Wrongful Termination

Question:

My husband was recently fired for raising his voice to his supervisor. The only reason why he raised his voice was because his supervisor was using harsh profanity towards my husband.

A couple of days before, my husband and his crew were coming back from a job in 3 different work trucks. My husband was in the first truck and others were behind him but the last truck was a rig carrying 10 foot pipes with a couple of engines. The person driving the rig cut a corner too fast while shifting gears and all the equipment got loose and fell onto the street nearly causing an accident.

When they all got back to the shop after cleaning up the mess the driver of the rig blamed my husband for the accident because he was rushing him to get back to the shop. The boss then starts to scream at the top of his lungs at my husband asking him what gave him the right to rush his guys.

My husband wasn’t behind the wheel of that rig, so it wasn’t my husband’s fault for that incident. Then a couple of days later my husband drops a couple of 10 foot pipes and moves out of the way so he wouldn’t be crushed. He ran to his supervisor to let him know of the incident and took full responsibility.

His supervisor yelled at him with harsh profanity and soon my husband couldn’t stand to take the abuse so he raised his voice and told him that he was taking responsibility for what happened so why is he yelling at him so he told my husband to get the f**k out of his face and get the f**k out of the shop because he is done.

Is this fair that he gets fired for raising his voice in defense of harsh profanity used against him and the person who caused much more damage does not?

Signed,

Angry and Feeling Helpless


Answer:

Dear Angry and Feeling Helpless:

I am very, very sorry about your husband’s situation. I feel badly for him, but also for you, since you are deepy affected by it.

I can certainly understand why your husband feels he was treated unfairly. Even if the boss had another viewpoint about what happened, he could have done a better job of talking to your husband. His own anger got the best of him and made the situation worse. It sounds as though he was looking for something to be angry about.

It also sounds as though things had been building for awhile. So, there probably had been several smaller incidents before the truck accident and the incident in the warehouse. Or, at least the boss thought there was enough reason to tell your husband he was being dismissed.

Your husband apparently was the head of a group so I’m sure he has skill and a sense of responsibility. He is probably suffering a lot from all that has happened. It would do no good for me to say that he may find a job where the boss will be a better person…..but it very well could happen. I hope it does—and quickly.

In the meantime he will need the faith, support and encouragement you are providing. I’m glad you are there to help him get through this.

I’m assuming your husband thinks there is no appeal for this and that he can’t go back. If he thinks it would help to talk to someone else at work, I enourage him to do so. Good employees are hard to find, so it could be that someone else would think your husband should be warned, but allowed to return.

If there is no appeal he will need to find the strength to stay positive and focus on finding a job that will work out much better than this one has. You and he together can help make that happen.

Once again, I’m sorry this has happened. I truly hope there will be a brighter future for him and his work, and for you and him.

Best wishes to you!

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.