Dear Ms. Sheumaker,
I recently petitioned your company to formally reconsider the decision over my mother's classification as a part-time employee relating to her severance. We have received your decision and we feel that it is not consistent with JC Penney founder's James Cash Penney's vision of establishing his company based on the Golden Rule. This statement is on your company's actual website, under the title of social responsibility. Your founder wanted his company to be based on treating others as you would like to be treated and I ask for a reconsideration of your decision.
My mother was a loyal employee at JC Penney for over 15 years in one of their Northern Virginia stores. The company recognized her for her commitment to providing excellent customer service, hard work, and dedication to her brand. Her decision to stay loyal to her company during the recession cost her classification as a full time employee because as of 2010 non-management employees at her store never were scheduled more than 32 hours a week. Due to her annual reclassification for 2012 at 31.6 hours, they denied her a severance payment based on a shortage of 3.6 hours a week, ignoring the fact that from 1997 until June of 2010, she worked 40 hours a week, making her benefits eligible in all previous years.
We originally petitioned you to reconsider the decision about her severance because of how poorly handled this situation was at her store. The information she received sent us on an endless cycle of calls and emails to Powerline, the myinfo email, and her store manager. No one was able to answer our questions directly until we were lucky enough to get through to someone at Corporate because of our reporting that a typographical error in one of the packets referenced “pogroms” instead of programs. It saddens me that the only reason we were able to get any information about my mother’s severance until someone called her from Texas asking us to fax the paper with the typographical error on it, more concerned with the company’s image than the reason behind our call in the first place.
Her store manager lied to me over the phone, claiming he thought she was getting a severance package, he then helped her fill out a waiver and release I was told by another corporate employee she should have never received because of her being ineligible based on your plan. When he talked to someone at corporate he denied ever giving her the waiver and release. I find this strange considering he helped my mother fill it out this release on the morning of Monday October 1st. A release, which we were told by corporate not to mail anyways because she wasn’t getting a severance so why bother with the paperwork! My family should never have had to spend days trying to figure out information because no one had all of the facts available for us. As a history major it saddens me that the only reason we ever got a clear answer was because of a typographical error that referenced genocide.
So in closing, I ask that you ask your superiors to follow the company’s mission statement and follow the golden rule. Instead of passing the blame to a document or policy written to avoid social responsibility, give my mother her severance pay based on the 13 years of 40+ hours a week service she did provide to your company. After all, her loyalty to your company was more than fair and square for the 15 years she worked for you.
Angela Beckert started this petition with a single signature, and now has 36 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.