Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Discrimination against reservists

I've been talking with a gentleman by the name of Ron Hendry who's son, Chris, was the assistant manager for a store called Furniture Row. Chris recently joined the Army Reserve and informed his employers that he would be leaving for basic training in 6 weeks. A day later Chris was fired because he “Lacked focus.”

It's illegal to fire a reservist because of their military obligations. Furniture Row might be trying to skirt this law by firing Chris before he goes to basic training but the timing of their decision, so soon after Chris gave them the courtesy of letting them know that he wanted to serve his country part-time, makes it painfully obvious that reservists are not welcome as employees.

Let there be no doubt that this is discrimination.

Ron is asking that people spread the word about what his son and many reservists have to deal with and to e-mail the following members of Furniture Row's corporate staff: troy.gruchalski@furniturerow.com, barney.visser@furniturerow.com, willard.westblade@furniturerow.com, Tom.Faulkner@furniturerow.com, rich.cohn@furniturerow.com.

Ron would also appreciate being CC'd any correspondence at rhendry@biolynk.com.


mckendry33 said...

Unfortunately, there seems to be false accusations being perpetuated about the dismissal of Mr. Chris Hendry from Furniture Row Companies employment.

This issue has been investigated by the Executive Director, Idaho Committee from the office of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. This is the office Mr. Hendry contacted and is a military-funded organization that reviews potential employer discrimination cases. In this offices opinion, Furniture Row did not discriminate against Mr. Hendry and they did not call into question motives surrounding his military service or the timing of his notification to serve in the reserves.

Furniture Row does not believe it is in the best interest of former employees to discuss issues surrounding their performance with our company. Beyond that, Furniture Row Companies only wishes the best for Mr. Hendry and is in full support of his service and continued service to our country.

Furniture Row Companies is honored to work with reservists and veterans alike and has always welcomed military personnel into all ranks of our company. Matter of fact, the founder of Furniture Row is a former military person himself, as are many of the top level executives within the company.

Our company's strong record for honoring and employing military and reserve personnel was recognized in Mr. Hendry's report by Guard and Reserve officials. To that end, Furniture Row established in 2004 a very unique company policy to pay any Guard and Reserve employees who are called to active duty in a combat zone their average earnings prior to their deployment over and above whatever compensation they receive for their military service while they are deployed.

We can only hope this additional information brings some clarity and perspective to this unfortunate situation and events.

With the deepest respect,

Bill McKendry

National Marketing Director

Furniture Row Companies

Ron said...


This is the "official" response Furniture Row has been submitting to any and all concerned citizens. Mr. McKendry says that this issue has been "investigated" and that Furniture row was "Cleared" of all charges. According to Dick Deem (ESGR Idaho) Their job is:
"ESGR is the first line mediation regarding employment and reemployment disputes between Reservists and Employers. We are a committee of mostly volunteers funded by Department of Defense to “Gain and maintain the support for Guard and Reserve service by recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law, and resolving conflict though mediation." Mr Deem advised Chris Hendry to file a complaint with the Department of Labor, as Furniture was not willing to admit blame or negotiate.
Mr. McKendry and Furniture Row can say all they want. The facts are the facts.

Chris Hendry, was employed for two years with Furniture Row. He was accepted into their Manger Trainee programs after several months and ultimately promoted to Asst Manager of their Boise Idaho store. Furniture Row paid to relocate Chris Hendry to that location. In his two years with the company he has one, yes one, mark in his file. That was for being late to work 8 months ago. Furniture Row does not want to discuss this employees job performance because that would prove that they are on shaky ground. Two months ago Chris Hendry enlisted in the Army Reserve. Approximately three weeks after that he notified his regional manager of this and of his deployment to basic training camp. 24 HOURS LATER HE WAS FIRED FOR "LACK OF FOCUS". Make up your own mind. Did his termination has anything to do with his military service????

the SON of the SWARM said...

The rights of reservist/guardsmen are NOT being protected...and government agencies are not doing anything about it. I am reservist who bid on a promotion with a company that claims to be "National Security Laboratory," a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin called Sandia National Laboratories. The hiring manager hiring for the this position blatantly told me, in front of witnesses, that he was not going to hire a soldier. Management has not provided any other reason as to why I did not receive the promotion. I took my case to USERRA and they did nothing to protect my rights. After serving in a combat zone I know that not all my enemies are hiding in the mountains of central Asia or in the deserts surrounding the Persian Gulf. Some of my enemies are hiding behind desks right here in the United States.

Unknown said...

I worked for this company for seven years .Honestly, they always tried to hire ppl with military backrounds. They knew those ppl had a hard work ethic.

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