something, do something that you will regret later.
    10. Ask for benefits continuation, extension for X amount of time.
    11. Carefully review any / all the other “perks” and “benefits” that the company has paid for – what of those, if any, can you negotiate to keep, continue for X block of time?
    12. Take a long hard look before you decide you decide to burn the bridge. Otherwise, don’t burn it.

    I will always remember the day I was fired….always. Not as a bad thing, but a really hard thing. But it also was a turning point, a life lesson, and THE day I WOKE UP. And many years later, I dedicated my book to the corporate president who “let me go.” I used to have a sign in my office that clients got a pretty good chuckle out of – it said “Don’t look back, ‘cause we ain’t goin’ there!” In any event, you are a great role model, Jason, and your buddy can learn much from you! Thanks again for a thought-provoking post!

  2. Jason –

    Great post!

    I’ve experienced terminations and lay offs. And their evil twin, the escorted “walk of shame” out of the building. It’s not easy to keep your wits about you when you hear a phrase like, “this is the toughest thing a (wo)man in my position has to do…”

    But most who are going to be terminated or laid off have an idea they’re going to be axed. That’s why I have given the same advice (as Billie’s listed) to my clients facing unemployment. Negotiating a continuation of perks and benefits, in particular, is important. Many employees don’t negotiate because they don’t know they can. Additionally, many don’t ask for a reference letter before they leave the building. Reference letters are job hunting gold and should be requested. And, as always, have a third party review any and all separation documentation prior to signing it.

    Excellent post, Jason! And excellent comment, Billie!

  3. Get an attorney!! That is the best advice I can give. Don’t sign a thing until your attorney reviews it. And then it’s still probably better to let your lawyer do the talking with your former employer…you never know what they may throw at you so let a professional deal with the whole mess.


  4. Hey Jason, great thought provoking post. My last job the whole compnay was shut down. Not too much negotiation there. The first job I had out of college, I resigned to do something else, and they didn’t accept my resignation… they fired me…. 😛 I got a lawyer and made them ‘take it back.’ LOL

  5. Excellent thoughts everyone. I never would have thought to get an attorney – I guess it depends on what “level” you are at the time – but I can see where it would be important to do this so that there aren’t major obstacles when you are trying to land your next job!

    Thanks for contributing – this is excellent information.

  6. Hey, maybe people should start asking for severance equal to the duration of the noncompete. After all, if the employer wants to restrict my ability to earn an income in the industry where all my skills are just to help themselves out, they ought to pay me for it, no? I bet that would stop some of this ridiculous non-compete crap.

  7. Great post Jason! I totally agree about the attorney route, but also have to provide the pessimistic view too. You absolutely should never sign anything on the spot, but if it is a mass layoff or severance, even if you have an attorney review the document, there is likely not much you can do. On the flip side, if you’re the only one being laid off or it’s a situation only involving one or two people, then you may have more legal leverage…

  8. Re: “2. Ask the employer if you are eligible for unemployment benefits.”

    Don’t beleive them if they tell you “no.” Many unscrupulous employers try to bully their employees out of their benefits in order to protects their rating, because it ultimately affects their bottom line.

    In fact, don’t ASK them – just go file for benefits. If they fight it and you get denied – especially if you get denied because your boss lies about why they fired you – think about getting a lawyer’s help. (Quickly, though – in some places you may have only a few days to decide.)

    Also, for everyone who says “get an attorney” before signing ANYTHING – you’re absolutely right. Non-compete clauses are almost never worth what they give you in return, unless it’s full salary for the entire time you’re bound by the agreement (i.e. 1 year’s salary for a 1-year non-compete) or unless you’re moving far out of the “covered” area.

    If they refuse to let you check with an attorney before signing the document, what does THAT tell you about their intent?

  9. I am doing some research on folks who were laid off (mass layoffs for economic reasons rather than for job performance issues) and then required to ‘honor’ their non-competes. Has anyone experienced that? Can you share your story?

    thanks! great posts.

