Humiliated By Public Reprimand Before Fired!


I have worked as a domestic worker doing household, personal and recreational work for a woman with CP. The person that helps with the hiring, paying, and personnel had me come in for a “staff meeting” in which two agency staff, two of the client’s family members, another staff (very new staff), and the client was in attendance. Another staff member was invited but failed to make it. At this meeting, I was verbally reprimanded and threatened with termination in front of all these people.

This came with no verbal or written warning during the 1 and 1/2 I had worked there. The next day I was left a message of termination. While I absolutely disagree with the termination, I would never return to this agency that would handle things in the manner. That being said, I still would like to know what my rights are around the reprimand (public humiliation).




Dear Humiliated:

We are sorry to learn of your firing. It was unprofessional that your agency conducted the reprimand in the presence of staff, co-workers and clients. You do not explain the reason for the reprimand. Any time a boss is unhappy with the performance of a subordinate there must be a reason. You, better than anyone, know the reason and undoubtedly will know if the reasons for the reprimand and termination were justified. If they were, it will serve as a learning experience for your future employment. The temptation is to rationalize and blame the agency for your performance. That may help your ego but will not serve you well.

Did your agency not give you instructions and feedback regarding your performance from time to time during your year and a half with them? If not, they certainly did not manage your employment well. Do you have any rights because you were not given oral or written warning? Not that we know of. Unless you have a union contract or unless the reprimand and firing flow from discrimination, you have no legal recourse. Our site does not provide legal counsel; therefore, if you think we are wrong about this, do check with a labor attorney.

So now is the time to pick your self up, dust yourself off, and start the job hunt. The unfortunate experience you have just had will help you know the kinds of questions to ask when you seek work elsewhere. Can you put this humiliation behind you and approach the job search with a positive attitude? Can you think of ways to be an even more conscientious and caring caregiver? Our society most needs caregivers and least rewards them. Would that the day will come when the caregivers were paid what the sports stars are!

Blessed be those who are committed to providing quality care for those who cannot care for themselves. Giving that way is thinking and living in the highest sense of our signature WEGO.

William Gorden