Alpine Access May Be Illegally Challenging Unemployment Claims

April 6, 2012 1 comment

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Alpine Access employee Alexandria Levan has been fired for missing a day of training because she had to go to the emergency room.

Before I delve into the nitty gritty details, I am going to give you a background on her background with Alpine Access. Levan has been with Alpine Access for 18 months (an eternity with this company) and only recently decided to switch over to another program because the hours and total work force has faced draconian cuts.

In switching to another program her wages were cut by nearly $2 an hour. She began training on the new program and toward the end she had to go to the emergency room for what she now knows is a serious medical issue.

She informed her trainer that she had to go and the trainer said that it would be okay for her to do so. She missed one day of work and when she returned she got an email saying that she cannot miss any days of work during training and she was promptly fired.

She was immediately locked out of the system and her personal work email and promised that she could reapply for another program. The policy is is that if you are fired (they don’t do lay-offs) you cannot reapply or work for Alpine Access ever again.

To her horror she could not reapply for anything… not even a minimum wage position. She was a tenured agent and has been here forever and not only did they lie to her, they put a knife in her back on her way out the door.

I know what you are thinking, “It can’t get much worse then that”, but it does.

After waiting a month to hear back on her unemployment they told her that it is being challenged by Alpine Access because “She voluntarily quit”. That is obviously an outright lie and from what my counsel tells me totally illegal.

For those of you that don’t know how it works, you may ask “Why do they care if someone collects unemployment; doesn’t the government pay that?”

The answer to that is yes and no. If Alpine Access fires more people that collect unemployment afterwards and haven’t paid a certain percentage in taxes, they are required to pay more. Alpine Access has fired hundreds of workers that I know of, of my accord on this single program which undoubtedly means that they are going to be forced to pay more because of the large volume of people that they fire.

Here is an example for you to further digest why Alpine Access may be illegally or unethically challenging unemployment claims in bulk:

In Michigan, employers pay a tax on the first $9,000 each employee makes.  The amount of tax they pay is an “experience rate” which is set each year based on claims for unemployment the employer has had against it.  And positive balance employer is an employer who has paid more into the system than they has been paid out in claims to former employees.  A negative balance employer is one for whom more has been paid in claims than the employer paid into the system.  An employer with a good experience rate probably is paying only around .06% tax on the first $9,000 an employee makes.  A negative balance employer could be paying 3% or more.

If you are fired and Alpine Access tries to fight your unemployment insurance, FIGHT BACK! Do not accept denial. Check in your state…there are lawyers that will take up your claim for little or nothing. The company cannot bullshit the federal government only it’s mistreated employees.

When you challenge it, it goes before an administrative law judge who will render a final judgement. Alpine Access will have to prove why you are disqualified (which in most states you can get unemployment for anything as long as you don’t quit or steal from the company.)

Do not let them screw you out of unemployment. Please challenge it and seek counsel and contact me if you need help with the process and I will do all I can to help you.

Alpine Access is expanding because you as a worker are being exploited to an extreme. Don’t let it happen to you! Don’t let them give their CEO a million dollar bonus because they unlawfully denied hundreds of workers their legal right to unemployment.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Alpine Access Doubles in Size

March 27, 2012 1 comment

This news article came out 24 hrs ago and it says that Alpine Access has increased it’s profits by 54% and doubled in size in 2011.

The article goes on the read that they hired a bunch of new people in the corporate office (while firing us) which has undoubtedly contributed to the corporate squalor that Alpine Access workers are forced to wallow in.

How many of your paychecks have went up? Alpine’s profits go through the roof while they put hundreds on unemployment and many are lead to destitution so the company can make more money for their amoral shareholders.

Update

March 27, 2012 3 comments

I’ve been asked a lot by folks if I have been fired yet. The answer is no. Lucky me! Heavy emphasis on the sarcasm.  I am still here enduring the daily rectal exams that all in the Alpine Access family are forced to endure by management.

I wanted to provide you with an update on organizing efforts and the great deterioration of morale of the workers. I have been laying low for the time being while my complaint to the National Labor Relations Board against Alpine Access for coercive rules has been settled.

There were several complaints filed against Alpine Access, all of which failed to stick and were dismissed. Mine of course is the exception. I documented my case thoroughly and the Alpine Access corporate lawyer has not been able to get it thrown out.

The complaints that I made were not able to be determined in my area because there is no precedent yet for the virtual environment that we work in, therefore the rules as related to this type of job are as of yet to be determined.

Currently, my case is at the NLRB national office in Washington, DC and I am waiting to hear back from them.

I am confident that I will win as everything is documented and management has botched things on numerous occasions.

One other obstacle that we face is getting an accurate number of people currently on the program. There have been so many purges  and the number of supposed employee totals coming from management are obviously fictitious as we are constantly given conflicting numbers.

Morale is dangerously low at this point. Even after the massive purges it seems as if though every single week there are some new zero tolerance policies set in place for minor issues. Rather than motivate with positive incentives their business model has consistently been by coercion.

