Friday, June 12, 2009

StarTek employee wondering why she was fired from work

StarTek employee wondering why she was fired from work
Thu. June 11, 2009; Posted: 03:31 AM

You too can increase your ETF trading!Jun 11, 2009 (Enid News & Eagle - McClatchy
-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- SRT Quote Chart News PowerRating -- Deborah Stewart says she has an outstanding employment record at StarTek. Just last week, she had her picture taken for an employee Web site for the quality of her work.

Now she is wondering why she was fired this week because of a past felony conviction she said the company has known about for more than two years.
Stewart said she is just one of several employees let go this week because of past criminal records. The News & Eagle has received several phone calls and e-mails since Monday saying StarTek is releasing employees at its inbound call center here.
Rosemary Hanratty, a StarTek spokeswoman, said the company has made some personnel adjustments at the Enid site. Approximately 27 people have been affected. Hanratty said the terminations were done as a result of "changing business conditions." She said Wednesday those 27 were the only ones to be terminated from the Enid office, to her knowledge.
However, a published story in the Grand Junction (Colo.) Sentinel newspaper May 21, echoed some of the complaints from local employees. In Grand Junction, more than two dozen employees with felony convictions were terminated by StarTek. Hanratty is quoted in that story as saying "about 30" lost their jobs.
Fired employees told the Grand Junction newspaper their terminations came as a result of a StarTek contract with AT&T, which contains a security clause that does not allow for employees with certain types of misdemeanor or felony convictions.
Sandra Robinette, AT&T external affairs director in Enid, said she had no comment on the situation involving StarTek.
Hanratty said StarTek still is at the employment level required to receive a bonus payment from the city of Enid. She said she could not say more due to personnel issues. City Manager Eric Benson said city interim finance director Joan Riley was notified recently StarTek has met the income and employment levels required to receive the city's bonus this year. This is the first time the goal has been met since he has been city manager. The bonus payment was spelled out in an agreement with the city that helped bring StarTek here in 2000.
Stewart said she was first hired by StarTek in 2002, but resigned about six months later to care for her ill mother. At that time, she said she told company officials about an arrest and drug conviction that occurred more than 23 years ago.
She was rehired in November 2006 and said she has an outstanding record at the company.
Stewart said she has had a clean record since completing the time she was sentenced to for the conviction.
"I haven't even had a parking ticket since then," she said.
She also said it is not in the StarTek handbook employees cannot have a felony conviction.
Stewart and others who contacted the News & Eagle said they were told to sign an agreement for a week's severance; however, she may contact an attorney in the matter.
Hanratty said StarTek does not discuss client information. She also indicated it is not company policy to discuss severance packages but it is a standard business practice.
"It's probably no different than you find in a severance agreement at a bank or anywhere else," Hanratty said. She would not discuss what is in the severance agreement.
She would not confirm the Enid situation and the Grand Junction, Colo., situation are similar, and said the terminations came about because of a change of StarTek policy and changing business conditions.
"We cannot comment beyond that statement," she said.
According to state law, Oklahoma is an "at will" state, meaning either the employee or the employer may cease the employment relationship any time. That ability to terminate an employee at will is limited under some circumstances. An employer cannot terminate an employee in retaliation for the exercise of rights under Oklahoma's worker's compensation law , or because of an employee's race, sex, age (40 and over), national origin, religion or mental or physical disability, or in retaliation for reporting an employer's illegal conduct, according to a publication of the Oklahoma Bar Association on employee rights.