Monday, June 22, 2009

Startek Cornwall and Kingston Fire Employees

CORNWALL -- StarTek, one of the city's largest employers, has fired at least 17 workers reportedly because of their criminal histories.
The Denver-based company would not confirm what it called "a change in company policy", citing the privacy of its workers, but the laid-off employees have been busy posting their concerns in online forums.
An employee at the Cornwall location Friday said staff was recently called into a meeting to discuss a company policy change related to background checks.
"They said if we hadn't had one, one would be done," said the worker, who asked not to be named. "Shortly after the meeting people were let go."
The local employee, who still has his job, said he had a background check when he was hired by StarTek.
Approximately 470 employees remain at the Cornwall call centre.
The Kingston Whig-Standard is reporting today that 12 people were fired there because they had unpardoned criminal records.
Peter Engelmann, a lawyer with an expertise in employment issues, said the company may need to show that the job involved issues of trust when dealing with the company or the public.
"The difficulty for a company that changes rules retroactively is they'll have the just cause issue," Engelmann said.
The local Vincent Massey Drive company's management released a statement Friday that cited a "change in company policy" and "changing business conditions," as reasons for the sudden dismissals.
"It is always unfortunate to have employees leave, no matter the situation," explained the statement released by company spokeswoman Rosemary Hanratty. Hanratty would not confirm nor deny that the company has instituted the new criminal background policy. There have been reports that employees signed release forms that ensured a heftier severance package. The release protects the employer from a lawsuit after the dismissal.
Continued After Advertisement Below

function() {
if ($("#banZone")[0]) {
//find out where the end of the initial script tag is.
var cutoff = $("#banZone").html().toLowerCase().replace(/ /g, "").replace(/\r\n/g, "").indexOf("/script>") + 8;
var adzoneHTML = $("#banZone").html().toLowerCase().replace(/ /g, "").replace(/\r\n/g, "").substring(cutoff);
//get the remaining substring. Take the first six characters of that.
var banzone = adzoneHTML.substring(0, 6);
//If there is no banner data associated to that zone, the substring found
//above will contain the closing div tag of the banner. If it has data,
//there will be something else in its place. If no data, hide the banner.
if (banzone == "") {
$("#banZone").css("display", "none");
"If an employer has hired people, and it didn't think that a criminal record was a problem hiring them to start with, and they've been otherwise good employees since they've been working, and all of a sudden they're being fired because they have a criminal record, employees in that situation should seek counsel," Engelmann said.
He added that the issue would not fall under discrimination law, but could be challenged as an "unreasonable company rule."
A U. S. Department of Labor spokesman told The Mansfield News Journal that it does not appear the company violated the law.
Article ID# 1621872
Submit content
var smisToolKit=1;
var initialPos="";
if (navigator.userAgent.indexOf('Firefox') !=-1 navigator.userAgent.indexOf('Opera')!=-1 navigator.userAgent.indexOf('Safari')!=-1 navigator.userAgent.indexOf('Netscape')!=-1 )
var initialPos=($("#soc_container").show().position()).left;
var width=$("#soc_container").width();
$("#expander").click(function () {
if(smisToolKit%2 == 0)
return false;
if (navigator.userAgent.indexOf('Firefox') !=-1 navigator.userAgent.indexOf('Opera')!=-1 navigator.userAgent.indexOf('Safari')!=-1 navigator.userAgent.indexOf('Netscape')!=-1 )
var pos=($("#soc_center").show().position()).left;
var finalPos=pos-(initialPos+3);

Stumble Upon-->
Feed Me
facebook MySpace Twitter google

Comments on this Article. You are currently not logged in.

