• Report: #221194

Complaint Review: Autozone

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  • Submitted: Sat, November 18, 2006
  • Updated: Mon, February 21, 2011

  • Reported By:League City Texas
Autozone
245 Bay Area Blvd. Houston, Texas U.S.A.

Autozone discriminates against its employees ripoff Houston Texas

*UPDATE Employee: Hooray for Claude

*Author of original report: Exonerated and Recompensated

*Consumer Comment: Ungrateful

*UPDATE Employee: Time to move on

*Consumer Comment: Typical

*Author of original report: Yeah, right

*UPDATE Employee: Attack on AZ is unfounded and misleading

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I was initially employed by AutoZone in the New Orleans area in June/2005 as a part time employee while I was enrolled as a student at Nunez Community College, pursuing a degree in General Sciences. My store manager, Mr. Rex Whitsell, told me that AutoZone loved employing college students and was very helpful with scheduling my work hours around my classes.

Due to Hurricane Katrina, my life partner and I had to evacuate our home and we fled to Florida to stay with relatives. Since we were unable to return to our home after Katrina, I made contact with one of the stores in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, managed by Mr. Marty Ferris, and explained my situation and the need for me to keep working and they generously allowed me to work at their store during the remainder of our stay in Florida.

In October/2005, we relocated permanently to Texas and settled in League City, as we decided we would not be returning to Louisiana. Upon making contact with Ms. Robin Adams, store manager at the retail location in League City (1492) and providing her with an explanation of my journey with the company thus far, I was offered a position as a part-time Senior Sales Associate. During this time and because of Katrina, the college that I attended in Louisiana flooded and they relocated and set up online classes for all the displaced students. I enrolled in the online classes and I was once again a student.

My manager knew that I was a college student prior to Katrina, and that I had worked part time previously. As my knowledge, responsibilities and work load increased (I was averaging 35 hours a week as a part timer), I asked Ms. Adams to consider promoting me to full time, as I felt the hours that I was working and the good performance I was providing AutoZone warranted that I gather some of the benefits offered to full time employees.

Mr. Darryl Swinky, District Manger at the time, approached me about working full time. He asked me about my school plans and I assured him that although I was taking a full schedule of classes, full time work would not be a problem because my store manager and I had no scheduling problems. It was known between Ms. Adams, Mr. Swinky and myself that I could not be available from open to close seven days a week. My full time status was approved and a raise awarded to me.

In June/2006, I began training for Parts Sales Manager position at store 1492. Then in July/2006, I was informed that the only way for me to get a promotion to Asst. Manager(a.k.a. Parts Sales Manager) would be for me to relocate to another store in the area (1308). I told Ms. Adams that I did not want to leave 1492; I applied and worked at that store(1492) because it was conveniently located to my home, school (College of the Mainland, Texas City) and my other community activities.

I was then notified by Ms. Adams that although she did not want me to leave, she also did not want to stand in my way of advancement and that if I stayed at 1492, promotion to Parts Sales Manager would be unlikely. I reluctantly contacted Mr. Patrick Allen, store manager of 1308, and was told to report to the Bay Area Blvd. store(1308).

When I accepted the position of Parts Sales Manager, I informed my new supervisor (Mr. Allen) that I had been enrolled in college and would be enrolling in classes for the fall semester to continue my education at College of the Mainland in Texas City.

I inquired which time of day would be best for my classes - day or evening schedule. My supervisor indicated that he would need me more in the daytime, so I re-enrolled in evening classes at my local community college ( College of the Mainland) I explained to my employer that I would not be able to work past 4:00 pm Tuesday and Thursday, as those were the nights I had classes. I was still available 7am to 4pm Monday thru Thursday, all day/night on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and all day on the weekends. I calculate my availability to work to be 85 hours per week.

