Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Question For The Experts

I have a post up over at New England Mamas, in which I piss and moan about the commercialism that is Valentine's Day.

In other news:

That Canadian Boy I Married (TCBIM) has been working for the same small company for two years now. There are about 8 employees, including the boss. The boss belongs to an uber-Christian church - I don't know what denomination, if any - and several of the employees also belong. Others, like TCBIM, are quite happy in their godless heathenism.

Ever since he started working there, he's felt a slight favouritism towards the employees who are church members. Mostly he was able to brush it off and it didn't impact his job that much. The last few months, though, he's felt a distinct coldness directed at him by the boss. He tried speaking to his boss about it, but that man is one who avoids communication and confrontation at all costs. So TCBIM decided the time was right to start looking for a new job. No rush, he didn't feel as though he was going to get fired or anything, he just felt like things were a little off kilter and wanted to work for a company that had better management/employee communications.

He interviewed at a company based about 40 minutes from here. Because he's in sales, he can work from home a lot, so this was OK. Plus the company is offering $10K more a year in base salary and another percentage point in commission. They also said they'd provide him with a vehicle and a gas card. Yippee! He was still waffling about taking the job when he got a phone call at work the other day.

The phone call was from a financial institution that manages IRAs. They had questions about the IRA accounts for three employees plus the boss. Questions about the money the company was contributing to these IRAs. The little alarm bells started going off in TCBIM's head.

At no time was he given any information about any kind of retirement plan - in fact, he asked about it and was told that the company didn't do anything like that. To suddenly find out that yes, they do do that, but only, apparently, for fellow church members, was the nail in the coffin. He's taking the new job.

Is this legal? I thought if a benefit was offered, it had to be offered to all employees. Does anyone know the deal on that? Not that he's going to do anything about it since he's taking another job, but I do think he's going to mention it in his exit interview.


LJ said...

I don't have much to offer in legalities. What part of Chritianity does it say to despise thy neighbour if they do/don't believe the same as they?Ughhh! I'm sorry it happened.

Velma said...

If it's a very small company, it may not be ethical, but it also may not be illegal. So many of the regulations regarding discrimination don't apply to very small companies - nice, huh?

Anonymous said...

I think (from my long ago days in HR) that you only have to offer to all if you have 50 or more employees.

But I do hope that he mentions it in his exit interview. They need to know it's the straw that broke the camel's back.

Lara said...

i have no idea about the legality, but it's a shitty way to treat your employees, even if it is legal. :(

elizasmom said...

Wow. Onward Christian assholes! Way to love thy neighbor.
I have no legal expertise beyond the general knoweldge others have quoted here r.e. small companies, but I suspect the ethicist would VERY MUCH frown upon this sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Unbelievable.

No clue about American discrimination laws, but good Maude, I can't believe people would do such a thing.

Stomper Girl said...

TCBYM is well shot of them, sounds like! yay for him for finding a better job.

Alex Elliot said...

That sounds like to the type of thing that even if it isn't legal to do so, ethically they should. What assholes!