Schedules have been reduced to extreme lows. People are being forced to fight to get 10 hrs a week and nearly everyone I work with is looking for a different job or trying to jump onto a different program. I cannot find a single person that has anything positive to say about their work at Alpine Access. In fact in our employee team meetings it is common for everyone to share links to other “work at home” companies with the blessings of the team leaders.

We have a tyrannical management and a Quality Assurance team that has run a muck. They are obsessively looking for ways to give automatic failing grades on calls where a person not drinking the company Kool-Aid would say was a darn good call.

We are constantly forced to do more training which is often pushed on us at the last minute with threats of a “Final Write Up” if they are not done on short notice. Nearly all of the time we are expected to do this training on our own time off the clock and they decide what stipend we should get to complete the training. Not how much time it takes to thoroughly read the material and digest it, but how much time someone in Denver thinks we should be paid for it. (Likely someone who has never even looked at it before.)

In team meetings we are forced to listen to our team leaders tout the oppressive  company line in a way reminiscent of Chairman Mao’s “self repudiations”.  All the while trying to make it sound like the latest oppressive weekly measures that are dictated from on high with no input sought from the workers are really a good thing for us. Yea right!

How can the management of this company make all of these changes without talking to us about it (or even pretending to gather our thoughts). I sincerely doubt that any of them have ever talked to a worker… even once (excluding me of course). 

What do we get for dealing with all of this? We can get a $1 raise after just under 7 years. (if you maintain near perfect scores the entire time)!
Note: It may be statistically easier to turn water into wine.

The people that set this policy in place clearly knew what they were doing and I actually find it quite insulting that they think that even a single one of us would fall for it.

The odds of this program still being here in 7 years is not likely. Furthermore, with the extreme turn over with this company I estimate that over 98% will never even get  the .15 cent raise (which isn’t even retroactive).

If you want this to be a shitty company to work for that fine. I think many people would accept that fact if management  was not constantly up our asses. That coupled with a  maniacal QA “team” to constantly harass workers. A dead end job many be worth it for a time if we are not constantly harassed.

Categories: Uncategorized

Bogus Wage Increases

February 28, 2012 1 comment

The company has recently offered bogus pay increases. They just announced that with perfect scores and just under 7 yrs on the job you could get UP TO a $1 raise.

Isn’t that fantastic folks?

Not only are the wage increases laughable but they are insulting.  I estimate that there is a 90% turn over in this job (1 yr) and after 2 yrs I estimate it to easily be at 95%.

This means that no one will really get a raise…and when they do it’s literally pennies.

Shame on Alpine Access!

Categories: Uncategorized

Company Survey Results Released

December 15, 2011 Leave a comment

The results of Alpine’s survey asking employees if they would like higher wages has been released…

98% said they want a pay increase

1% said they are content with a free movie and popcorn

1% said “Dur, what’s a wage increase”

There you have it folks. A simple question that didn’t even need to be asked. They only asked it to give workers some vague hope.

Are you going to let that cheap tactic work?

SIGN THE UNION CARD TODAY. ALL SUBMISSION ARE CONFIDENTIAL. 

Categories: Uncategorized

Logical Fallacy 101

December 9, 2011 3 comments

Has anyone ever heard of the term logical fallacy before? This is how it is defined: a fallacy in logical argumentation.

I’ve heard team leads (and some naive employees) “Well they only fire people for a good reason”.

There are three basic rules of logical fallacies:
1) The Law of Identity
Example: God is God, not something else.

2) The Law of Non-Contradiction
Example: God cannot be both personal and impersonal.

3) The Law of Excluded Middle
Example: God either exists or God doesn’t exist.

But an “At-Will” clause says exactly the opposite. As a legal matter anyone can be fired for any reason at all…or no reason. They don’t have to tell you why, they don’t have to give you due process.

If they did have a due process the contract would read something like this: “In order for an employee to be terminated there will be a due process in place in which the case is presented and the employee is given the chance to defend himself. Once the case is presented an impartial panel of employee’s and management will determine if the infraction merits termination”.

If they do in fact currently use due process why does it say the exact opposite in our agreements? What they say and the actual facts of the matter are two entirely different things.

What would you think if you went to get a loan and in the contract you sign to get the loan it says that any time a payment is late a $100 fee will be added onto the balance. However the person processing the loan says that they do not enforce that but the legal document that you sign says the exact opposite.

Legally, which agreement do you think the court honors? The signed agreement!

At-Will employment is garbage. We deserve a due process; the same that we are granted under our constitution as American citizens.

Sign the Union Card today to implement due process and do away with “At-Will”. 

Categories: Uncategorized

NY EZ Pass Workers Eliminate “At-Will” Clause in Contract

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

They did it, and so can we!!

Sign the Union Card today! 

The contract’s benefits include badly needed just-cause language to end the company’s “at-will” discipline, a grievance procedure with binding arbitration, RIF protections, seniority rights and a prescription plan that offers generic medicines at no cost.

Source: http://www.cwa-union.org/news/entry/sweet_victory_in_new_york_as_ez_pass_workers_ratify_first_contract#.Tt6ANbLTr4E

Categories: Uncategorized