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Seagate To Pay Former Worker $1.9M For Phantom Job 354

Posted by timothy
from the we're-glad-you-came dept.
Lucas123 writes "The jury in a Minnesota-based wrongful employment case delivered a verdict ordering disk-drive manufacturer Seagate to pay $1.9 million to a former employee who uprooted his family and career at Texas Instruments in Dallas to move to Minnesota for a job that did not exist. The man was supposed to be developing solid state drive technology for Seagate but was laid off months later. 'The reason that was given is that he was hired to be a yield engineer but the project never came to fruition,' the former employee's attorney said. 'They didn't care what effect it had on his career.'"
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Seagate To Pay Former Worker $1.9M For Phantom Job

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  • rimshot (Score:5, Funny)

    by The Clockwork Troll (655321) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:42PM (#34326192) Journal

    So you're saying Seagate's HR department doesn't have good TRIM support?

    • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:47PM (#34326232)

      Just shows how far HR is from people doing the real work.

      And that's why you see stuff like need 5 years for low level jobs as well as the need B.S / PHD for lot's of tech jobs that don't need one.

      • by tinkerghost (944862) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:27PM (#34326542) Homepage
        There is a job listed as 'computer tech' that requires
        • Cisco, HP, & Dell router experience
        • Apache, ms-sql, and a few other types of server software
        • HTML, XML, Java, Tomcat, Drupal, RUBY, Javascript, .net, SQL

        The list goes on with the only thing missing being actual experience with PCs, printers, and Office suites, which is what the job description is all about.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by alvinrod (889928)
        Sometimes I think the BS B.S. requirements are just to thin the applicant pool a little. You might miss out on some quality people, but it gives you an early short list. It's not feasible to interview every single person, especially for some low-level job. There's always some arbitrary line in the sand used to cull the pack. Why should a non-necessary degree requirement be any different than tossing any resume that has some minor grammatical error?

        If you or anyone else has a better system, I'd love to he
        • by TheLink (130905) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:49PM (#34326716) Journal

          the BS B.S. requirements are just to thin the applicant pool a little.

          Careful though, if the job requirements are too bullshit what you are doing is excluding the people who don't bullshit (and actually bother to read the job requirements)

          • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

            by Marful (861873)
            Aren't a lot of the bullshit requirements intended to justify H-1B visas?

            I thought in order to qualify for H-1B, you had to first advertise in the local area and if you can't find people then you can apply for H-1B's (which you can then change the requirements).
          • by hedwards (940851) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:09PM (#34327238)
            In my view they need to also be careful that it doesn't have the effect of discriminating. The last thing that the HR department ought to be doing is going back to the days when certain folk weren't considered good enough even if they could do the job.

            And I'm not really exaggerating that much, in order to get work experience you have to have a job, but in order to get a job they're expecting to have several years of experience for even a basic job. Maybe they don't really mean it, but they could still end up in court explaining why it is that they're not advertising the positions accurately.
      • by PRMan (959735) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:31PM (#34326998)

        My favorite:

        * Requires 10 years of C# experience

        (The .NET Framework was created in 2002.)

        • Actually, no.. it was *released* in 2002. There were 2 years of very public previews and betas (that most people ignored because MS was so intent on marketing web services).

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          We may laugh, but when I first graduated in 2003 there was a plethora of job advertisements in my area asking for 5 or more years experience with .NET
          • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @01:38AM (#34327976)

            Been happening forever. Companies that think "years of experience" = good and just decide they need an arbitrary amount without any real consideration of what that means.

            Something along those lines I remember was back in 1999 when my roommate was looking for jobs. I had a wide skillset and was looking for a few kinds of jobs, a Linux sysadmin being one he was interested in. There were more than a few positions, what with this being .com boom time and all that. They all wanted MCSEs. Yes that's right, they wanted a Microsoft certification for a Linux only job. Reason was, of course, MCSE = sysadmin in their mind. They didn't know what it was, what it meant, any of that, just that MCSE = sysadmin. He was actually told this at one point. He got exasperated with a recruiter and yelled at them (he wasn't getting the job anyhow) for the stupidity. They said something to the effect of "MCSE is the industry standard degree for all systems administration."

            This shit will always happen.

        • by roman_mir (125474) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @06:12AM (#34329328) Homepage Journal

          Big deal, I have 35 years with C# and I am only 34.