  10. I began working with a WONDERFUL company 12 years ago. A peer that I worked with displayed hatred towards me from the day I walked in for an interview. I didn’t know at the time that she started a month before me, and had no clout for hiring. Many times throughout the years she would show jealously if she felt I received too much credit for a mutual project, and she continuously tried to gain power and kept me in trouble for fabricated events. I told her that I would support her in her position. After 9 years she was promoted to my boss. She has somehow snowed management that she knows what she’s doing, but she’s clueless. We have such an incredible hard-working team…we make her look good. After her first year we all banded against her becuase she became a tyrant. She had to take a Management Course. She’s very vindictive and she does “get you back.” She has rolled 5 heads in her 3 years…and she’s told me that I’m next. She just didn’t like them for various reasons….and they threatened her position. I told her that I just want to do my job, and do it well. We’ve talked. I’ve done projects for her outside the office, then found out she laughed with a co-worker at my “sucking up”. I’ve documented her abuse and lies the past few years. We have no HR Department. I’ve gone to the owners and they told me to talk to one of the kind officers in the company. I have talked to her boss on several occassions to report incidents that I felt were crucial that my side be heard. This woman plays on the internet all day…and I just don’t understand why she’s still there, and why management doesn’t see it. I feel her manager sees her as “her” responsibility and firing her would be a failure. SORRY! This is droning on…but my question is…. I have documentation…I have health records where I’ve suffered depression and high blood pressure…I have talked to major officers in the company. I DEARLY LOVE my job…it’s just this ONE EVIL ONE. My review is today…my birthday…and she’s trashed me for the year. My father became very ill over the summer, so she kicked up the abuse and overloaded me with jobs to make things worse. My father passed in November. He was my Rock. I am no quitter. I won’t. I love my job. I could find another, but I keep hoping that this evil person will sink herself. I did document a lie on my midyear review…so I do have proof she is fabricating information that affects my salary. What are my legal repercussions? What can I do? Where can I find an attorney that may represent a jobless person? Do I have a chance at putting 12 years of relentless abuse in a courtroom? =0(

  11. @victim of hatred do go talk to an attorney who specialized in HR-related matters. DO NOT go talk to your HR department until you have done the first step.

    Otherwise, I also signed the agreements I was given “on the spot” when I was laid off back in 2001. I had no idea. Its funny that we’re such DO IT YOURSELFERS that we don’t want to use recruiters to GET a job, and we don’t want to use attorneys when we’re being FIRED from a job.

    HR departments are clamping up pretty tightly because the tide is shifting away from companies having all the power. Finally, us human beings–the little worker-bees–are getting wise to managing our own lives as if we, ourselves, were a corporation. Its sad that we have to defend ourselves this way, but nobody is looking out for you but you–and those you PAY to help you.

  12. @susan I don’t know. Even in a mass layoff, you still have rights. I think secretly, companies go the “mass layoff” route do so partly because of the deer-in-headlights look it kinda creates for the masses. People resign themselves to “there just wasn’t budget for me anymore….” and let it all slide under the carpet.

    If you’ve been mistreated, you’ve been mistreated. Period. “Everybody’s doing it” or “Its not YOU, its happening to EVERYONE” doesn’t make it RIGHT, though its been tried a lot down through the years… Hitler comes to mind….

  13. @Victim,

    If it were me, and I’m hard-headed, I would continue to do the best job I could while looking elsewhere. I would not be able to work with this person, but would try and not rock the boat until I knew I had something else.

    It’s unsettling to know that sr. management isn’t behind you… do you know why? Does this person have ownership, or special privileges with the mgt?

    From my past experience, if senior management isn’t managing and leading the company, and letting this bad manager stay in power, that’s enough writing on the wall for me.

  14. Robert and Jason…bless you both…thank you so much for caring.

    Well, today I didn’t sign the horrific, lie-filled review…I simply said I needed time to write rebuttal. She also presented me with my raise percentage this year… guessed… 0%. I worked SO hard for this company…and completed so many large projects that all I’ve accomplished was swiped away with a flick of a pen.

    Jason…the reason they keep her is… the team works well together, without her, and this makes her look good even though she stinks as a manager and is a real closet-idiot. AND she’s cheaper to keep because she was only an editor before, and have tried to preen her for this position. So HER manager has a person stake in whether she can make a silk purse from an evil sow’s ear.

    I think I will take your advice, Robert…just for peace of mind, and consult an attorney just to see what my writes are. I’m very jealous of how the UK has put laws in place to protect their worker bees. Sadly, this country is overrun with office bullies…just like mine. Sadly…I hate to say it, but I feel like the company is getting rid of older employees…healthcare costs…salary costs… to hire the young for less pay and less health care costs. Truly…this should be an illegal practice. I have documented 2 instance of physcial abuse (and told the powers that be…and nothing)… she yanked my hair one time. And the other she smacked me in the back of the head and told me to stop being difficult. I have a witness for the hair yanking…but this was 3 years ago. She was one that had been fired most recently…I’m sure she would testify on my behalf.

