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Ross Dress for Less / wrongful termination

1 Ormond Beach, FL, United States Review updated:

I was a Store Manager for Ross Dress for Less, Store 872 in Ormond Beach, Florida. I was wrongfully terminated Wednesday, October 7, 2009 after working for Ross for almost 6 years.

My District Manager, Annmarie Lombardi put me on a PIP July. For those of you not familiar with Ross, a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) is Ross's way of documentating someone out the door. They make the PIP so vague that they can make up anything against you to make you look like your not making any progress. Any progress that you do make is overlooked or called a fluke.

I was harassed so severly by District Manager - Annmarie Lombardi and Zone Director, Hank Rogalski that I was hospitalized on August 18, 2009 with shortness of breath and severe chest pains. My health was being affected by all the stress and berating that I was being subjected to. I was being berated in front of store customers and associates.

I received the Ross Presidents Club Award in 2006 and 2nd Place the following year. I had no problems with previous District Managers in the past until Annmarie Lombardi was hired in from the outside who worked for the now defunct Circuit City electronics chain. In fact, I covered my district for Zone 3 previous to her hiring.

My husband filed a formal complaint with Ross Store Corporate in Pleasanton California while I was in the hospital requesting a Ross Investigation for unethical management practices and Store Manager harassment. Unfortunately, a investigation was conducted by the very people who were responsible for this unethical conduct.

Ross use to be a great place to work, but now can be hazarduos to your health. I am reaching out to other Ross associates who may have been
similarly treated for the purpose of putting together a class action lawsuit to stop this unethical behavior. I feel that I was descriminated against due to my age and being near the top of my pay scale.

I was replaced by my Assistant Store Manager, who about 20 years younger than me and paid about $10, 000 to $15, 000 less than me.

For more information please e-mail me at [email protected]

We can't undo what has happened to us, but we can help make a difference for future Ross associates.

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  • Fi
      17th of Oct, 2009
    +2 Votes

    I was a store floor supervisor at Ross in Texas. I was given a notice on the same day (no prior write ups) after a customer called the police on a shoplifter I had asked to put our merchandise back.
    I was brought to the office and given papers saying I quit and the manager said if I didn't sign them they would make me quit in the next few days. She showed me a video of me closing the night before and said I left money unattended but I did not. I was given an option of signing my 2 week notice and she told me to just put down that I was going back to Al. I said fine I am not guilty but do not stay where I am not wanted so I signed and she told me to get up and walked me to the door and took my keys and that was it. No 2 weeks to work or find a job!!!
    I witnessed the shop lifter cutting metal tags for detection off with clippers and after he dropped them I picked them up and told him if he put the merchandise back he could avoid getting in trouble. Ross has a policy of NOT apprehending shop lifters at all but I could not let him do this without saying something. Everyone around saw it, customers were even yelling at him.
    He took off and the customer dialed 911 and they caught them with lots of merchandise in their car from our store and lots of others. We got the merchandise back and it was over 500.00 I saved them but everyone told me to expect to loose my job over it. I was muscled into quitting a few days later!!!

  • Jo
      19th of Oct, 2009
    +3 Votes

    New Class action Law Suite In Alameda Courts California Case #RG094665853 amended file for seven counts including age distrimination. Check it out pass it around. File on the 6th of Septemeber.

  • An
      19th of Oct, 2009
    +2 Votes

    They get what they deserve. They can't treat employees like that!

  • Ta
      25th of Oct, 2009
    +2 Votes

    You deserve better than that place. I used to work there part time during my college days and I'll tell you, I felt so great when I quit.

    From my experience there, they honestly can't hold a steady staff. People come and go so quickly. Our manager was a beast. There was always someone crying at work everyday and someone quitting every week. The manager was nice to me because she said I was "like a daughter" to her. However, I quit cause I couldn't take that place any longer. I was just repulsed at the way she would constantly berate some of the girls in front of customers.