  • Liability (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mirix (1649853) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:46PM (#34326228)

    Neato. I'm curious to what extent they're liable though. Naturally if he just moves and is canned, there should be some liability, although rarely honoured, rough deal...

    but.. 3 months, 6? a year?

    If you move and work at a company two years, and they make you redundant... can you get some sort of pro-rated settlement on the 20 year career you were planning on having there?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Without the details of the employment contract, there isn't much to go off as far as a legal ruling.

      The question however, is whether this kind of behavior should be allowed, even if the gentleman involved was foolish enough to move his family without a legitimate contract. Public Policy issue as we cant determine this particular claim on the merits. Clearly the court thought there was some fraud/malicious intent/negligence on the part of Seagate, although this kind of dispute is generally in a separate clas

      • Re:Liability (Score:5, Informative)

        by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:16PM (#34326456) Journal

        From TFA:

        The basis for the case is a Minnesota statute that makes it illegal to induce "any person to change from any place in any state, territory or country to any place in this state to work in any branch of labor through or by means of knowingly false representations."

        • by GGardner (97375)
          I am so not a lawyer, but TFA claims the basis for the case is a Minnesota state statute, but the case was argued in federal court. How does that work?
    • Re:Liability (Score:4, Insightful)

      by cappp (1822388) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:54PM (#34326306)
      I've posted the link to the relevent law a couple of comments down but it would seem that the most important issue was one of fraud. SeaGate in effect lured him into Minnesota with promises of a job that didn't exist and he suffered the financial repercussions. His eventual firing wasn't at issue, but rather that SeaGate seemed to have hired him away from a decent job so as to put him in a placeholder position as a means of drumming up a little business - they weren't hiring him in good faith.
    • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:08PM (#34326378) Homepage

      ""Neato. I'm curious to what extent they're liable though."

      I'm going to guess somewhere in the 1.9 Million dollar range, but who can say for sure?

  • While I do agree that this really sucks I'm not sure it's worth almost 2 Million dollars. He might have done a bit more research on the new job or perhaps worked for a few months BEFORE uprooting his entire family (which is most likely what I would have done in a similar situation). I think that 6 or maybe even 12 months severance should suffice in this situation. The guy actually got paid for 9 months to do his job so it sounds to me like there was a job, it just didn't last as long as the guy had hoped
    • Re:Too Much (Score:5, Informative)

      by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:13PM (#34326416)
      They broke Minnesota law by lying to him. The job did not really exist, simple as that. The verdict was for Punitive Damages "compensation in excess of actual damages - a form of punishment awarded in cases of malicious or willful misconduct" not Liability damages "compensation for actual damages"
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MoonBuggy (611105)

        I always thought that paying punitive damages to the plaintiff was just asking for the system to be abused. I'm not saying that's the case here, but in general surely we'd see a fraction of the number of frivolous claims if they weren't a potential ticket to lifelong financial security.

        Sure, the guy should be compensated for travel, lost earnings, and general disruption to his life, but those are all direct (although not necessarily tangible) consequences of the claim. Equally, it makes sense to fine the co

        • Re:Too Much (Score:4, Insightful)

          by suso (153703) * on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:00PM (#34326762) Homepage Journal

          To be honest, there are people out there (a lot of them with businesses and living in Florida) who want to just take advantage of others as much as possible. Without the thread of punitive damages, those people would break the law where it only got their company into trouble and the only punishment would be that they'd have to pay out what they normally would have had to any ways, which isn't really a punishment at all as its what they should have been doing. Punitive damages are a threat to them so that hopefully they won't do it in the first place or won't do it twice.

          When I was younger, I used to think punitive damages were getting out of control too, but now I see that they have a purpose. People get greedy on both sides of the bench.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by MoonBuggy (611105)

            I might not have been clear, but I wasn't suggesting abolishing punitive damages, I was just saying that they should be spent on public services rather than given to the plaintiff.

            The greedy defendant still has their bad behaviour disincentiveised, but the motivation for greedy plaintiff to file lawsuits in the hope of a big payoff goes away.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by BarryJacobsen (526926)

              I might not have been clear, but I wasn't suggesting abolishing punitive damages, I was just saying that they should be spent on public services rather than given to the plaintiff.

              The greedy defendant still has their bad behaviour disincentiveised, but the motivation for greedy plaintiff to file lawsuits in the hope of a big payoff goes away.

