My letter to Human Resources
To Kimberly Antillion,
The Sliding Door Company
April 3, 2015
Thank you for working tirelessly to work with Doron to find a possible solution to my harassment and hostile work environment complaint against him and his wife Sheryl. I know it must be difficult when our boss is the perpetrator. Nobody has ever challenged Doron’s inappropriateness like I have, and this may be why he is so defiant of the law and so quick to find himself blameless as he punishes me. It may very well be that we need outside assistance in this matter. Possibly, the source that gave us our Harassment training could be contacted to facilitate a reasonable solution to this problem.
Unfortunately, the solution I was presented with yesterday is unsatisfactory on many levels – not the least of which is that I was demoted for filing a harassment complaint against Doron and Sheryl. I’ll get to that in a minute. More importantly, however, is that I filed a complaint describing activity I believed was criminal by Sheryl – relating to drawing requests she was making - to which the solution was to remove me from the position where I could monitor her drawing requests.
Nobody, apparently, investigated Sheryl’s activity. Why not? Why was that part of my complaint not taken seriously – or if it was, why wasn’t I made aware of the results? A simple phone call to the General Contractor would have confirmed what happened. Are we simply going to overlook a complaint of something criminal and punish the person who brought it to light? This punctuates exactly what is wrong with the environment here – and why the EEOC and now apparently additionally government agencies must be called in to investigate what is starting to look like a conspiracy to cover up a possible crime whether known to the perpetrators at the time or not.
Would the General Contractor appreciate his name being invoked by a sales person to demand engineering changes without his permission? Does Doron believe he is permitted to hide his wife’s possibly criminal activities like this? And this isn’t the only example I have uncovered. At one time, we prepared engineering calculations on our products. I have pointed out to Sheryl that our engineering documents were obsolete as of 2012 yet she continues to make the claim that our products have engineering documentation to support them when she knows they don’t. The moment I told her the documents have expired, she needed to stop making that claim.
Additionally, Doron has eliminated the engineered components (connectors) on which those calculations were based from our product line. We have absolutely no business making any engineering claims – but we continue to make them. That’s fraud – but Doron will certainly claim ignorance of any of this. This is going on behind the scenes with Sheryl. I have tried to make engineering decisions to try to save our company from lawsuits. I have had to fight Doron on many of them.
Most significantly, our factory in China had copied (exactly) an engineered bracket made by Simpson Strong-tie. Anyone who has bought screws from China realizes the materials there are not built to the same standards as materials here. In our own system, we have dozens of complaints about screws from China breaking. The brackets, while inferior are visibly identical to the engineered bracket except for the Simpson logo. This is the bracket that connects our system to the customer’s wall or connects our rails to our columns. There are seismic considerations and so forth. Doron insisted that we use the non-engineered knock-off bracket in our systems because it was 15 cents cheaper than the Simpson bracket. Customers can easily be fooled. While he claims now to have gone along with this change (to me) so far, not a single Simpson bracket has arrived at our warehouse – (we can purchase them from Home Depot). The knock-off brackets have not been destroyed and are indeed being used as if they are Simpson brackets. No engineering was done on our knock-off bracket. We are simply fooling our customers while stealing a patented design from someone else and producing it with cheap materials – so Doron can make an extra 15 cents per bracket. I’ve demanded we stop this – yet it continues. Jonathan Salem, our associate, did the right thing and immediately began using the engineered ties from Simpson. Doron’s actions are shameful and possibly criminal. Somebody will be hurt eventually due to Doron’s negligence in this matter.
And speaking of stealing designs… all we do is steal designs from other companies. Our barn door hangers, for example are ripped off from a company in Germany. When I tried to eliminate an element I believed was unsafe, I was referred to the German company’s design – suggesting they must know better. The element was a set-screw that we are replicating, again, from inferior materials. The notion that we had copied their design exactly – or that the product might be unsafe didn’t seem to bother anyone but me.
The moment I arrived here – while still in training class, I noticed our “ADA” ramps are not ADA compatible. I was told by Doron not to fuss about them. Today we are selling them as ADA compatible when they are not. That’s fraud! I am a published illustrator in the ADA world – IBC, CBC. My peers expect better of me. Am I supposed to pretend our non-ADA ramps are ADA compatible – or am I supposed to pretend I don’t know what I’m doing? This hurts me professionally!
Our generic drawings make claims for patents we don’t hold – in big bold letters.
Our “pending” patents have been in the patent office since 2006 – with no grant of patent. Are we being truthful? Additionally, the writing on the contract portion is far too small to be legally binding. That has been taken out of my control – so apparently we can continue to operate illegally. That we often provide “generic” drawings for systems that require engineering is criminal. I have discovered our sales people making changes to our engineered drawings after we have delivered them. Again, I’ve complained about this with no response.