After working full time as a Parts Sales Manager and performing all required duties for approximately 5 weeks, I was informed by Mr. Allen that because I was not available to be scheduled from open to close 7 days a week, due to my evening classes, I could no longer be employed as a full time employee. I was then contacted by my new District Manager, Mr. Carlos Trillo, who stated that since I was not a full time employee, he would have to take away my promotion. As it was explained to me by the store manager, the District Manager made the call and he was caught in the middle because the store desperately needed Parts Sales Managers to open and close the store.

I feel as though I am being discriminated against because I am a student. I am available to work 7:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday - Thursday, and all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I am fully capable of working full time and being a college student. No where in the company's employee manuals does it state this "rule".

I have worked in 4 stores in 3 states in the last 15 months of employment. My store manager at 3037 in Chalmette, LA and I were the last to leave the store after boarding the windows as a Category 5 storm approached. Upon evacuating to Florida, I immediately began working at store 248, where I was told they wanted me to stay because of my work ethic and value to that store manager. Upon arriving at 1492, I tried my best to become a valued employee, completing further AutoZone training classes and going the extra mile continuously. After reluctantly going to 1308, I sucked it up and continued my strong work ethic. Upon arrival there, WITTDTJR scores immediately went up after weeks of sub-par performance.

I have done everything that AutoZone has asked of me. In return, I have been made to feel like a second-class employee. In addition to my hours being cut, I am forced to spend more money to travel to 1308. I was never notified, nor provided any written company policy explaining the full time availability policy. I also worked for AutoZone for about a year before my Starbridge discount medical plan, that I applied for in July/2005, was ever made available to me due to an AutoZone screw-up, with no retroactive compensation.

I've requested to be transferred back to my original store, and to be re-instated as a Parts Sales Manager. I am concerned that the apparent policy of what constitutes a full time employee is not being enforced evenly. I am aware of other full time AutoZone's who are not available to be scheduled any time between open and closing hours, 7 days a week.

I am now once again just a part time Sales Associate and I'm still waiting to hear from the District Manager on whether or not I will be able in to be moved back to my original store and whether or not I will have my promotion stripped from me. Furthermore, since I was full time from February/2006 until now, what happens to the 7 months that I worked full time to achieve vacation?

What about the 7 months that I worked full time in order to become eligible for Blue Cross insurance? I have not been presented with any other alternative, nor been contacted by Mr. Trillo or my Regional Human Resources Manager, after leaving messages. This is not acceptable.

The above letter was presented to Mr. Patrick Allen, store 1308. Once again, after speaking with both Mr. Allen and Ms. Adams, no action was taken concerning my employment status. Furthermore, a fellow employee at store 1308, Mr. Kristjannsen, who is a full time college student, did not lose his full time status nor his Parts Sales Manager position.

Claude
League City, Texas
U.S.A.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/18/2006 06:00 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Autozone/Houston-Texas-77573/Autozone-discriminates-against-its-employees-ripoff-Houston-Texas-221194. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 7Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Hooray for Claude

AUTHOR: just a number - (United States of America)

Right On Claude! I am Happy for you. I am a current employee and Oh boy! do I have some info . Well I know this was awhile ago but it is still happening.
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#2 Author of original report

Exonerated and Recompensated

AUTHOR: Claude - (U.S.A.)

Just to finish this once and for all...The State of Texas confirmed that I was in the right. I recieved $166 a week for the 3 weeks that I wasn't employed. I now have a better, higher paying position at a competitor. In addition, the unlawful termination suit that I filed was also successful. And to beat it all, the DM that was over my area is now gone, and the company wants me back! AS IF!
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#3 Consumer Comment

Ungrateful

AUTHOR: Chris - (U.S.A.)

From what you've told me, I'm actually quite impressed with Autozone how they bent over backwards to accomadate you. You moved all over the place and you always had a job with them. Even at the expense of someone who probably applied for that postion and didn't get hired due to them trying to keep you. Just because they couldn't give you a promotion that required you to be able to close the store when they needed you to, your going to come on here and call the whole company discriminatory which is total nonsense.
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#4 UPDATE Employee

Time to move on

AUTHOR: Edward - (U.S.A.)