              Then the incentive for reporting the undesirable behavior isn't there, though, and if you've been wronged you have to ask yourself "do I want to spend my next few months in court (likely not being able to work and being quite inconvenienced) just to hurt those that wronged me"? In effect, you'll be making the undesirable action more likely as it will be less likely to be reported and litigated as the only people who can fight back while not gaining anything are those that are well off enough that the undes

            • Re:Too Much (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Eskarel (565631) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:46AM (#34327758)

              As does the motivation for the genuinely wrong plaintiff, and for that matter their lawyer.

              Not saying we don't need some form of Tort reform, but what lawyer is going to take a case on contingency, wherein their best possible outcome is the fees they would have charged anyway, and what plaintiff is going to bring a lawsuit where their best possible outcome is provable damages and months in court and their worst possible outcome is bankruptcy.

              Companies can afford to piss money away on lawyers, normal people cannot.

        • This again? I'll never understand how people think that the victim getting rewarded is "asking for the system to be abused" and then in the next breath suggest we instead give the one party that is not only supposed to be neutral but has the most power to affect case outcomes, the government and thereby it's subsidiaries the courts, the reward instead thus giving them a motive to decide or help cases be decided in favor of large punitive damages.

          I mean, are you even thinking through anything other then the

        • > Equally, it makes sense to fine the company an amount that discourages them from repeating the action. Problem is, for an amount to have any effect at all on a company, it'll be large enough to be life changing for a normal person. Give the actual damages to the plaintiff, and use the punitive damages to pay for public services.

          Yes, with a slight modification: punitive damages should have some kind of copay. Take enough from the company to discourage them from breaking the law, and give enough to the

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Angst Badger (8636)

          I always thought that paying punitive damages to the plaintiff was just asking for the system to be abused.

          I've often thought the same thing, but I'm even more certain that if municipal governments will rig traffic lights to guarantee an increase in tickets for running red lights, inviting them to line up behind the firehose of civil punitive damages is probably even more likely to result in abuse.

          I'm not saying that's the case here, but in general surely we'd see a fraction of the number of frivolous claims if they weren't a potential ticket to lifelong financial security.

          We don't actually see many frivolous claims. We see one newsworthy extreme case every month or two -- out of the tens of thousands of cases that flow through the system without absurd extremes. It's like being afraid o

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by md65536 (670240)

        I'd be willing to not do a job that doesn't exist, for well under one million dollars.

        A lot of people will even work at jobs that do exist (the worst kind, in my opinion) for 50 years and not make $1.9M.

        The sad thing is that most people who get laid off probably do not get compensation equalling actual damages. I'm sure a lot of people who have been laid off would be satisfied with 1% of what he got.

        I don't think Seagate was malicious or willfully misconductive. It's not like they were "out to get him" or a

        • by emt377 (610337)

          I don't think Seagate was malicious or willfully misconductive.

          There's one born every minute...

        • Re:Too Much (Score:5, Insightful)

          by laughingcoyote (762272) <barghesthowl.excite@com> on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:58PM (#34326756) Journal

          I'm all for changing the "at will" bit, or at least imposing some very heavy tax penalties on companies that routinely engage in layoffs. I'm as sick as anyone of seeing people treated as some kind of disposable widget.

          But even absent that, it's a different scenario indeed when they basically knew they had no project, and just hired this guy to give the illusion that they did. The fact that the project was in a far different state than they represented it to him pretty well shows they were not acting in good faith. They represented to him that he was going to be taking on a project that was basically ready, when in reality he was there to slightly improve the odds on a longshot bet and get dumped by the wayside if it didn't work out.

          That's fraud, and it should be penalized. Don't get me wrong, I think it's equally despicable, and should be equally punishable, to represent a job as a good long-term prospect and then proceed to lay someone off after a couple months. But at least one time, the people doing it got caught, and got stung. Maybe the next company about to pull this trick will have a second thought. Seagate sure will. While this by no means will bring them to bankruptcy, it's a sum that'll get their attention.

          That's the point of punitive damages. Actual damages would just be a "cost of doing business", punitive makes it sting at least a little. And if this guy's starting his own company, he'll probably be employing some people himself soon, if he hasn't already. I can hardly begrudge him the money knowing that.

          • Re:Too Much (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @03:14AM (#34328398)

            I'm all for changing the "at will" bit, or at least imposing some very heavy tax penalties on companies that routinely engage in layoffs. I'm as sick as anyone of seeing people treated as some kind of disposable widget.