These criminal checks should have been done before they were hired, not after. Could be reasonable cause for lawsuits against this company.
Reply Report Page Top
Post #1 By rkake, 1 day ago 2 Votes Vote:

pretty sad that an employer can search your records dating back till the age of 18 but you can also pay the $40.00 and do your own record search so that being said maybe they really shouldn't be taking the hard stance that they are, and maybe they shouldn't "throw stones when they also live in glass houses", aside from that I do know for a fact that the employees were told they had to sign the documents or they were FIRED right then and about a threat call center's are quick to hire you as long as you will lie to their customers to make you look good at all times stupid me I thought you were in the business of customer service.....well aren't your employees one sort of customer if they weren't qualified in the first place why did you hire them??? But to go back in their records some of them some 20 years thats ridiculous and perposterous ever heard of statute of limitations? They were provided with criminal background checks from each employee before they hired them so if it wasn't included then why does it matter to the employer when it didn't show up in the record check from the police departments???hmm I wonder sounds fishy to me oh I get it this is their way of getting rid of people who are and have been there since the start of STARTEK SUPER BAD BUSINESS PRACTICE think all of the employees should BOYCOT you all show up for work but dont take the walk through the doors until they change the ridiculous policy!!!!
Reply Report Page Top
Post #2 By Ushouldbeashamedofyourself, 1 day ago 4 Votes Vote:

I completely agree that this should have been dealt with at the beginning of the hiring process, it is unfair too all employees who were fired.
It is the responsibility of the employer at the time of hiring to ensure that potential employees fit the requirements that are expected. To fire that many people has a huge effect on the family as well as the community.
How are those people supposed to pay their bills now? StarTek has an obligation that they are not following up with.,.
Tsk tsk..
Reply Report Page Top
Post #3 By Momsrus, 1 day ago 2 Votes Vote:

Not to mention that all STARTEK employees also had to sign papers saying their conduct outside of the workplace can be cause for dismissal well excuse me I didn't realize that my personal time away from work was any of your far as I'm concerned tell STARTEK to blow it out their ass!!
Reply Report Page Top
Post #4 By Ushouldbeashamedofyourself, 1 day ago 2 Votes Vote:

I would just like to send Star Tek Cornwall a heartfelt congratulations in reminding us how expendable our work force is during our current recession. 17 employee's let go due to bad criminal checks, funny though that they were good enough to work for you over a year before this and you didn't seem to mind them working there? Don't you rather think that is kind of convenient? Must be better employee pickings now that Cornwall has lost a lot of jobs because of the recession. Guy Lauzon, Do you not find that strange?, What are you doing about this? How about unemployment Canada? Do you not find this unusual labor practice? UIC must love paying out the benefits And lets not forget Ontario Department of Labor. Have you not checked into this? Trust me there are more than just 17 employees let go this year on even lamer excuses that this. Currently there is no or little legislation in place to protect call center employee rights. What recourse do they have? This needs to change, During these tough times should not our government be protecting our labor force. I agree that those 17 should contact legal council, and by the way Head Office Star Tek (which is located in Colorado), Cornwall is in Canada and not the USA. I truly feel bad for you 17 employees and you should fight this together. I wish all 17 of those who were unjustly fired the best of luck and you know what, they don't deserve you and they did you a big favor. B.t.w. did they display your stats to the rest of your teams? That's a breach of the Privacy act. Just giving ya something to start the battle with. :) STAR TEK YOU BLOW!!! You give a tiny bit to our community and take everything from it.....Also to the rest of the community, if you think what Star Tek did was wrong, Monday, every time you drive by Star Tek, Blow your horn and give your support to those unjustly fired by Star Tek>>>>
Reply Report Page Top
Post #5 By Toolman01ca, 1 day ago 1 Votes Vote:

I will drive by and blow my horn in support of the workers that lost their jobs unjustly for sure
Reply Report Page Top
Post #6 By dodger, 1 day ago 2 Votes Vote:

Thanks Dodger, its about time that place knows how we feel about their crap. Let everyone know....
Reply Report Page Top
Post #7 By toolman01ca, 1 day ago 0 Votes Vote:

Ushouldbeashamedofyourself, I agree with you whole hardedly, they should take a day, but it would require everyone ..... not just a few to boycott their job. Normally I am not big into Union's but in Star Tek's case....they need one bad. It was attempted a few years ago, but management basically told the employees that the day a Union was introduced, would be the day that Star Tek would close. And the person who tryed was let go a few months later...
Reply Report Page Top
Post #8 By toolman01ca, 1 day ago 0 Votes Vote:

management basically bring on their own problems with the unions by being unfair to their employees This is one of the many reasons that unions come together, this kind of unfairness.
Reply Report Page Top
Post #9 By dodger, 1 day ago 0 Votes Vote:

Anyone who sees this as being just has their head up their bums.
Reply Report Page Top
Post #10 By dodger, 1 day ago 0 Votes Vote:

To be fired for something you actually did wrong while being employed by a company is okay but to be fired for something that was accepted all along and suddenly is taboo now that is wrong.
Reply Report Page Top
Post #11 By dodger, 1 day ago 0 Votes Vote:

First of all signing a document under duress is not a valid document and if enough people file complaints about it then things will change.
Reply Report Page Top
Post #12 By dodger, 1 day ago 0 Votes Vote:

well i know I mentioned union when I was there and was even called into the office and got *****ed out...hmmmm...wonder why i'm not there anymore?? Besides the people who are still there from the time I was were too damn spineless to stick together....They did what startek wanted them to....anyhow started will get shut down before long i'm can only screw people over for so long. I think I will be the first person standing there laughing as all the high ups get what they deserve..
Reply Report Page Top
Post #13 By Nicole1975, 1 day ago 0 Votes Vote:

A company can let someone go as long as they pay the proper severance. Companies, like people, make good and bad decisions.
Nobody wants to ever lose their job; especially when they perform well at a difficult job and Startek is not an easy place to work at.
I feel for employees. Perhaps instead of firing them Startek should've just helped them with the legal pardon process?
Reply Report Page Top
Post #14 By cornwallfreenewscom, 20 hours ago 0 Votes Vote:

The thing is Startek wants the community to think they are all giving with their fundraisers and stuff...inside the four walls the employees are treated like crap.Unless you are dying,you'd better be in your seat whgen your stift starts or you are penalized,if you need a next day off its almost impossible to get it and you are yelled at through a 2 way radio if you have been on hold too long. It's awfuland degrading. I work there and feel degraded every day.Only thing keeps me there is the money.One of the person fired had a charge from about 48 years ago..absolutely rediculus. Another person went in to complete their papers after being let go and she was told they didn't know how long it would take to fire her so she could go back to work for now..this isn't over yet. Get some complassion StarTek..
Reply Report Page Top
Post #15 By JohnnyAppleSeed, 17 hours ago 1 Votes Vote:

legal council is expensive as well, hell I would give 20 bucks as a start with their legal council, would anyone else donate?, just curious....I really want to see Star Tek get it court, Only thing those idiots understand is money.
Reply Report Page Top
Post #16 By toolman01ca, 14 hours ago 0 Votes Vote:

No offence Jamie, Standard criminal checks are done about 2 to 4 years back, why would they decide they should go back further if it wasn't an excuse to get rid of people for downsizing, if they laided off like most NORMAL companies do, they would have to call them back. This way they get rid of what they consider undesirables and down size. Pardon my foot, what Star Tek did was cold, calculated and premeditated. And on notice, any charity that accepts funds from Star Tek Cornwall will no longer be supported by my family. Accepting money from Star Tek is like buying absolution, and after what Star Tek has pulled now and in the past, You can't buy your sins away Star Tek.
Reply Report Page Top
Post #17 By toolman01ca, 14 hours ago 0 Votes Vote:

yes, I too won't be dishing out any more money to StarTek for United Way or battered women or any other charity they promote. I'll give to those agencies through another source. Those agencys deserve to be represented by a reputable place of employment someone that values the employees and promotes it.