  • Le
      2nd of Nov, 2009
    +2 Votes

    Google Ross Dress for Less Law Suite

  • Ih
      22nd of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    I also "heard" many negative things about Annmarie Lombardi. We should do something about this. Maybe a lawsuit against Ross because of Annmarie's way of treating her managers. To the original poster, you are not alone with this. I know one employee who was so great at being a manager and all of a sudden, Annemarie gave him a lousy assessment. Before Annemarie, he had a good assessment. But now, he is messed up and it's all because of Annmarie and Ross for keeping her in the company. I'll let my friend know about this. I hope he'll contact you.

  • Je
      22nd of Dec, 2009
    +3 Votes

    People don't know how important Unions are for unfairness>

  • Ma
      23rd of Dec, 2009
    +3 Votes

    Ross has 23 Vice Presidents, does a small clothing discount store really need that many. Waste of money.

  • Ch
      6th of Jan, 2010
    Best Best Advice +4 Votes

    Marcie are you still with Ross?

  • Ch
      18th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    A financial settlement was reached with Ross Corporate concerning this matter.

  • Ar
      11th of Mar, 2010
    +2 Votes

    Im a associate @ the South West Distribution in Perris Ca. for the past 4 1/2 yrs. I have also been a victim of harassment there by other associates, management, and human resources for the past 3 1/2 years. On Jan. 28, 2009 I filed a workers comp. claim. On March 2, 2009 after ending up in the emergency room because of all the stress I had been put on. I was out of work on doctors orders for 11 months returned to work on Feb 2, 2010. A investigation through sedgwick and doctor agree on accepting my claim as valid, then again after returning to work Im being victimize once again. My error was not getting a lawyer to represent me, Im in the process now of seeking legal advice. Any recommendations on this matter?

  • Mr
      10th of Apr, 2010
    +1 Votes

    On Jan 15, 2010 I was terminated for violating Ross Policy. I was the store manager and had worked for Ross 8 years. Ross implemented a new hiring procedure which was outsourced by another firm. When the new procedures were introduced to the managers, we were shown how the system worked. We were also given a training session to help move us into understanding how it all worked. We were not told that there will be disciplinary action against us if we hire someone who fails the background check. This wasn't shared with me until months later when someone that was hired, was deemed to have failed the background check. (Basically this new system conducts background checks which highlight potential associates that have legal matters in the works or which are pending. No one ever shared that with us. To this day no one has shown me any proof that Ross has a hiring policy.

    The problem is that the status of the applicants can change from "passing to delayed to failed." When an applicant fails, and if that individual is hired, the store manager recieves a corrective disciplinary write up.

    Anyone employed at Ross that recieves a written corrective is basically put on final notice. If there is a second occurrance, then the employee is eventually terminated. In my case, the first notice was given to me because my assistant hired someone deemed to have "failed" their background check. In this case my assistant informed me that the applicant passed. I then gave him approval to hire the individual. Approximately 3 mths later my district manager came by to give me a written corrective for something I didn't even do. She said that I am getting it because I was the Store Manager and I am responsible for everything that occurs under the store operations. The problem I have with this is that at another location; that same district manager didn't write up another store manager when her assistant hired someone that failed their background check.

    The second ocassion I was accused of hiring an individual that failed. When I hired the individual, her status was passing. It is unfortunate that I couldn't find the copy. I had a feeling that Ross was going to make it my word against the system, so I printed a copy of the individual's status. I no longer said "pass" it said delayed decision. Up to the day I was terminated, her status never said "failed."

    The system Ross uses is flawed. It changes just as individuals change. No one can predetermine, stop or avoid facing changes in life, even if they are later found to be innocent. Since Ross says I violated their policy, it is impossible to find similiar work. Whenever a potential employer contacts Ross, they are told that I violated their policy. This is thuggery at its worst.

    I do plan to take this matter to the court no matter the costs. I have nothing to lose because I have been robbed of a 12 year career in which I was very successful. Within the first 12 months of being store manager, we moved from the bottom of the district be being awarded Store Manager of the year. The second year our store exceeded sales plan by $1 million. Ross lost more than a manager in career status, they will now have the courts to deal with.

