Boss Offered Prize For Predicting Firings

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BETTENDORF, Iowa, Oct. 4 (UPI) — An Iowa judge sided with former convenience store workers whose former boss offered prizes to employees who could correctly guess who would be fired next.

Former QC Mart cashier Misty Shelsky of Davenport said she and other workers from her branch quit after William Ernst, 57, owner of the Bettendorf-based chain, sent a memo o employees offering a $10 cash prize to workers who could correctly predict who would be fired next, The Des Moines (Iowa) Register reported Tuesday.

Shelsky filed for unemployment benefits and Ernst challenged the claim, saying the worker left her job voluntarily.

However, Administrative Law Judge Susan Ackerman awarded Skelsky the benefits and called the contest “egregious and deplorable.”

“The employer’s actions have clearly created a hostile work environment by suggesting its employees turn on each other for a minimal monetary prize,” Ackerman said. “This was an intolerable and detrimental work environment.”

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