    3 of the heads that “Satan” rolled…were guess what? Sick. One had breast cancer. The other was in an accident that caused her to have surgery. The other took FMLA to stay home with her sick son. One “Lucyfer” just hated because the bright gal threatened her job. The other was over 60. She was working on firing another woman she hated…this woman had trouble with her foot and was going to have surgery when “IT” came after her, hurling lies like thunderbolts….she since has retreated (Like Jason suggested). I DO LOVE my company…but if they are up to the evil that their actions hint…it’s just too terrible to comprehend.

    I’m 43…today…stinky birthday. =0(… And the powers that be, know this woman is lying…but now I question whether they put her up to it…and this is very scary.

    Jason…good advice…I will continue as before and work hard and try to lay low. But really…why, why, why don’t evil people get what they deserve? Seems good people are set up to fail.

    UNIVERSE!!! WHY? Help us good souls that work hard to care for their families and are good to their fellow man…help us prevail over this tyranny.

    Okay..that was a prayer.

    sigh. sniff.


    The UK is WAY ahead of us with laws that protect bullied employees! Why is this country not protecting it’s working class? A politician could take this all the way to the TOP…trust me. We’ve all suffered in some way at some point in time from a power hungry tyrant.

  16. My reward for getting better was a rotten performance review, a pay cut, being threatened with termination, 70-hr work-weeks (no overtime, EVER!), and before I could find another job… you guessed it! Fired “for poor performance” which, by the way is total hogwash since my productivity more than tripled once I was well again (performance review during my illness was just fine and even resulted in a small raise!). Oh, and since I have spinal implants that prevent me from lifting more than 10 lbs (medical devices for pain meds), I wasn’t even able to remove all of my things during my own “walk of shame”. They said they’d mail the rest but it still hasn’t come. Former co-workerd even offered to cart it all to my home but the boss specifically instructed them not to. I can’t even make a clean break because of that! Although that would be difficult anyway since I spent 2 years treating the tumor, 6 additional years getting medical treatment for nerve damage caused by the treatment… lots and lots of medical debt… forced to leave a doctoral program against my will over everything. Just this past year I was finally beginning to see the light. I was finally pain-free, the cancer had not returned, and I started taking classes again in the evenings after work. But then, my boss began accusing me of all sorts of things I did not do! He even tried to tell me that others said horrible things about me but they wouldl never have done such a thing! Of course, I did try to get a lawyer but being broke doesn’t help me much, despite the fact that I documented everything once things turned sour and that includes a series of digital recordings and comments about my health on my performance reviews. I worked so hard to try and rebuild my life but I’ve been unable to find a new job in nearly 2 months, my health insurance ran out a few days ago, and I genuinely feel as though the end is right around the corner. My family and doc both know how I feel but I am still expected to deal with the entire mess alone. I would have given anything to have someone here with me over the holidays but my family has always had unrealistic expectations when it came to my abilities (in every aspect of life). Having a high IQ doesn’t pay the bills, ward off chronic illness or shield you against fiscal disaster. I love my field with all my heart… but I cannot move forward without a complete education and I cannot afford to continue working towards that without stable employment. I am completely heartbroken. I ask myself every day what it was I was fighting for all those years when eating was more excrutiating than going hungry and I avoided the bill-stuffed mailbox like it was a bomb, waiting to go off. Dreaming about the future kept me alive and gave me a reason to keep trying. This is not the life I fought for. I wish I was smart enough to know what to do but no one around me has any answers and certainly no one is physically willing to enter my world– it would shatter the peaceful denial permeating those around me who seem to think that everything will work out just like it always has before. No one realizes just how costly it is to leave loved ones in crisis without a social safety net. Never overestimate what a person is capable of conquering or putting up with and never underestimate the power of your support, no matter what form your love, kindness and concern takes. I have reached out to everyone I could think of. There simply isn’t anywhere else to turn. You know the really sad part? During all those months, I could not contribute to society in a meaningful way, I started to work on something of great importance to my peers. I imagine someone else will come up with it on their own eventually but who knows how long that could take? I guess it will just have to wait for the next person now. Sometimes, society just isn’t ready. I wonder how many other leaps have been missed due to simple social ignorance? Telling someone that perhaps they should, “leave (career of choice) to “enjoy what remains of one’s life” or accept disability payment is not being helpful; for someone driven, independent and passionate about their work, such recommendations are insulting (and no one else’s business anyway!). All I wanted, were the same opportunities and respect I had before my illness… but that’s never going to happen, is it? I just wish I knew what to do… I am so far from being the person I was before, it’s like I’m already gone. I tried for years to get even just a few pieces back but it’s all gone. I’ll be homeless in a few weeks if I don’t get sick again sooner. The enzymes I need to take in order to eat will run out before that and I can’t afford to pay for them without insurance. “College-Educated, Mensan Cancer-Survivor Starves to Death Following Wrongful Termination” that’s what the headline would say if anyone cared enough to write about this issue. I can’t possibly be the only one in a mess like this but I am the only one paying for it at the moment. I wish I had something positive and helpful to post here but I’m just as depressed and downtrodden as everyone else. Shame on all the scrooges out there who would take from good, hardworking people, tarnish their reputations and extinguish all hope after such a lengthy and difficult battle for mere survival. Shame on everyone who abolishes hope for people who have little else. Shame on supervisors who cheat, lie and steal from employees who sacrifice everything for their jobs. Shame on everyone else who has never had to walk in our shoes as they self-righteously peer down their noses at us and our plight. We did not deserve this. We never asked for this. Witnesses who saw what happened to us do change their conduct for the worse as desperate acts of self-preservation. This nation is devouring itself from the inside out and it’s only a matter of time before the facade collapses to fill the hollow. How we treat those in need reflects upon us all as a society. Consider the similarities between our national identity perceived by others around the world and the words we choose in reflecting upon our traumatizing experiences as victims of corporate greed. The American dream is dead.

