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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    May 11th, 2005
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    Got fired....
    Last year when I ran the company's affiliate program, one of the things I read here was to create a website and shop the competitor's programs. I put the links on my site including our company. The owner stopped the program after 3 months because "it wasn't working". I left the other links up and didn't do anything with the website in over 8 months. The owner found out and fired me because I didn't promote his company. I haven't made a dime with this venture (mostly because I haven't worked the site in over 8 months).

    Question: There was no employee manual nor non-compete contracts signed....can he do anything to me now?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Are you trying to get your job back or worried he is coming after you with legal action?
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager
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    No...I'm not worried about the job....just legal ramifications.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Unless you were pocketing commissions from the competetors or grossly not doing your job (what you were hired for), I would not think so.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  5. #5
    Outsourced Program Manager e-Gazer's Avatar
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    Hi there Netspeed,

    I would check with your local labour laws office to be sure, but I don't think he would be able to prosecute you under circumstance, since you HAD his links up, and created the site to more effectively do your job as an AM, while he chose to end his program. I'm only guessing though - so please don't take my word for it.

    On the other hand, it would also depend whether there was a policy in place to say you were not allowed to promote the competition and whether you had signed any paperwork agreeing he could take legal action against you under such circumstances. I think you said there was no policy.

    In many cases an employer will just move on rather than take the time/money to prosecute unless they actually had a policy in place and unless they really felt you had earned a lot of money off of doing so (sounds like you didn't)... but if you're concerned I def recommend you check with your local labour/employment standards office to be sure and possibly seek legal counsel if you're able.

    Best of luck to you,
    Last edited by e-Gazer; July 12th, 2006 at 01:15 PM. Reason: spelling error

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7-days
    Unless you were pocketing commissions from the competetors or grossly not doing your job (what you were hired for), I would not think so.
    The laughable part is I never earned a dime. When they canceled the program last December, they moved me to a different department so I never had anything affiliate-related since December.


    E-gazer: Thanks for all the great information. There were no policies whatsoever but he problem is I live in an "at will" state which means an employer can fire a worker "at will" at anytime! Oh well...onwards and upwards.

    Anyone want to hire a tele-commute rookie AM?

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    I'm a bit hazy on understanding "I left the other links up and didn't do anything with the website in over 8 months." ... whether this was YOUR site, or theirs that had the links remaining live.

    So, I will assume it was "their site" and base my comment accordingly.

    I agree with e-Gazer .... look into your local State labor laws for pertinent information regarding your liabilities (if any) as an "employee" working on the "company payroll".

    If your paid by the hour and not on a "commission based %" or "independent contractor" with a 1099 ... and you were working on the site with the companies best interest .... I don't think there's a lot they can do to you personally (other than the loss of the job that you stated did happen).

    There is also the issue of how much time transpired between the initial program removal and how long the "competitor information remained in place on the site" before becoming an issue with your former employer. When the program was officially closed, the owner/manager should have then made specific instructions on what needed to be done with that program closing before making you responsible (if legal to do at all ... I strongly question this). I think you have a strong legal argument if it evolved to a real legal issue.
    Ray Thomas
    Webmaster Resources: http://DesignerWiz.com
    ABW Board Category: Programming / Coding
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=190

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesignerWiz
    I'm a bit hazy on understanding "I left the other links up and didn't do anything with the website in over 8 months." ... whether this was YOUR site, or theirs that had the links remaining live...
    The site was owned and funded by myself....it had nothing to do with the corporate site. I created it with he main intention to see how competitors' affiliate programs functioned including testing the company I worked for's program...initially through LS and then in-house.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    I believe you have absolutely nothing to worry about based on that outline. The fact that you live in a "At Will" State has pretty much given you the most damage the employer can throw at you ... the loss of the job.

    The employer ending the program should have also provided you with instructions on what you were "to do" or "not do" in writing in order to make you legally liable in any format. If there is no employee contract or handbook outlining your responsibility, how can you be responsible?

    (I would get an attorney for validation ... I am NOT an attorney .. lol)
    Ray Thomas
    Webmaster Resources: http://DesignerWiz.com
    ABW Board Category: Programming / Coding
    http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=190

  10. #10
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Netspeed
    I live in an "at will" state which means an employer can fire a worker "at will" at anytime! Oh well...onwards and upwards.
    I also live, work, hired / fired employees, and dealt with unemployment hearings in an "at will" state...and believe me, the "at will" means nothing on the Employer side. If you're not hiding anything in the details here, I'd file for unemployment while you job search.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesignerWiz
    The employer ending the program should have also provided you with instructions on what you were "to do" or "not do" in writing in order to make you legally liable in any format. If there is no employee contract or handbook outlining your responsibility, how can you be responsible?...
    That was my wife's thoughts also.

    Thanks to any and all the replied....I feel much better (even though I still don't have a job).

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeann
    I also live, work, hired / fired employees, and deal with unemployment hearings in an "at will" state...and believe me, the "at will" means nothing on the Employer side. If your not hiding anything in the details here, I'd file for unemployment while you job search.
    No details hidden and I've already filed!

  13. #13
    Moderator leeann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Netspeed
    No details hidden and I've already filed!
    Suggestion - Write down everything that happened before you forget the details and make copies of anything you might have such as Employee Manuals, etc. I doubt he'll show up as prepared and if he is doing anything questionable (not paying employees for 3 months work regardless of a contract) chances are he won't contest it.
    leeann


    Shoppers determine what has value and they like coupons. Stop manipulating who set the cookie just because you do not like coupon and promotional sites.

  14. #14
    Affiliate Network Rep Danny K's Avatar
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    Netspeed,

    I am currently collecting as a previous AM in an "at will" employment state.

    Sounds like you had an interesting experience. It seems you will not have trouble from your previous employer except in the matter of getting unemployment. That is some pretty interesting stuff if you were let go solely for the action of promoting competitors in your personal time.

    Anyway, PM me if you'd like another networking contact. I think there are many of us experiencing "the shift". Perhaps we need to circle wagons. LOL

    All the best,
    Danny K. - Network Administrator, Digital River- oneNetworkDirect.com, Email: dkautt@digitalriver.com

  15. #15
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    I he fights your unemployment follow through with it. It will cost him legal representation which means money. Do not use a lawyer for the first round but if he beats you then file for an appeal and at that time hire a lawyer. I have been through it, most companies bluff and without good documentation they can not win.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Sorry you lost your job and good luck finding a new one.

  17. #17
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Sorry to hear man.

    It sucks to be at an employment at will company. There are quite a number of states which are employment at will states and either way, they can do anything to you. YOU = NO rights. Sad but true.

    As for the program, eventhough I am running my program and have an affiliate program, I do not do anything that relates to tour or vacation or the industry. I think it is a conflict of interest to me and my company. Will not look good in the books of my employer if they find out.

    What you should have done previously is to establish the site / affiliate program under your wife's name etc. That way, it is not yours.

    Sorry to hear that you lost your job.

    All the best in your job search. There are a few websites out there where there is job posting for Prog manager's job.

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