Yeppers, your post makes it all understandable. On 11/18/06 you state that you were still working at AZ, as a part timer. On 11/21/06 you write that the State of Texas agrees with you, you presented your issues with a lawyer and now you are thinking about a lawsuit, and even better, you are starting to receive unemployment benefits. What an incredible weekend you must have had. Do everyone a favor, especially yourself. Find employment that will allow you to go to school full-time. There are many different types of jobs that will allow you to work specific days and hours. Your demanding that a customer service business comply to your demands of scheduling is unrealistic. Texas is a work at will state. You are not able to demand specific accommodations to suite your life-style.

It is obviously time for you to move on into some other field of work. Other-wise you will be spending most of your day crying over spilled milk. You should realize that not everyone has a hatred towards their work place. Albeit, not everyone will sing praises about AZ or any other place they may work at, most realize that they do owe a duty of good faith to their employer. You are obviously unhappy at AZ. Good luck to you. It may be the right time for you to move onto something else
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#5 Consumer Comment

Typical

AUTHOR: Cory - (U.S.A.)

All I can say is this is typical of the what is coming into the workplace today. He wants the money, he wants the benefits, he wants the position, he wants the location, he wants the hours, ALL ON HIS TERMS. Typical.
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#6 Author of original report

Yeah, right

AUTHOR: Claude - (U.S.A.)

I posted this to let others know how Autozone treats their employees. Since the original post, the State of Texas certainly agrees with me, as does an attorney that contacted me. With my unemployment benefits now coming in and a possible lawsuit in the works, I'm GLAD I'm out of that place. As I stated in my letter, the 4 managers that I worked for and STILL are friends with would gladly have me back working for their store. I laugh at how you said that Autozone was nice enough to let me work after Katrina; hell, they begged me to work at their stores. Autozone NEVER has enough staff; they push most of the work on the poor folks like myself who "go the extra mile". Since I left, 4 other PSMs in my district have left for other employment after finding out how "nice" Autozone treated me. Good riddance!
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#7 UPDATE Employee

Attack on AZ is unfounded and misleading

AUTHOR: Edward - (U.S.A.)

Your entire post seems to be nothing but a self-serving claim of what you think is an entitlement. I have worked for AZ for some time now and I do have a working knowledge of their policy. First, on the employment application that you filled out before being employed, it states that you need to be available during all of the hours the store is open. Arrangements for your schooling that were made at one store should not be expected when relocating at another store.

It seems as though you were expecting the other managers to work the shifts and days that you did not want to work. Great teamwork there. I would think that all of the other employees also have outside interests that include but are not limited to family, other work, community functions, and personal interests. Are you expecting you co-workers to forfeit their interests so that yours will be accommodated?

Again, read your hand book. You are not entitled to paid vacation time until you have one year service, and even with the one year, the vacation time is added to your benefits on either Jan, 01 or July 01, which ever date follows your anniversary date of hire.

It seems that AZ did very much to accommodate you. AZ worked with hundreds of zoners who lost their homes during Katrina. They let you transfer to Florida and then to Texas. Autozone employs nearly fifty thousand people and has never had a lay-off. I myself transferred from Texas to another state. I have seen dozens upon dozens of people transfer from one state to another. AZ has always found a home for these employees.

The most important point that you are not understanding is that AutoZone is a public company. . They must run the company to be successful. In your own post you said that you said that you were fully capable of being a student full time and working at AZ full time. If you want restrictions on the hours that you are available, then you are not available to work during all store operation hours, thus not available for full time work. With your way of thinking, working 40 hours that YOU select, qualify you for full time employment. That is not realistic in a retail customer service based business.

You only seem to have limited gratitude to what AZ has done for you in the last 16 months. It seems to be give me more, more, and still more. Working in a customer service type of environment, sometime requres working a different schedule from one week to another. Those different hours from one week to another happens in most every type or retail business. Not only does most every employee in a retail business work different hours from week to week, they also work days differently from one week to another.
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