Uncommon side: The hoodwinked employee -- Part II

Most readers responding to Part I of this case feel that Russo has a good chance of winning if he follows through on his threat to sue for breach of promise. As Plant Engineer G.


Most readers responding to Part I of this case feel that Russo has a good chance of winning if he follows through on his threat to sue for breach of promise. As Plant Engineer G. Drew Butler writes, it appears that Chief Engineer Shifron, in his zeal to retain a promising engineer, went too far in his promises of rewards for remaining with the company. Butler adds, "In some states, on the other hand, employment is seen at the convenience of the employer unless one is covered by federal protections."

Although Project Engineer Steve Maas believes Russo has a "better than 50% chance of winning," he feels that the promise of a job for life would not hold, although the commitment to make him a senior engineer within a year probably would.

Reader Allan Zecchini agrees. "No job is for life," he writes. "But Shifron should not have assured Russo he would get the senior engineer promotion. In my company," he says, "promises for job advancement or job security are a definite no-no."

The matter of performance decline, however, raises interesting questions. Was the drop-off documented? Was Russo given adequate notice? Was the reason for the decline a result of the company slowdown? Were steps taken to work with Russo in an effort to reverse the decline?

All other factors aside, explains labor relations specialist, Professor Leonard J. Smith, Russo had the responsibility to perform up to standard. In this regard, the above questions definitely pertain. Smith also makes the point that the decline of business is a clear justification for downsizing, so that Russo's case is by no means a surefire win.

Well, maybe not surefire, but his chances of winning may be very good, explains Human Side expert, attorney Michael Tricarico. "The crucial element in the case," he stresses, "is the fact that Russo turned down another job opportunity based on his supervisor's representations. If not for that, his chances of winning would be slim."

Laws differ from state to state, Tricarico adds, but due to Russo's foregoing of another opportunity, he could have a viable case for fraudulent or negligent misrepresentation and promissory estoppel. "The moral of this story," he concludes, "is as an employer, you do not make promises that you are not 100% sure you can keep. As an employee, always make sure you get employer promises in writing."

Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
February 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
March 2018
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
Jan/Feb 2018
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
December 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards
December 2017
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Industrial Analytics
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
IIoT: Operations & IT
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me