  17. Cancer Survivor…you have me. I can call if you need someone to talk too. Grief is a powerful thing and you are overwhelmed. Sometimes it takes someone to listen to help find perspective. Write me at scubadiva1 at america online.

    My company fired a woman that had breast cancer. They did the same thing to her. They assassinated her work, work ethics…etc. She did NOTHiNG wrong. She even knew that if she got sick that this would happen. All they have with me is lies, and character assassination using the horrible woman that hates me. If it were a problem before I would’nt have been there 12 years.

    I’m trying to find an attorney with free consultation. If they hear your case, and it sounds like you have a solid one…they may defend you for part of the recover…and sometimes you pay nothing if they don’t recover. Seriously, if the court provides an attorney for criminals that can’t afford an attorney…why can’t regular citizens have the same?

    Look into getting medical help from Hospice…this isn’t just for end-of-life care! Many don’t know this! Also, look into the free county healthcare clinics. Medicaid…etc. Not sure of age limitations.

    The real PRIORITY right now is YOU and your health. The rest will fall into place. I’d like to think that God closes a door then opens a door when it’s time for us to move on. It won’t open until it’s time. Which isn’t a consolation, but believing…and preparing for it to happen are the best things you can do. Talk to me if you need help with a resume.

    That may not seem much…but if we can’t join together and form a unit against business that do such horrible things to good employees, then what will be done?

    I would send your story out to every news agency possible, CNN, Oprah, Nightline, 60 minutes. The media MUST get involved…somehow.

    I was even thinking about writing a book about this. Robert, Jason…what do you guys think? Ever thought about putting this site into a collaborative book? Talk to me! I can help publish it.

    HUGE HUGS, survivor. You are not alone.

  18. SURVIVOR! (I’m in advertising…you can probably tell)…

    I have an idea!

    Seriously… story on Ebay.

    Put a tangible item up for bid. I’m also an artist and I can donate a painting. Put your story up to raise funds for your healthcare…and I will donate the painting. You have to sell something to have a story there.

    I will be unemployed soon so this may help me in some small way as well.

    Let me know what you think! It needs to be KNOWN!!! Maybe a news agency will pick up your story from there.
    This story is more COMMON than you know and it will also help others or at least help kick-start laws that will prevent this abomination from happening.


  19. @victim, I’ve thought about a book (well, two already :p) … but I’m not sure how to do it from this blog. There are probably at least 20 starts to books in the last 18+ months from this blog.

