Interested Lawyers please contact Christine:
ChristinesHeart (at) aol (dot) com
To: WalmartSucks.org, Lee Scott, Patricia Curran, Michael Moore,
Virginia Employment Commission,
Christine L. K.
X-Department Manager of Toys
Walmart Super Center # 1841
Chesapeake, Virginia 23320
Phone 1 (757) 436-6055
Store Manager: (name removed)
Va. Employment Commission,
I Christine L. Knowels faxed in two sets of 12 page documents today, to the Home Office at number (1-479-204-9798) that I wish to be considered for my Unfair Termination.
I was told by Management that I would be treated unfairly unless I spoke to someone out of our Region, because I had complained about discrimination a little over two years ago and they have never wanted to give me a fair chance since and several of my co-workers had warned me that "they were out to get me."
I was hired at Walmart Super Center on August 31, 2000. I have worked in that same store since my hire date.
The pictures in question were made to boost the moral of the store, make people laugh and have a good time, because several associates have been saying we are not allowed to have any fun anymore and the moral is GONE.
Let me just say that I have been making these type of pictures of Store managers, Co-Managers, Assistants and Associates for as long as I have been working for Walmart and NO ONE told me I couldn't do it or that it was harassment, nor did I think it to be as such.
I have been asked to make these type of picture by other managers and associates because they said it was "good for the moral." I have had several people ask me to make their pictures or their kids picture, which I have done also. If I felt it would of hurt anyone's feelings or was even considered harassment I never would of made the pictures. I would of taken the pictures down if anyone told me to, and I would have apologized.
The green sheet states that I took the pictures without permission, which isn't true. I know I signed it but the moment Mr. E said I was fired my stomach turned and I felt I was going to regurgitate any minute and I just scribbled my name and got out of the office to get to the bathroom.
I had asked for a copy of the green sheet which I never received until September 1, 2007. I had a hard time getting it because every time I called or went up to Walmart they couldn't find my sheet in their files, they didn't know where it was, they couldn't fax one to me because of personal information contained on the sheet. The Store Manager wasn't in today, store manager not in again. T went in J's office couldn't' find it.
Finally I spoke with a Personal lady, who messaged Mr. ? he responded back by saying El has it. I called that store, asked their Personal lady for a copy, she couldn't figure out why El would have it, but checked into it anyway, found out she did have it and then sent me a copy on August 31, 2007.
I then read the information (for the first time) and couldn't believe what it said. I started making calls to District Manager J, Merchandise Manger W, PM El, Regional Manager G and the Home Office.
I have done pictures of a associate S L, who works in as ICS Lead and Truck Unload Leader.
I have put lime green, bright yellow, hot pink, blue and purple different styled wigs on him in the pictures, they hung in grocery receiving for a few weeks. I also made him into Shrek by turning his skin all green, bulging out his eyes and elongating his ears. This picture hung at the time clock for at least a week. He wanted to take the pictures home for his kids.
As far as the unfair termination:
When I was called into the office by Co-B S-D she said she needed to talk to me.
I went in the office, Mr. ? was sitting there, he had already had the green sheet filled out and a copy of the surveillance cd, which was placed on top of his computer.
I want to add that even after speaking with me about the pictures Mr. ? just took the green sheet down off his computer top and asked me to sign it.
He did not add any information I told him or change anything to what I told him. He didn't correct what he wrote either.
He had me fired before I got in the office.
Mr. ? asked me to tell him about the pictures. I said they are pictures I did for fun. He said did you have permission to take them? I said yes, when R. who works in personal was taking down the 8 x 10 pictures in order to replace them for the 5 x 7 pictures for the RM visit, I asked her what she was going to do with those pictures. She shrugged her shoulders and said I don't know. Then I asked R "Can I have them" she again shrugged her shoulders and said "I don't care, I want the frames though, you can have the pictures." I said ok, I'll leave the frames and later that evening when I got off work I went and got the pictures out of the frames.
I went home, stretched the pictures out and printed them. The day I brought the pictures in I showed assistant manager W H the pictures (before I was on the clock) and he was laughing and then said to me: "What are you going to do with the pictures, hang them on the bulletin board? "
I said yes. He said "Oh, Please Do".
So therefor I was given permission to hang the pictures.
At that time I punched in on the time clock and I started hanging the pictures up. (I rarely feel like taking my fifteen minute breaks because I would rather work, so I didn't think two minutes to hang pictures would be a probably.)
I ran out of tacks and had to go into the UPC office to get more. I then came back out, started hanging the rest of them and Co-Manger B came out of her office, walked beside me and I said, Oh don't say nothing, it's just for fun. She just looked and laughed and stood there a few minutes then walked on.
So, the Co didn't have a problem with me hanging them either.
Several associates and Assistant came by and they were laughing and joking and saying that's what we need around here, some laughter and we don't have any fun around here anymore. And that's what we needed for a Monday morning.