            That's what unions are for. Despite the hate, unions are about as pure a free-market solution to the kind of problem as it gets.

            Some might argue that "free-market" idealism goes out the window when unions get special-interest laws passed in their favor, well if the corps can do it, so to should the unions.

    • Re:Too Much (Score:5, Insightful)

      by OhPlz (168413) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:26PM (#34326530)

      What do you think his chances for future employment are? Any employer is going to Google him and discover that this happened. Granted he won the case on the merits, but if a company has a choice between a candidate that hasn't ever sued an employer and one who has, who do you think they'll choose?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Billly Gates (198444)

      1. If the person goes bankrupt he or she can not work again due to a bad credit score. This amounts to 7 years or more before it is erased. Also he or she would be forced to take jobs well under his or her ability like at a McDonalds due to Seagates bad faith.
      2. This is punitive and compensatory. Otherwise Seagate will continue to do this and just make it the cost of business. This will scare it and other employers in the future of making such false promises.

      Sounds 2 million is quite fair and cheap. Many pu

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Many punitive suites are 10x as much

        nah, punitive suites can be quite a bit cheaper if you opt for the brunette with a paddle rather than the blonde with a whip.

    • Re:Too Much (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ephemeriis (315124) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:32PM (#34327012)

      He might have done a bit more research on the new job

      What kind of research would he have done? They told him he'd be doing X, and had no intention of giving him that job. They just slapped him in position Y as a placeholder for a few months. They were lying to him. The position didn't exist. If you can't trust the folks you're interviewing with, who else are you supposed to talk to?

      perhaps worked for a few months BEFORE uprooting his entire family (which is most likely what I would have done in a similar situation).

      May not have been possible.

      I don't think I could personally afford to pay the mortgage on my house plus the rent on an apartment or a hotel room for 6-12 months (plus associated utilities, and transportation, and whatever else).

      Then you've got the hardship of being away from your family for 6-12 months. Not just a couple hours away either. He moved from Dallas to MN. That's a good chunk of turf. If he wanted to see his family he'd be driving for a couple days or flying. Not cheap. Not easy to do.

      While I do agree that this really sucks I'm not sure it's worth almost 2 Million dollars.

      I think that 6 or maybe even 12 months severance should suffice in this situation. The guy actually got paid for 9 months to do his job so it sounds to me like there was a job, it just didn't last as long as the guy had hoped it would.

      The guy was hired to do job X. That position theoretically expands upon his knowledge and will lead to nice resume-filler and maybe some promotions or something. Instead he was stuffed in position Y, which was a place-holder job. It did nothing for his resume. Now he's got to explain the months of crap-work on his resume.

      Further, he moved 1,000+ miles. Uprooted his entire family. Moving costs... Finding a new place to live... Selling the old place... Packing everything up... Leaving all your friends behind... Not an easy thing to do.

      Finally, he had a good job down in Dallas.

      And keep in mind he was lured away with a lie. It was fraud. He wasn't hired to do job X and then job X went away... He was hired to do job X when nobody had any actual intention to have him do job X because it didn't exist. The company lied to him.

      Part of the compensation is to pick up all those additional expenses and hardships...

      Part of the compensation is to punish the company for fraudulent behavior.

    • Re:Too Much (Score:4, Interesting)

      by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @11:07PM (#34327232) Journal

      I think what got them was the fraud part. It would be like you having a fast track job at MSFT working on the integration of Windows 8 and the X360, and I lure you away saying "Hey we want to give you a high profile job at Apple designing the "one more thing" we are gonna roll out next year" and when you get there the "job" is answering Steve's emails.

      Now it doesn't matter if you were paid the same as if you were actually working on the "one more thing" because by hiring you away for a fake job you just got torpedoed from the fast track you were on and may take ten years to get back into that position, if you ever do at all. So I'd say that it is good to set this kind of precedent so that you don't fuck over peoples lives playing a game of "who has the bigger corporate penis". After all without any kind of ruling against this kind of douchebaggery, what is to stop say someone like Oracle from just hiring away key developers from rivals for non existent jobs just to hurt them before acquisition? You take out the right people in a company at just the wrong time and you can seriously mess them up, and if this were allowed without punishment you could just toss those key people after keeping them in a holding pattern until the damage is done.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sjames (1099)

      Perhaps he DID do enough research to realize Seagate had to be serious or they would be breaking the law. Perhaps he just assumed they wouldn't break the law.