  • Da
      15th of Apr, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I transferred from the Tampa, Fl area to South Florida area and I have had a very similar experience. The company treated me with little respect. It has been a nightmare for myself and my family. I was asked to opened a new store and given this responsibility 4 weeks behind the schedule for hiring. The district manager overseeing this process told me I would have support. He never gave me any. He did give me many threatening and unprofessional conversations. I worked alone throughout the process. I worked six weeks without a day off. Hired approximately 65 associates by myself. I was given an assistant manager that had worked with the company for three years and she was not able to complete a schedule in staffworks. She was extemely unprofessional and made many inappropriate comments to the new staff. She was unable to run the MPT team or train associates for the registers and customer service. I asked for her file to proceed with coachings. She gave her safe code to a part-time associate and was told by the District LP it might be ok and he would get back with me. That never happened. On 4-2-10 I reported that my review was not a representation of my performance for the year of 2009. I spoke to Beth Krumper, HR zone representative. I also at that time spoke of harrassment and abuse. I was terminated on 4-9-2010.
    WOW what an experience!!! If you would like to discuss this I can be reached at 954-663-9086

  • De
      14th of Jun, 2010
    -1 Votes

    I work at Ross Store in Catonsville, Maryland and the Store Manager is a straight up racist. She treats us like slaves. She does absolutely nothing but create mess and blame the stockroom for the mess. She pretends that she is doing 90% of the work when in fact she is creating the work. Once I told her I was only doing what I am hired to do she got mad and cut my hours tremendously. I guess she thought I was going to fuss but I didn't. I smiled and came in when I was scheduled. She even went as far as to put me on the schedule when she knew I could not work. I have been used and abused constantly. I am floor supervisor, stockroom associate, recovery associate, cashier, reset team member, trainer, etc, anything they need done they would find me. Mind you now I was only hired as a cashier. I find myself doing every aspect of the store and for pennies, so I told her that i was only doing what I am paid to do and that is cashiering. She really is showing her true colors now. She has been confronted by me on several ocassions for lying on me and yet she continues to lie. The DM does absolutely nothing to her. She is so unqualified to be a Store Manager it's funny. She knows nothing, the dumbest manager I have ever had the misfortune of working for. The problem is with the economy the way it is I have to hold out until something better comes my way. It is getting harder and harder. She gives the people who does absolutely nothing but cause trouble like her the hours and those of us who actually gets the work done gets cut and then we are to blame for things not getting done. The customers know the difference and are saying things. Customers see how bad of a manager she really is and asks why she is fired yet. We al say the same thing. Look at the skin color.

  • Up
      17th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    This Company is a joke when it comes to Associate Loyalty...Check any Company that has great Mgmt look at Store Manager turnover...Major Big Box Companies Like JCPenneys, their turnover is less than 5 percent.Ross just from my experience as a Manager Our Turnover is over 25 % and try to find Managers with over 15 years as a Managers.I challenge anyone to go into a Ross Store in Dallas, TX And find a Store with longevity of more than 5 years...Stores look like crap in the most busiest time of the year for sales and the amount of freight is way to much with no payroll...Never have I seen a company that lets Loss Prevention Run the Show that even District Managers have to walk the line...Last but not least challenge the Company on how many DMS ARE promoted from within...Watch your Backs Managers your only as good as how the last L.P--D.M LUNCH goes or if you are liked by H.R...I would like to know how many MANAGERS are promoted within...I think the company should add more corporate positions to further reduce store payroll...GREAT JOB...