  20. I am just coming in on this discussion – so please accept my apologies if I have misunderstood anything.
    Some of this info is incomplete – I will get back later to clarify.
    I reside in Florida since 1992, am a hospitality professional, and former Certified Legal Assistant. None of this is legal ADVICE – but it should help.

    1. NO company can MAKE you sign away ANY of your rights. PERIOD. End of Story. It does not matter WHICH state you are in….there is a difference between a lawsuit where there is a “bilateral contract” i.e. you are receiving “x” amount of dollars and you sign a confidentiality agreement not to speak to reporters and a company asking you to sign a document agreeing “not to sue.” Several years ago, a Texas based corporation opened a restaurant in Naples, Florida. On the application, there was a clause that EVERYONE was required to sign. It read: “JOE SCHMOE’S is a Texas corporation and as a result you have no right to Worker’s Compensation benefits or a hearing if you are hired and work in Florida.” If you did not sign that clause, they interviewed you, but you did not get hired.
    Of course, that was an illegal clause, and not a all valid. After several people complained to the State Attorney General, the company’s applications were revised.

    2. Having said that, once you sign a document, the onus is on you to show fear of losing your job, or threats, or intimidation – or that you just did not understand what you were signing. Moral: NEVER sign anything – period. ALWAYS get an opinion – State’s Attorney General, local Bar Association – there are MANY MANY free resources to assist when big business or bad people try to bully and intimidate.

    3. As for ‘non-competes” – I have MUCH personal experience with this. MOST States are taking the California and Florida approach: there are just 2 or 3 reasons to uphold non-competes TODAY i.e. sale of ownership interest in a business, proven trade secrets, or a significantly ‘special” issue.
    Courts are not even upholding the old ” 2 miles for 3 years” clause anymore. I am an independent contractor – hospitality recruiter – and one of my associates wanted me to sign a non -compete for 2 years. I asked her for the radius/distance since I had a job order for Dubai at that time – I never signed it and do not work with her anymore.

    Now, on the other hand, I know of an executive who took a $300,000 cash payment/severance in exchange for a 2 year non-compete in the restaurant business. Again, different and ‘bilateral.”

    4. “Victim of Hatred” seems to have a very close case for “hostile work environment.” I do not know which state or industry we are discussing – but the circumstances are odd at best. What business TODAY retains an employee of this horrifically low- level? If this manager is actually creating all this turmoil, the company is opening itself to massive liability….there reluctance to fire her screams of something fishy. What if one of these hapless souls under this horrible manager flips out – shooots people, there are deaths and destruction????? The company WOULD BE liable for the event.

    The last time I came across an instance this severe….the manager in question had MARRIED the daughter of a businessman to give her a green card and the manager “knew” he was unfirable for 5 years. It got worse but that is a different story.

    I hope this has helped somewhat.


  21. Leah! Thank you SO much! I can’t tell you how much your advice means! I’m in Florida as well.

    I’ve finally resigned myself to the fact that I’m at the peak of my salary and they are using this horrid woman (my manager that hates me) as a catalyst for removing me from their bottom line. I’m 43 and in good health…however they can hire a younger person for less…but not my experience.

    I made an attempt to talk to the owner and he wouldn’t see me. This man I’ve had a deep respect for, and has constantly sent me green notes on a job well done! The owner and his wife have been golden to me….but they are business people and they are privy to what’s going on. He had to sign it. THAT hurts. Probably more than the biddy’s lies.

    I knew that if he approved this entire bag of lies and 0-raise…then I’m going to be toast. I was thinking about just asking them to keep me at this salary indefinatly…and there was no need to assassinate my character or harding working ethics. I’ve really given this company my everything.

    This woman creates a rift between her team members with nasty gossip, and pits departments against each other…if you make her mad…she’s vindictive, she will get you…or make you pay by overloading you and giving impossible deadlines. She WILL set up her employee’s to fail.

    Mean people never get what they deserve. I DO see why people flip out and come back and shoot people like this (this is only a statment, not a threat!!! I would never hurt anyone)…when their livelihood and families at stake…an office bully that’s empowered by management…what can I even say?

    ___Yes, Jason…company uses the blackmail tactic. You sign this that you will not sue or badmouth us..and you will get severence and we will not contest your unemployment. If you DON’T sign this…we will check that we had “DUE CAUSE” in firing you and you will get NOTHING.

