Dear Annie: After eight years at my job, I was let go. I have a felony record.
The CEO who knew of my background retired last year. He felt I had proved myself and had no problem with me. When he retired, we got an interim CEO.
I told him about my record as soon as he came on board. Today, he decided our company would have a zero-tolerance policy for any criminal records, so I was fired.
Annie, I voluntarily told my supervisors of my conviction. I worked hard to show that I had overcome my record. Was this a fair thing for the temporary CEO to do?
Shouldn’t I have been “grandfathered” in? I was told if I kept to the straight and narrow, I would be fine. I have not done one thing out of line and don’t plan to. My conviction was more than eight years ago. But apparently, my honesty didn’t pay off. No one forgives. No one believes me. I am devastated. What can I do? — Think I’m a Good Person
Dear Good Person: If a company fires you because of your race, sexual preference, gender or religion, you would be able to sue them for wrongful termination.
If the zero-tolerance policy was implemented solely to skirt around one of the reasons listed above, you might have a case. Otherwise, there doesn’t seem to be much recourse, although you could consult an attorney.
Please know that your eight-year record as an exemplary employee should help you land another job at a more tolerant company. Also contact the Safer Foundation (saferfoundation.org) for suggestions and assistance.
Dear Annie: My longtime boyfriend and I recently married. My entire family was there. They adore my husband. But not a single member of his family attended our little church wedding.
The morning of our wedding, one of his sisters texted my fiance and asked whether it was “done yet.” When I made a comment on my Facebook page about how amazing my new husband is, this same sister rudely commented, “Enough already.”
My boyfriend finally told me that this sister thought we should marry in a Catholic church, despite the fact that I am not Catholic and both of us attend a non-Catholic church. I believe this is why his family didn’t recognize our special day.
I am really hurt. Should I say something or simply ignore this? — Biting My Tongue in Colorado
Dear Colorado: Your husband should have told you about his family’s religious objections before you married. An intermarriage is hardly a trivial matter, and if you have been with this man for a long time, we are surprised you were not aware of the issue. If his family is otherwise accepting, we would let this go. We also suggest you discuss the problem with your clergyperson and ask for guidance.
Dear Annie: The letter from “Put Out in Peoria,” whose family members boycott one another’s weddings, is a sad but classic example of the many petty family feuds that make their way into your column. Everyone has flaws, and family members hurt one another’s feelings, usually unintentionally, perhaps because of conflicts or envy going all the way back to childhood. Bad behaviour and selfishness should not be condoned.
However, I’d like to suggest that anyone who is fuming about her young children not being invited to a wedding or about her cousin’s claiming Grandma’s garnet ring that was promised to her should pause to consider all the real suffering there is in the world — such as the person down the block with terminal cancer or the friend whose child was killed by a drunk driver. Just grow up and get over it. — Rude in Redway, Calif.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.