I don’t want to bore you – but I’m only getting started. If I am to stay on here, I have my work cut out for me. There are many more issues that border criminal activity here – not just the one that wasn’t even investigated despite my first complaint put it in writing. Doron is in denial of the problems facing his company. Nonetheless, how does it look when Doron demotes the one person who has been trying to point out these problems?
And let’s be clear here – this absolutely was a demotion intended to shut me up and to frighten co-workers who might consider filing a complaint against this company. My resume will no longer say “manager”. That represents a huge pay hit if I look for a job elsewhere – even if my pay hasn’t been cut here. Let’s not try to put lipstick on this pig - it is a demotion that was done in retaliation to my complaint!
Dozens of my coworkers have left recently because of the hostile work environment. There is a huge problem in the company with abusive, bullying people. I expect my remaining coworkers to be free to speak critically about this company during an investigation. Having this obvious punishment of me WHILE there is a dispute will ensure they aren’t! Am I being told to keep quiet about these things in order to keep my job? Are my coworkers? Are you? Will my replacement be told he needs to keep quiet about criminal activity? Perhaps he won’t have to since I’m here as a living example of what happens to whistleblowers.
I absolutely have to report this! Nobody is safe in a company where the law is considered bendable. So, I am hereby officially filing my second letter of complaint. My first complaint apparently wasn’t taken seriously enough. The solution that was arrived at is not just unacceptable, and I believe it has an underlying criminal aspect that requires review by the necessary government agencies. If Doron wants to try to make this right, he will have to give it another shot. He expressed that he doesn’t see anything “criminal” about yelling at me at the top of his lungs. Apparently, I can expect that from him in the future if that is the case. I think he needs to really understand how serious this issue is and how his actions have impacted me and my ability to do my job in a legal and ethical way.
Screaming at the top of his lungs and then demoting a whistleblower was a very inappropriate reaction to emails you yourself characterized as not problematic. I’m giving him one last chance to avoid further action by me.
Here is what I am proposing MUST happen:
1. I retain the title of R&D Manager so that no demotion is reflected on my resume or to other employees within the company.
2. I remain in my current office because there is no reason to move and I need to interface with Natalie for product development and with Rachelle for commercial sales. Additionally, being moved to the warehouse gives the appearance of a demotion to other employees in the company.
3. I retain Natalie to work with me and Andrea as was the case before. She is essential to me doing my job effectively.
4. I continue to oversee the CAD department and drawing requests for safety purposes. The new hire CAD drafter will interface with sales people.
5. I am treated with respect by Doron – not by some standard of what is barely legal.
6. We will agree that safety always comes first and to aggressively address engineering problems with our products and installations. I never want to have to beg for anyone’s permission to put safety over a sale.
7. I will be given a long overdue substantial raise. Win-win was my request.
Kimberly Antillion, Manager of Human Resources, gave this letter directly to my harasser, Doron Polus - who answered me with "Hi Pete, In regards to your letter to Kimberly today, April 3, 2015, I totally disagree with all of the content that you outlined.". (and BTW... Duh...)
Instead of doing the right thing and treating this with the seriousness it deserved, Ms Antillion shared my communication and then essentially conspired with Mr. Polus to assist him in his retaliatory demotion of me. As if that wasn't bad enough, by doing this, she assisted Mr. Polus and his wife, Ms. Hai-Ami, in covering up all the safety issues I mentioned in the above letter. Cool, huh?
Shortly after this letter, the CEO's son-in-law, Eyal Salpeter, planted spyware on my computer and then accused me of threatening him when I found out and removed the spyware. At the same time, quite by coincidence I'm sure, Mr. Polus' wife, Sheryl Hai-Ami, filed a complaint against me. Nothing conspiratorial going on here, right?
Next, Jorgensen HR "investigated" but couldn't substantiate any of the claims I made above (notice I've substantiated them just fine right here on this blog?). You have to wonder what Linda Harris of Jorgensen investigated. She reportedly had a copy of my letter. Did her investigation end at asking Doron if he totally disagreed with all of the content I outlined? She somehow came to the same mistaken conclusion Kimberly came to with her "investigation" that we already know was controlled by Doron. Doron paid Jorgensen HR to investigate. Nobody needs to be surprised at how the investigation went.
Anyway... the good news is, I've just heard from the DLSE and they're getting ready to assign an ACTUAL investigator to this case. OSHA is aware of what is happening too - and they just got a boost in their ability to fine criminals.
Needless to say, these people need to be made aware of what they have done and how it has impacted others. And, again, mine isn't an isolated case. Many hard-working employees have suffered at the hands of these monsters.
Anyone reading this blog and wishing to get on the right side of this issue and testify on my behalf, please contact me.