I was asked to do pictures of others and also their kids.
NOT ONE person told me they found it offensive, had they told me it was I would of taken the pictures down and apologized.
I have a picture I did of the last Store Manager W C, I made him a mouse with big green eyes like his. I also put a t-shirt on him with a Walmart smiley face on it and his name on the jacket. I had this hung in the Hardware department for months, while I was Department manager of Hardware.
Co-Manager T seen it asked me about it. I told her it was W, she thought is was cute and wanted a copy, so I took the picture down and gave it to her. I then brought another one from home and placed it back on the board the next day.
It hang was hanging when the new store manager ? came and the only reason I took it down was because I removed the entire 8' section.
Like I stated before I have been making these picture without any negative comments for years and it was always fine.
I had permission to take the pictures. I had permission by an assistant to hang them on the bulletin board.
I put them up right in front of my Co-Manager and nothing was said, other then laughs.
My store manager wrote false statements on my exit interview.
He was already upset that morning because the other Co Manager (who truly ran the store) was to leave the store for good in order to run another Walmart.
The Regional Manger was suppose to come back any day.
And we had a fire in the meat department walls that we couldn't get to, so we had to call the Fire Department and close down the store for a short while.
I believe all these things complied made the situation even worse for me, as the store manager was upset by everything he had on his plate.
So many associates have called me and emailed me saying how they thought it was wrong to fire me because they know I was just trying to raise the moral and have a good time.
To loose the Health Insurance on my husband and myself, my Accidental Death Insurance, Dental Insurance, Part of my 401k & Profit sharing (as I had 3 weeks to go before being fully invested) Life Insurance and Stock options, over something I have been doing for years and always got great response is just horrible.
I wanted my job back. I would like the green sheet corrected, the lies removed and the status fixed.
Sincerely, Christine L.K.
The Exit Interview reads as follows:
Associate Name Christine K.
Detailed Statement of Termination. This Section Needs to Be Completed By the Associate for Voluntary Termination of By the manager/Supervisor for Involuntary Termination. (Please be specific.)
(Statement was filled out by store manager stated:
Christine displayed 13 potentially offensive pictures of the management team in the backhallway while on the clock. Christine used/took company resources (digital media/or photo copies off of company propery without permission. (that is a lie)
Involuntary Termination, Mandatory No Rehire
Gross Misconduct-Other (GMO)
Explain general Comments- Review Wm policy PD-19 section Harrasment Prevention.
Turned in Badge, Discount Card
Signed: Christine K.
Salaried Member of management: B S.D.
Facility manager: ?
P.S. I have never signed a PD-19 policy.
I had twenty five more days to go and I would have been fully invested.
Employment Commission Report
Yesterday I received the Employment Comission Notice of Deputy's Determination and it reads as follows;
You are hereby notified that based on the facts ovtained in the connection with your claim for unemployment compensation filed on 8-19-07 the undersigned deputy pursuant to section 60.2-618(2) of the Virginia Unemployment Compensation Act Renders the Following Determination:
Claimant Qualified Effective 8-19-07
Christine was discharged from her position with Walmart for displaying photos of the management team taht were considered to be potentially offensive.
Christine reported that she had been told by the employee who was taking down the photos that she could have them. Christine used a program on her computer to make funny pictures and brought the altered pictures back to work the following day. Christine said she had done such pictures in the past and co-workers thought it was good for morale.
Christine said no one had complained about them in the past and while she was putting up the pictures on the board a co-manager saw them and laughed. When Christine was let go she was asked if she had permission to take the pictures and told ? that (R) who was removing the pictures had told her it was ok to do with them what she wanted. Christine did not feel the pictures we offensive and did not mean for them to be taken that way. Christine said she signed off on Walmarts separation form as she was very upset and needed to get out of the office as she was sick when she heard the news of her discharge.
WALMART- has said that Christine was discharged for putting up potentially offensive pictures of the management team on company time and for taking company property without permission. Walmart HAS NOT PROVIDED ANY COPY OF THE POLICY THE CLAIMANT ALLEGEDLY VIOLATED OR GIVEN ANY EXLANATION ON HOW THE PICTURES WERE THOUGHT TO BE OFFENSIVE. In claims of Christine taking the pictures without permission she states that she had permission.
THE BURDEN OF PROOF LIES WITH THE EMPLOYER TO SHOW EVIDENCE OF MISCONDUCT;
IN THIS CASE: Walmart has provided only a statement of why Christine was dischared. However, there is no documentation to show her actions were willful or deliberate OR AMOUNTED TO THE LEVEL OF MISCONDUCT.
The Charge of misconduct in connection with employment is a matter to be taken very seriously "in the instant case."
While Christine may have shown poor judgment in what she did.........SUCH ACTION CANNOT IN THE OPINION OF THE DEPUTY, BE DEEMED MISCONDUCT. Accordinly the claimant is Qualified for Benefits.