    It’s horrific! They are setting me up for “DUE CAUSE: they will not want to pay unemployment. This is why the poor review and lies. It is all pretty sudden…and thing is I can prove them wrong. I can prove a few instances are lies. There are a few people that they fired that would testify on my behalf. One girl saw her yank my hair… but the one’s that are there are afraid of her.

    Anyway…MEDIA WOULD HELP! Consider sending this thread to Oprah!, Jason…seriously. There’s a lot of suffering here…and it just isn’t right!

    Thanks again, Leah.

  22. Dear Victim:

    I realize you are upset and angry and overwrought.
    But…..WE are only privy to YOUR side.
    Remember, the truth is that there are 3 sides to every story: your side, their side, and the “real” side.
    I am still at a loss to understand HOW they continue to employ someone who seems this vindictive.
    At this point, you cannot get dragged down by “she said” or “you said.”

    The REAL issue at hand is:……if this document has actually been presented to you for signing.. Your remedy is in front of you and screaming at you. If the document ACTUALLY reads that they will only pay your unemployment if you do not file a valid/verifiable complaint, YOU MUST NOTIFY SOMEONE.

    IMMEDIATELY CONTACT THE FLORIDA BAR at (……..and the EEOC at (…..and the Wage and Labor Board at (


    All these sites have telephone numbers and downloadable forms.

    The Wage and Labor Board will have the quickest response here….it is their ‘territory.”
    The EEOC will determine if your complaint is ‘discriminatory.”
    The Florida Bar will guide you to an attorney for any potential complaint regarding hostile work place.

    AGAIN…do it today.

  23. I was so incensed by Vicitm’s feeling all alone and without recourse, I missed the actual problem here.


    If so, this is the issue: you have a lawsuit against HER, and the company for condoning her actions & NOT dismissing her/taking her away from the public.
    She physically battered you….assault is the threat, battery is the actual act. FILE A POLICE REPORT……this is not something to handle on your own.

    In today’s workplace “bully’s” and “intimidators” are dealt with harshly. If the company does NOT deal with this personality, then it is up to you to get others involved.


  24. Hi Leah!

    Thanks, much, for your advice. I’m consulting an attorney tomorrow. I was getting references for them. My company is very powerful and have lawyers on staff. I just want my ducks in a row when they get ready to let me go. Thanks to Jason…i will NOT sign anything until I have my questions answered.

    The hair pulling, unfortunately, was 3 years ago, and the smack on the back of the head, maybe 2. I don’t know if there is a statute of limitations on such, but I did have a witness to the hairpull…and this woman was since fired by my boss… very sadly over the summer (health problems she was in an accident…yes, more horror stories))

    I didn’t want any more trouble. I did tell her boss and even the owner’s wife…and nothing was done about it. I didn’t in writing.

    I do know that in Florida…there is a law that says they can fire you without cause…. which really stinks. Is this true, that you know of? However…they are making up the causes as they go.

    I talked to “it’s” manager this morning and asked that if it were a matter of me keeping my job, that I don’t need a raise and can stay at my current salary, or take a hair-paycut…just to keep my job. I said if you do this…all I want is for “its” character assassination of me to stop. Nothing more was said, she just nodded and I left.

    Plus, she violates HIPPA laws…she pries and pries and really gets angry if you don’t tell her personal matters…like “why are you going to the Dr?” Oh yes… I told her supervisor about this as well…and nothing.

    I just appear to be a huge whiner is all that’s happened, and working for a company empowered Lucifer.


  25. I was fired last week.

    That’s it… after almost 12 years. I realized that they were using the woman that hated me to try to force me to quit.

    Being over 40…they had me train a 22 year old before they fired me. Nice, obvious, age-discrimination there. I just realized that they also made the girl with breast-cancer train a 24 yo…before they bullied, then fired her too. Nice, huh?

    I’ve got representation as I was made aware of the REAL reason they were trying to make me quit. I had become a liability and pin-pointed for elimination. SO, I can’t say more than that until this is over….or I may not be able to say anything.

    After 12-years of being bashed, and after watching them roll heads illegally left and right…I am a bit happy and liberated.

    I know that a higher power will punish them for what they are doing.

    The woman with cancer? If you are still reading these, you MUST contact me…PLEASE?! I’ve lost more than my job recently.


