Winn-Dixie Stores Complaint - Unfair Employee Treatment
OCALA, FLORIDA -- I worked for Winn-Dixie for five years. During those five years I was a great employee and always received an above average on my annual reviews. I was a manager and had been for four out of the five years I was employed at the company. I had never done anything in five years to harm the company and always completed my job duties. I know that the ATF comes into the stores and does alcohol and tobacco stings to ensure that no one is selling to minors. After several times that the company got busted for underage alcohol sales they decided to update their register systems. Their registers now require you to enter the date on the id or get a manager's override to sale the alcohol. This is only for alcohol. When you sale tobacco you are still able to make your own decision on if you should enter the date of birth or you feel they are old enough to purchase.
Winn-Dixie's register system is flawed. When you go to sell anything that requires a certain age to purchase you must hit clear and override. You only hit override if they are old enough. You can only hit clear and override for tobacco and lottery. Remember that you must get a key for alcohol or enter the date. If you make a mistake and hit clear and override the system does not allow you to go back in and enter the date of birth. We had the ATF come in and do a sting. After five years of hitting clear and override I sold a pack of tobacco to a minor. Clearly I would not do this on purpose as it would be risking my job. I misread the date on the id and was not able to go back into the system to enter the date of birth. The ATF came in and wrote me a ticket to go to court as this is a class II misdemeanor charge. I have never been in any trouble in my life, with my personal life or Winn-Dixie life.
My human resources manager was contacted to be made aware of what had just happened. When I spoke to him on the phone he terminated me over the phone (how professional) stating that he felt that he needed to be consistent with what has been done in the past to other employees that committed the same infraction and that my time with the company was not being taken into consideration. I explained to him that I worked there for five years, made an honest unintentional human error, and I have never hurt the company in any way before. I also told him that I had no way of knowing that he was being consistent. He did not offer to suspend me for further investigation even though the policy does not state automatic termination.
I told him that I was sure that there was a girl that committed the same infraction at store 2213 and she did not get fired. He did not offer to check into that before firing me. After being terminated I did my own investigating. There was most definitely a girl at 2213 that committed the same infraction. She was not fired, but six months later was promoted to a front end manager. She committed the same infraction and received a freaking raise for it. My store manager was also terminated, but only after his fifth violation as a store manager. Winn-Dixie's code of ethics states that they deal fairly with all customers, associates, investors, business partners, and competitors. This is a load of bs. If you are going to fire someone under the statement that you are being consistent then you might want to make sure you truly are being consistent before you fire them. You should make sure they are being treated fairly since that is part of the company's code of ethics.
I feel that I made the mistake, but my disciplinary action was definitely unfair due to the fact that another person did the same thing, was not with the company for five years, and was not fired, but promoted. I worked hard for that company for five years and it was not taken into consideration. The human resources manager knows how bad the economy is now days and did not take into consideration that I had been an excellent employee with no prior record. I feel like all the five years that I worked there was for nothing. Winn-Dixie is probably the most inconsistent company I will ever work for.