  • Details (Score:5, Informative)

    by cappp (1822388) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @08:51PM (#34326262)
    The Summary seems to skirt around the more salacious details. TFA says

    "It was beneficial for [Seagate] to have a yield engineer on staff to give the appearance of a complete organization with a project that was further along in development. They were not able to sell or find a partner for the ATG group despite having him on board as the placeholder yield engineer."

    The inference was that SeaGate bought Vaidyanathan on as a little corporate theatrics, manipulating appearances while they looked for a partner organization.

    He was able to sue under a Minnesota law [mn.gov] that makes it illegal for

    any ... company...doing business in this state...to induce, influence, persuade, or engage any person to change from one place to another in this state, or to change from any place in any state, territory, or country to any place in this state, to work in any branch of labor through or by means of knowingly false representations

    • by Velorium (1068080)
      That's a good law.
    • by arbiter1 (1204146)
      I agree its a great law to prevent a company for pulling crap they tried to on him. When you look at Seagate 2mill pfft is just pocket change to them in the end.
  • At-will employment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oldhack (1037484) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:01PM (#34326346)

    There is no loyalty between employers and employees, and that's been the case for a few decades now. It's everyone-watch-yo-own-ass, like the Wall St. mercenaries.

    Time to consider employment contracts like they do for investment bankers.

    • by Billly Gates (198444) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:32PM (#34326590) Journal

      The employer has all the bargaining power unless you are extremely talented and rare in your abilities. Just because there is no loyality does not give Seagate the green light to harm other people. Laws like this need to be enforced to scare employers to be reasonable. After all if you did millions in damages to your employer he can sue you right? Same principle.

      If a job is temp or does not exist they can't make an offer. It is not fair to the person nor family.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by phantomfive (622387)

        The employer has all the bargaining power unless you are extremely talented and rare in your abilities.

        This is only true if you give it to them. The reason they have power is because there are lots of workers, and they can find another worker if they want to.

        The flip side is that there are lots of companies, and you can always find another one, especially as a programmer. As soon as any company starts doing things I don't like, I start sending out resumes for another one. I am not a genius, but I work hard, provide value worthy of my pay, and I don't need to put up with garbage. (Note I didn't say I quite

  • bigger than seagate (Score:5, Informative)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:02PM (#34326350)

    Minnesota is a "At Will" [wikipedia.org] employment state, which is a misnomer. Basically it means they can fire you at any time, for (almost) any reason, without any warning or compensation, unless otherwise covered by federal laws (for example, mass layoffs). Most states have laws similar to this. In this case, they caught Seagate on a technicality -- the jury believed that Seagate willfully misrepresented the job to him, and thus was in violation of a state law.

    Without knowing the case specifics, I can't say with authority how likely this is to be overturned, but if Seagate can demonstrate that the project fell apart for business reasons that could not be reasonably anticipated, it'll die on appeal. And it is very likely that it will.

    • My guess is it will get overturned as well unless by some miracle he has hard evidence that Seagate acted in bad faith when it hired him. Plus, he worked there for 9 months before he was laid off. Jury probably felt sorry for a small guy against a big company, but appellate courts will be a bit more hard-nosed about following the law.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Billly Gates (198444)

      Employment at will does not mean you can make false promises to someone where they are hurt financially. It is not the laying off but the promising of something they knew was not real or would not happen before she started employment. You can't fire someone because he is black whether you are an at-will employer or not. It is the same thing and something needs to be done to protect workers for once.

    • by Lloyd_Bryant (73136) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:00AM (#34327510)

      Without knowing the case specifics, I can't say with authority how likely this is to be overturned, but if Seagate can demonstrate that the project fell apart for business reasons that could not be reasonably anticipated, it'll die on appeal. And it is very likely that it will.

      First, if Seagate could have established that the person was hired for a perfectly valid position, which went away as a result of business conditions they couldn't have forseen, then they wouldn't have lost this trial in the first place.

      Second, the "At will" issue is irrelevant - the lawsuit was based on a law that says employers are not allowed to lure people into relocating unless there's an actual job waiting for them.

      Finally, appeals are generally based on issues of law, not issues of fact. So unless Seagate can come up with a good legal argument why that state law doesn't apply in this case, it's unlikely they'll get a reversal on appeal. At best, they may get the award reduced.