  26. We had a guy we wanted to hire but he had a non-compete with his previous company, and he could not come to work for us. But, there is good news – If the company files bankruptcy then the non-compete is void and null, and you can work for whoever you want. This was the case with the guy we wanted to hire. The company went bankrupt and we could finally make an offer to hire him. Remember when you sign an non compete you cannot work in the field for the length of the contract, so be careful.


  27. I am sorry if I sound stupid, but, I know I really am now. I was a faithful employee and gave more than my share. The company I worked for, I thought was great until 1 month into the first day. There was so much backbiting, framing, unprofessionalism(and that was just the supervisors). I did my job was promoted? noway, I was put in the other cafeteria, I was head cashier over 2 more people if they showed. I got hurt on the job, I could not turn loose and go to the med cause it was almost time for our rush and I still had work to do. At first when my arm started hurting it was after catching a 35*45 pound of frozen french fries, it snatched my right arm down with a jerk and it was painful but later it was getting worse. I told my co-worker that I thought I pulled something in my arm. When my supervisor came in later at 12:30 at night I told him, he laughed and said “shake it out, you will be ok.
    no report made and nothing in writing, my ignorance. I was told after going to the dr. I had to have a mri done, then when results came in, he said I had to have a operation and until I had it there were restrictions, no lifting,no pulling,arms couldn’t go over my head and no picking up more than 5 pounds.
    I called before I went into work and told them what the doctor said I was told not to bother coming in that I knew that I had to be able to do alot more than that and he had no position for me until I was 110%. He also said that after that call him when I could work. When doc released me I still had the restrictions, I called said I wanted to work (by the way he took another girl and gave her head cashier the same night). I told him about the restrictions and he told me the same as before hand. I started unemployment, I needed the money, then I received a letter from unemployment stating that I was fired for misconduct. I don’t know what to do about my bills for the hospital, I had to stop therapy cause not enough money. Geeshhhhhhhh

  28. @justme You have rights that were not handled well. I am sure the company you worked with did a fair job on their end to make sure these details were washed away.

    If what you explain here is fully true, you have grounds here for at least investigating a Worker’s Compensation claim (to pay your medical expenses for your arm injury, and to provide you with reasonable work for reasonable pay, or to pay you for lost work damages) You also may have a wrongful termination suit you can file as well, which should help you get back on your feet.

    HOWEVER, the unemployment ruling is likely right…. you were not laid off and its unclear weather you quit or you were fired in the eyes of your state. Obviously, you wanted to go to work, but the fact is that you didn’t show up, and I am sure the papers filed from the company say you didn’t show up, or you were an absentee or something of that effect.

    THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you need to figure out is can you prove that you got hurt AT WORK.
    Who threw the package of frozen food to you? Will they testify about the exact work you were doing? (They might be fired for it… are they willing to do that?)Is it reasonable and rational to assume that catching those frozen foos is something that COULD be dangerous to you or someone similar to yourself in size and weight, without additional safety precautions being taken. Accidents DO happen…. you’re not trying to prove it’s ALWAYS dangerous, just that it could be, in the right (or wrong) circumstancesWhat do your doctor’s notes explain about the injury? You have a right to those records… Would any other people in your life have the ability to make a judge believe and understand your story? Maybe someone you complained to about the injury… someone who went to the doctor with you?

    The BIG problem you face is its clear your relationship with the people you worked with was NOT GOOD and that can harm you big-time. Are any of those people willing to stand up for you? The company is NOT on your side, but is there any information you can get from them about what happened?

    If you can prove this case somehow, I would recommend calling an attorney and asking for a consultation. If you can find one that specializes in workman’s compensation cases AND wrongful termination, that is your best option… they will know what to do, and if your case is solid.

    You may not be able to pay… make sure that’s clear up-front. If you have a good case, they will likely take it anyway.

    I would avoid the “one call, that’s all” traffic accident attorneys you see on T.V., but that’s just my opinion.

    Good luck.

  29. Oh, don’t contact anybody at that company unless you ABSOLUTELY trust them that they will not talk about you to their managers or any one who might.

    If there is documentation (or a LACK of documentation) there that may prove what happened, and it comes out that you’re sniffing around for information, one thing is for SURE, it will get lost, shredded, altered, destroyed or alternative documentation will get mysteriously created to show that the company did everything right.

    DO NOT raise any red flags about you to the company. Let you attorney do that, with a supboena. In the military, this would be called “Shock and Awe”. 🙂

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