  • Sq
      16th of Jul, 2011
    0 Votes

    I worked for Ross in Florida for almost for 4 years. I was an assistant manager. In the time I was with the company I had never been written up and then HR was called on a Store Manager for breaking policy including taking out employee lunches without employee taking a lunch. I was interviewed by HR who then started an investigaton. A few weeks after I had to take a leave absence I was going through depression and also had a seizure. when i came back associates where giving me the cold shoulder, I was then told the Store Manager told them in a rally meeting that he didnt get promoted to DM because he got written up because of me. I was in shock because I was gone for five weeks and I was not the one complaining about issues in the store, the associates were. Anyways HR transfered me to another store because he was retaliating against me including writing me up for non-sense. After months at the new store I couldnt figure out why the my new SM disliked me. Well I found out my previous SM trashed me and said so many negative things about me. I got a new Dm Christina Wilt that disliked me even more. All the suddenly Im getting written up left and right, almost every two weeks. Finally DM and SM presented me with a PIP. Two weeks later they fired me. I forgot to arm the stockroom door, It only happened this one time and they fired me meanwhile SM and As where leaving money out overnight including the cash drawer . I found the stokroom door unarmed a few times and reported it and no one got fired. They didnt have the decency to let me know I forgot to arm the door. I found out the day they fired me a week later. it was an honest human error. I t just shows you how much they care ! I had opened three stores for them and did 9 overnights to remodel one store never got a corrective action in over 3years and this DM didnt even give me chance she believed a SM who breaks every policy and retaliates against his employees. I guess I should be thanking God I dont work there anymore. It seems they have different standards for different managers!!

  • Kn
      15th of Aug, 2011
    0 Votes

    I was an area supervisor at a Ross store here in texas up until a few weeks ago.
    I had been with the company just about 4 years. The location i was at had a revolving door of store managers and assistants and when we would get decent role models and teachers they would get transfered or quit. I had been asked to transfer locations a few times because another area supervisor lived closer to my location than his current store. I unfortunately turned down the transfer because i can barely afford gas and upkeep on my vehicle as is and the transfer would be 25-35 more minutes travel for me. Three weeks ago i was called into the office by our loss prevention dm and a visiting manager whom i had never met before. The put me on administrative leave because they said i abused my discount by doing a return during double discount. It had slipped my mind that the double discount was coming up and i made a purchase two days prior to the start of 40% I intended on exchanging a few items for othersand went back during the double discount period. At that time there werent any clothes that i was interested in so i asked to just get back a few of my original items, I didnt return everything i purchased a few days before only some of the things and i did not buy back everything i returned. This was the abuse of discount that led to my dismissal. There wasnt anything in the associate handbook about this being against policy and we had just been asked to sign this policy a few weeks prior. The didnt give me an option of performance improvement plan nor had i been issued any diciplinary action in regards to anything discount related in my four years at Ross. I had asked for a raise on a few occasions seeing as i was the least paid supervisor which i wasnt supposed to know but word gets around and i had turned down 2 transfers. I believe they were looking for any excuse to get me out the door and now I think they are trying to fight my unemployment claim. Is there anything i can do?

  • Li
      1st of Sep, 2011
    0 Votes

    i work for ross at this moment i think my store manager is unfair with cerain people in the store and i dont know if shes racist or not.she tends to give alot of people attitude and recently a co worker of mine was placed under investigation because the sistrict manager and store manager felt she knew to much information based upon the buisness wich i either way i say to myself r we supposed to not learn anything and be like a rock?!no. then they tried to accuse her of theft and she doesent know the reason why she was let go...i recently put a 2 week notice and instead of giving me a 2 week she decided to do a 1 week and put me unavailable for the remainder of the week its so unfair!but it proves that she doesent care not only that she never tends to give people there breaks or lunches till 7 hours later and just gives you attitute i frankly dont like her and i hope she gets fired for being so unfair and unjustice!

  • La
      30th of Nov, 2011
    0 Votes

    I really hope Ross gets shut down. Ive never worked for a more unprofessional company who treats their employees like dirt and ###. They are absolutely horrible. I will never recommend anyone to work here, ever. I dont want them going through the same hell we all have.

  • La
      30th of Nov, 2011
    0 Votes

    Oh and I was going to say... I had a friend that worked for 2 years at Ross, and recently switched to a new job tutoring struggling kids. He gave a two week notice and everything. But because he and one of my supervisors had problems with each other, after he left, she had a termination paper signed saying that he was fired for something he did wrong, I'm not sure what it was, but how could a company DO THAT to a loyal employee?? How sickening!

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