Hired on false pretense, discrimination

Hired on false pretense, discrimination

ok here is my situation in short:
senior design manager recently hired, promised budget, resources and support from boss and others(non of which I have gotten).
Given the work load of a department and expected to just “get it done” (working 60+hr a week)
have been lied to multiple times and been asked to lie to co-workers
boss has made a number of demeaning comments about: women, age and nationality (I’m in/from US) (company sued successfully for a number of recent age discrimination class actions and is now under federal watch for age discrimination practices)
Boss is a flamboyant charmer who likes to talk about design to executives, present at conferences, and is well know BUT has NEVER designed a single thing himself and takes credit for others work. Lies to everyone about his knowledge of and ability to design but sounds so good people believe it.
Employees dislikes the boss but are afraid of him or to say anything

I find myself in a situation that I need to make a decision to:
cut my losses, leave and look for a new job in a very bad economy with a very short history at this company. OR
file a formal complaint with the company(large corporation) for “hiring on false pretenses” (a new and growing law in some states) and discrimination.

do I keep my mouth shut and try to find another job without having a job in this economy? OR
do I file a completely relevant complaint against a fraud of a designer and manager but risk him giving me a bad reputation (he is a spin master)?

Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


“A man s gotta do what a man s gotta do…”
That aside. Go get some professional help.

When looking into your first post I’d assume that there is much more
at stake for “them” than for you. Which leads me to the same advice
I have given hear more than once:

“lawyer up!”

Many americans may be fed up with a system of warped and bent
laws and litigating attorneys, but it might be your only way out of
being sqashed by the big guys.

Don’t seek help through providing more details online. Just see a
good lawyer and pay him for the first hours of advice, don’t pay him
on a commission basis according to his “success” for those first counselling


Just get out of there.

Can you afford to go through a lengthy discrimination lawsuit? Do you want to waste 2 years of your time like that? Get out, and let someone else deal with it who is more directly affected by it. It’s not your position to “be the good guy”.

moi is correct.

Get a lawyer. Obviously you can’t tell the entire story online. And we are certainly not legal experts. If you do tell the entire story online and think we can give you good legal advise, well, you have already lost.

who says he has to go “through” the lawsuit. :wink:

My boss is the former COO of an extremely large and well known engineering company. I’ve been told that their policy was to just settle on everything, even if they knew it was BS. As it was described to me, “heres $20K sign the NDA”. Maybe leave and when you do write out why and list what you want, Positive evaluation and review. Then in a few months have a lawyer call them up as a perspective employer then see what they say.

I never like these anonymous complaints on the internet with only one point of view. Much too biased.

From all you wrote I don’t really read anything into it other than you are working hard and maybe don’t like your boss, or they don’t like you. What discrimination to you? False pretense? Lies? You were supposed to get more resources but they didn’t have the budget for them…hardly a lie; It’s good business.

Worst case I see is your boss maybe is a dick, so what? If you want to leave, leave. All this lawyer talk to me is unsubstantiated, but hey you’re in the US, so feel free to sue if they hurt your feelings.


Richard, you didn’t get into the new year with the wrong foot out of bed, did you?

Basing business negotiations on wrong assumptions (well intended or not) doesn’t look like good business.
To me it looks yerky.

As do those anonymous recriminations on a public board look yerky.
This is why my standard reply is the one given above.

Those things are nothing we could possibly deal with. Lawyers can.


No, everything is great here.

I’m just trying to balance out the discussion. Too often I’ve seen complaints like this (moreso from young designers), who don’t realize what real business is like and expect everyone to love them and their jobs to be easy. It’s not always like that. Many times the complaints are not more than workplace pressure coming from their own lack of experience/skills and the demands of the job.

I’m just saying there is two sides to every story and there wasn’t anything specific in the OP’s message about what was so wrong with the situation. What lies, discrimination, false pretenses?


Exactly. +1 Richard.

What R said.

Not all jobs are a bowl of cherries, though for some of us, they are.

This job is supporting you financially, and it doesn’t sound perfect. C’est la vie.

getting older without becoming a cynic seems a hard thing to do.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying life sucks, so just deal with it. I’m saying take control of your own situation and start by looking at yourself and try to understand the perspective of others before leveling baseless accusations and lawyering up.

You are working 60 hours a week. Why? Are you efficient? If you are a design manager, are your planning and using your resources well? Are you managing the process and people both up and down?

You were supposed to get resources and you didn’t. Have you made effective use of the resources you do have? Have you demonstrated how more resources will help the bottom line or manage costs?

Your boss talks about design and makes presentations and speaks about design to executives, but is not a designer themselves. Sounds like a great boss. If they appreciate and have design on their radar and bring it up to higher ups, that is the person you want in that role. most execs never hear about design so you should be working with your boss, not villanizing them. They are they one that can get you what you need.


Great advice above.

