A judge has ruled that the “guess the next cashier who will be fired” “contest” concocted by a convenience store manager created a hostile work environment. Several of the employees left after it and the judge ruled that their unemployment claims could not be dismissed on the basis of the workers leaving voluntarily. Here is the text of the kooky contest memo:
The DesMoinesRegister printed the memo from the QC Mart store in their coverage on the incident:
New Contest – Guess The Next Cashier Who Will Be Fired!!!
To win our game, write on a piece of paper the name of the next cashier you believe will be fired. Write their name [the person who will be fired], today’s date, today’s time, and your name. Seal it in an envelope and give it to the manager to put in my envelope.
“Here’s how the game will work: We are doubling our secret-shopper efforts, and your store will be visited during the day and at night several times a week. Secret shoppers will be looking for cashiers wearing a hat, talking on a cell phone, not wearing a QC Mart shirt, having someone hanging around/behind the counter, and/or a personal car parked by the pumps after 7 p.m., among other things.
“If the name in your envelope has the right answer, you will win $10 CASH. Only one winner per firing unless there are multiple right answers with the exact same name, date, and time. Once we fire the person, we will open all the envelopes, award the prize, and start the contest again.
“And no fair picking Mike. He was fired at around 11:30 a.m. today for wearing a hat and talking on his cell phone. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!
“The employer’s actions have clearly created a hostile work environment by suggesting its employees turn on each other for a minimal monetary prize,” the judge wrote in her ruling. “This was an intolerable and detrimental work environment.”
Looks like all the employees all put the manager’s name in the envelope, and they won a lot more than ten bucks.