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Frivolous Lawsuits

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
By the time you read this, I should be lounging around the pool sipping a cool adult beverage. I will be on a much-needed vacation.

In order to keep focused and write anything with an objective mind, I think it helps to step away from the issues at hand we see on a daily basis in order not to become discouraged and cynical.

I am overdue. I am a cynical person. I need some humor in my life and to see the glass half full, not half empty.

To give you an idea of what has done me in this week I offer a few examples.

Earlier this week, I was notified that I am being sued at one of my job sites. A woman came in, last year and applied for a job. We told her the starting salary. She rejected it as being less than she wanted to make. The person doing the interviews came back to our office. The applicant came in the following Monday and told our on-site manger she had been hired and that the person doing the interviewing had her paperwork. Six weeks went by and I got a call from her asking why she had not been paid. I looked at the current employee list for that location and didn't find her on the list. I asked her what her employee number was and she didn't have one. I asked her why and she said…."I never filled out the paperwork since I didn't agree with what you offered." I asked how she had gotten into the building and she told me by walking in with other employees.

At this point I sat back in my chair and asked her if I understood correctly that she had been working for six weeks, without ever being paid and she told that this was correct. I told her to report to our office and leave the building. We then figured out what she should have been paid, and sent her a check. She is suing us since we fired her. I am frustrated since we didn't hire her in the first place. She was never on our payrolls, insurance or issued a company id card or time clock card. I have never had this happen before.

Another situation involved a person who walked into one of our locations and filled out an application, which was unsolicited. We did not have any job openings at the time. We shred all applications after a period of time since they contain personal information. Three months later we had a vacancy and rehired a former employee to fill the position. The person who came in and filled out an application is now suing since they didn't get the job. The frustrating part of this one is that the complaint is from a federal agency. Now if you've never had to respond to one of these before, consider yourself blessed. There are about 45 questions that must be answered and returned within 5-7 days. The really Catch-22 question is one where they are asking for a complete schedule of all employees by race, sex and age. Now, as you may know when you hire someone these days, we aren't allowed to ask any of these questions and they cannot be placed on the application, so how can we provide something to the government that we are prohibited from asking in the first place? I called and asked that very question. They said we had to make a separate list and maintain it just in case it was ever needed for any inquiries such as this. Makes no sense to me whatsoever.

Both of these are bizarre cases and certainly don't have much merit, but the time and effort to respond to them and provide all of the documentation to prove our side of the issue is enormous.

It makes you wonder if the moon is full or perhaps the world has just gone mad.

Along those same lines, let me make one more point. We are all aware of the current situation in the Middle East. The news today concerns the evacuation of some of the Americans out of Lebanon. It seems they are distraught since the ships sent to help weren't as clean as the evacuees expected and the ship ran out of sandwiches.

Hello? Is anyone home?

Let's see…. have any of you been tempted by the Lebanon Tourist Department to sign up for a tour of their lovely country? I thought not. There is a war going on over there. Why are Americans over there in the first place? I don't know about you, but if I was there for one reason or another and bombs were falling all over the place, I tend to think the last thing I would be hacked about is a lack of chicken sandwiches. Or the fact that the water wasn't really cold enough. I suppose they wanted white tux waiters serving Perrier in silver tumblers. This is a war zone; you don't get the Queen Mary to pick you up in a war zone.

You shouldn't complain about how slow they were to arrive. They got there didn't they?

Stop complaining about the condition of the ship taking you away to safety. I believe I would be grateful I was going to get home alive. Most of us could stand to miss a few chicken sandwiches anyway.

Give me a break.

I'm taking one…be back in a week or so.

© Peary Perry
Letters From North America >

July 27, 2006 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
Comments go to www.pearyperry.com
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