I wanted to touch on the resources part here. The bottom line is it is a shitty economy right now and budgets are being cut. Our group has been promised resources for quite some time now. We have gotten some of what we were promised but not all. We are all majorly over worked and have had to use creative and some times less conventional was to get work done. We have had sell our agenda to brand teams to give us money for initiatives that we may not be able to afford, but benefit their business.

When budgets go up the chain they have to make tough calls on where the money goes. Most of the time those funds are going to go to what is going to be a greater impact business in their eyes. That may not be you getting another designer, but rather a resource for hitting earnings, profit, or scale numbers for the year. Like R mentioned it is business and there are many other parts to a business than just design.


Well yes, we all know that millenials, such as myself, expect a free ride and a raise immediately. I’m going to need my do nothing check from all that read this.

Sweeping generalizations are always right as well, generally. :smiley:

If you feel like it sucks, you probably should get out. If there is documented discrimination, and they are being watched, then tell the people watching, so that they know it’s still happening. They might get paid back they might not, why should it be your concern.

Really though, if a job feels like it sucks, it probably does, maybe it’s them, maybe it’s you, but in the real world, you don’t have to do it, and let me tell you that going some place you hate every day will eat away at other parts of your world. If you’re under 30, you have another 30 or 40 years to work so chances are you’ll find another job. Most people do want to work hard and build something, IMHO, you just need to find the right place to do it. If you’re unhappy, why would you want to spend the extra time there building something great?

You could always just torch the guy anonymously on the internet, that usually turns out well for everyone… :wink:

Yeah, go for broke man!

In all honesty I feel for you, as a design manager myself I am really feeling the resource crunch, it sucks. The talent that I do have on my team is in such high demand within my organization (which is a good thing) that inevitably I piss someone off daily by having to tell them that it is in short supply (which is a bad thing).

I also was promised more resources, and also a personal pay raise, neither of which I have gotten for almost a year. Luckily I have been given the greenlight to hire another designer and possibly a second later in the year, though I will have either stepped down from my position to pursue design work within the organization or stepped out to pursue something new, we will see.

I do have to agree with others that having someone pushing the merits of design in the face of execs is really valuable and unfortunately where I work someone who was very capable at this has left, and consequently all of that person’s responsibility has fallen upon me, a green design manager with just over a year’s worth of management experience and zero company investment in my management training to pick up where he left off in the interim. After 8 months they still have not filled the position he left behind and I am admittedly overwhelmed and understaffed, I simply do not have the experience to perform on the same level that my old boss did. I am definitely in a position to do so, and many people in my position would think that at 33 years old it is a great opportunity, and maybe it is, but I still have much more to accomplish as a designer before take a stab at creative direction, and the reason I say this is because I don’t want to be the kind of douche you’re talking about; some spin doctor with no chops who found a cause to champion yet gets no respect from the practitioners of said cause.

First I want to say thanks to everyone for a honest “designer to designer” thoughts on this topic. I have never posted here( or any other place) but this is exactly what I was looking for “ honest gut feedback”. Here is some more information if it helps:

I am getting legal advise but of course would rather not go that way (wanted a designers POV without ratting out the company or boss).
I am 40 something (female) with an advanced degree and the portfolio and chomps to back it up.
Yes this is one sided but many in the office feel similar to me but just bear it ( but also being a younger male with a stay at home wife seems to help also).

great bosses do champion design to upper management but also know how to set realistic expectations vs. providing no priorities, no limits on work load, NO internal/external resources (keeps the business happy but not the over worked designers) is out of the office 60%+ of the time, never available or willing to help. They also are not completely self absorbed and promoting.
Yes looking at yourself and actions in times like this is key but also you cant be a push over or a “go to girl”. We are all over worked but don’t we all have a point that we say no? If you have a family how much of them do you give up for a job that never gets enough of you?

In the end this may just be the wrong place for me but I also wonder when do you say this crosses the line? In a very male dominated profession women who take a stand often are called out as complainers, winners, etc. That’s not how I want to be viewed.

Thanks again for you input everyone.

the talent that I do have on my team is in such high demand within my organization (which is a good thing) that inevitably I **** someone off daily by having to tell them that it is in short supply (which is a bad thing).

This might be one of the keys here: Saying “No” to the right people at the right time."
Designers tend to be much to flexible, much more than guys in finance or engineering. No pay, no play.


Having had a cold shower in the meantime I came to the conclusion,
that some of the guys here are right:

Times are tough and we all have to act on reduced budgets.

When thinking of it I was in a simular situation in October when we
recognized several projects falling behind our time plan.
When digging into it it came out the reason was our engineering
people being flooded with work.

So poor me (project management and sales guy) went to the owner
(Managing director/CEO) and told him, that there were three projects
where we were to miss our customers expectations due to him allocating
not enough engineering hours (aka money) to the cases, thus tarnishing our
reputation for timely delivery of quality solutions badly.

Problems solved. Somehow this sped up things significantly…

In all privacy I discussed with the man in the mirror to act up earlier next time arround…


Problem solved. M