  • Promissory Estoppel (Score:4, Informative)

    by ShiftyOne (1594705) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:08PM (#34326386)
    Liability was based off of a contract term called reliance or promissory estoppel. Because he relied on a promise of a job, and it cost him a bunch of money, he is given damage for what he went through. I am not a lawyer but that is the basic premise of the term. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promissory_estoppel [wikipedia.org]
  • I got laid off last week after only working for 3 weeks. Who does hiring when they are about to re-org?

  • The article draws almost exclusively on the guy's lawyer for it's material: you know, the same lawyer who gets probably half a million out of this 'guilty' verdict? I can't imagine a worse primary source than that for informing any attempt at a factual, semi-serious debate on the case.

    Furthermore, while I agree that hiring someone for a patently fabricated project and career track is unethical, I'm not convinced that Seagate did that here. Hiring a highly skilled individual long before urgently needing th
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jiro (131519)

      As an aside, I'm a little confused about how the lost time and the litigation process "ended" his career as a yield engineer. Have other people refused to hire him? Does the field change so fast that he truly doesn't know anything useful anymore and may as well have switched jobs?

      Employers tend not to give much of a career to people who sued their former employer, even if the suit is legitimate. Also, having large gaps on your resume makes you look bad as an employment prospect even without a lawsuit. I

    • by emt377 (610337)

      Furthermore, while I agree that hiring someone for a patently fabricated project and career track is unethical, I'm not convinced that Seagate did that here.

      Have you ever been involved in a labor dispute? If you have, you know the very fact that Seagate lost means he has hard evidence that they planned and conspired to do this. Without hard evidence your chances of winning a case like this are nil.

      • I see your point, but I'd rather not rely entirely on inferences where the plain truth could and should be available. This article is an interview masquerading as hard journalism, and while you're probably right I wouldn't mind seeing more sources than the guy's lawyer: maybe they could quote some nice smart university professor who has experience and solid credentials to make the objection you just showed me, for example.
  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @09:23PM (#34326500) Journal

    She was a VP of human resources. She was offered a position that paid up to 180k a year. She sold her home and looked forward to the new position. It turns out they only planned to keep her for a 3 month project and laid her off. The job details made it appear that it was permanent and no mention of temp to hire appeared in job description.

    She lost her home, savings, and moved back in with her parents. She is 55 and is too old to be rehired and lost everything. I hope she can quote this case as an example. Something has to give in this country. The rest of the 1st world does not have any of this nonsense and has much more support services. She is about ready to work at McDonalds and beg. Sometimes I hope these people and companies ROT.

    • I hope she can quote this case as an example.

      Only if she is in Minnesota or if her state has similar laws. FTFA:

      The basis for the case is a Minnesota statute that makes it illegal to induce "any person to change from any place in any state, territory or country to any place in this state to work in any branch of labor through or by means of knowingly false representations."

      That said, I don't follow the 55 is too old to get a job logic. How fucked up is our country?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Rockoon (1252108)

      She was a VP of human resources. She sold her home and looked forward to the new position...
      [snip]
      She lost her home, savings, and moved back in with her parents...

      Something about this story just doesn't add up.

      • by IICV (652597) on Tuesday November 23, 2010 @10:28PM (#34326984)

        Uhm, she sold her old home, moved to wherever the new job was, and bought a new home? These things do happen, you know.

        Though to be honest she should have been more cautious than to buy a house less than three months after moving to a new location; I mean, what if it doesn't work out (like this didn't)? What if she just hates the new position?

    • McDonalds may say she's overqualified and not even hire her.

      As for tech jobs they don't want to give people with 10 years in field 1 level 1 job even you got layed off and just want anything even if it means going back to a lower level job and or pay.

  • I was really hard up for a job and took one out of town. I ended up moving from Sandusky, OH to Columbus, OH for the job.

    Corporate laid everyone off in that office within 3 months of me starting. I found out after the fact that after I had been offered the job by the local HR folks and signed a lease on an apartment, corporate was going to renege on the deal because they knew at that time they would be laying everyone off. Apparently that was legally questionable, so they hired me anyway.

    Luckily I had a

  • Wow! Just Wow! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @12:52AM (#34327798) Homepage

    This is pretty amazing. This is what people risk every time they work for an "at will" employer in a state which permits this sort of behavior. I have only ever worked in such states and I've never known any recourse for such shenanigans existed. He couldn't sue in Texas, I'm reasonably sure of that. Bizarre that Seagate was stupid enough to pull this in a state where it isn't permitted. So good for this guy.

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