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Woman Says She Was Fired From State Job Because She Worked at Hooters

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Armchair_QB, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    And yes, TTIUWOP...

    Not sure if she has a case here.


    A former state worker claims she was fired in part for not revealing on her job application that she had worked at Hooters.

    Heather Kearney, 30, of Des Moines was fired from the Iowa Department of Public Safety in August 2007, shortly after her supervisors told her they were investigating her for falsification of her job application, she said.

    "I was doing fine. I had not had any disciplinary actions. My supervisor never told me I was doing a poor job," she said. "If anything, I was told I was doing a great job. My supervisor even wrote me a letter of recommendation after I was fired."

    Kearney said she left her work at Hooters, a restaurant chain known for the skimpy attire of its servers, out of the application because it wasn't relevant. She was hired as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst I at the public-safety department in March 2007.

    In September, Kearney filed a lawsuit against the department for gender discrimination, saying she was turned down for promotions - which ultimately went to men - despite her qualifications.

    The Department of Public Safety adamantly denies any discrimination toward Kearney, said DPS attorney Jeff Peterzalek, and filed a response to that effect in Polk County District Court in late September.

    The official reason she was given for her dismissal was failure to successfully complete a probationary period, Kearney said.

    Courtney Greene, spokeswoman for the DPS, said all department employees go through a six-month or one-year probationary period where they are trained and evaluated. In some cases, she said, people can be fired for any reason during that period. Greene said she couldn't comment specifically on Kearney's case.

    Kearney's attorney, Mike Carroll, said the fact that his client was a probationary employee "is not going to change how we pursue the case."

    "Discrimination is discrimination, whether you are a probationary employee or not a probationary employee," Carroll said.

    As part of the hiring process for her job, Kearney completed paperwork for a background check that included her past employment. She was interviewed by an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation representative and asked if she had left anything out of her application.

    She said she told the interviewer about the job at Hooters and explained why she didn't include it. The investigator told Kearney he already knew about the job because it came up in her employment history, according to court documents.

    Also contributing to her dismissal, Kearney said, was her participation in an investigation after another female employee filed a complaint with the department because she said she wasn't getting fair pay compared to male employees. According to Kearney, she was questioned in late May or early June 2007 as part of that investigation.

    While Kearney was being questioned, she said she inquired about the formula to determine pay and was told that she could not ask any questions until after the investigation. Kearney said she suspected then that two men who were hired at the same time she was, with less education, had higher pay and they seemed to land promotions over her.

    When she was hired, Kearney had 12 years of military experience as well as a bachelor's degree in public administration and a master's degree in international relations with a concentration in national security affairs, she said.

    On July 27, 2007, Kearney said she sat down with her supervisors to ask questions about pay and at the end of the meeting was told she was being investigated for falsification of documents.

    According to Kearney, she applied for two positions - Analyst II and Analyst III - while she was a DPS employee. She said was fired the day she had an interview scheduled for the Analyst II job. According to Kearney, the two positions were filled by men.

    "Bottom line, I felt like I was done wrong and my character was smeared. I have a very good professional reputation in the military and I just don't want this to smear that," Kearney said.
  2. Goldeaston

    Goldeaston Guest

    Does it really matter if you put a waitress job, hooters or not, on an application for a government job (or any job, for that matter)?
  3. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Actually, I think it does. I've seen government applications that want every single job listed, no matter what, and threaten termination and prosecution if you provide false information.
  4. Goldeaston

    Goldeaston Guest

    I guess the first word of my question should have been "should."

    And if the lady just said "I forgot to include it" she'd have probably been ok.
  5. D-3 Fan

    D-3 Fan Active Member

    And on that point, Armchair, I know the spokeswoman for DPS, Greene. A class act and a nicer person. She recently took the DPS gig after spending almost two years as Chet Culver's press secretary at the statehouse.
  6. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    I would purport that there's way, way more to this story underneath the surface and certainly more than being reported here.

    And her having worked at Hooters or left it off her application has nothing to do with it.

    Found it rather interesting that the Hooters girl was basically bucking for promotions within a few months of being hired. Nothing like actually proving oneself over time to support your position for being promoted.

    This smells. And I think the scent could be originating from both sides.
  7. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    If the credentials listed in the story are accurate she's more than some hot little chippy with a two-year degree from Des Moines Area Community College. Of course she could have also left off that she was a dancer at Big Earl's too.

    But I would agree that this one doesn't quite pass the smell test just yet.
  8. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Working at Hooters should not exclude you from working anywhere.

    Being untruthful on a job application will exclude from working almost everywhere.

    Even Notre Dame.
  9. D-3 Fan

    D-3 Fan Active Member

    Ha! I knew it! Armchair's a Big Earl's guy!

    The Lumberyard and Woody's in Cedar Rapids are very disappointed in you![/sarcasm]
  10. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    I don't know what you're talking about. I just pulled "Big Earl's" out of thin air... No, really. I did.
  11. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    So is leaving certain work history off a job application being untruthful? I don't see it that way.

    Putting down job experience or education one really didn't have--that's untruthful.

    Not putting down a job one held--to me, that's at the applicant's discretion.
  12. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Doing an application for a government job with some level of security clearance is a little different than one in the private sector. They want to know everything about you.

    On two separate occasions I remember being interviewed by the government as part of a background check on a person who was seeking a higher security clearance.

    What time do they come home?
    Can you describe their visitors?
    How do they keep up their yards?
    Are they loud?
    Do they have many friends?

    These interviews last about 10-15 minutes. If you live in the DC area, I guess you just expect them. If you have a high security clearance, it allows you to apply for a lot of government jobs. In fact, I have found out that a guy I went to high school with is a maintenace man at the White House.
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