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work, bully and duty of care

(23 Posts)
NotYoMomma Wed 29-May-13 17:24:38

Hello again,
Ok so after months of low level (but highly stressful and upsetting) bullying followed by a colleague shouting at me in my face, I raised a complaint against him. He was the same level as me. I had a panic attack at this point and was signed off for 3 weeks with anxiety. I am also pregnant.

It was upheld that he had been aggressive, intimidating and threatening to me.

As a result I was moved one seat away from him. We remained on the same team despite my objections. He remained in his seat and carried on as normal.

Then last month he raised a complaint against me. He alleged that I had rubbed my breasts against him 6 months previously. This was not upheld. I had another panic attack when they told me what he was alleging.

wrote an email to HR, and senior manager saying I felt like I was being bullied and that the complaint against me was malicious and designed to continue to humiliate and harass me.

received a phone call saying they were doing all they could for me.

tried to get on with my job and have been hitting targets again.

last week I was pulled aside and told that I was not to put my results on thereabouts board 'for the comfort of everyone.'

Believe the bully had complained as I had to walk past him to do so. I get on with everyone else on the team and to be singled out this way when I hardline nothing wrong was really upsetting. I cried at home.

is week my bully was moved half way down the office - at his own request. He wanted to be moved for his own comfort.

getting more and more distressed that my manager seems more concerned about his comfort than my mental health.

Virgil Wed 29-May-13 17:31:36

Can you ask to have a meeting with your manager and explain that you don't feel the issues have been resolved and that his behaviour is causing you significant stress?

NotYoMomma Wed 29-May-13 17:35:22

Sorry posted too soon.

They seem to have developed a 'poor bully, being accused of Such things' mentality.

Don't see how he can be found guilty, me innocent and for them to force me to remain on a team with someone who bullies and belittles me, accuses me of sexual harassment and shouts, intimidates and threatens.

I've since been told next week he is returning to his.own desk!!!

anxiety is through the roof and I feel that everything they have done is for his benefit, with no regard for me.

I'm so upset that I was singled out for not putting my results on the board.when I went in ttoday it had been decided because bully had moved that no one could put their results on the board.

WHen I questioned these decisions I was told they had to treat us the same - which they are clearly not doing.

DOes this sound like they are failing in their duty of Care?

Virgil Wed 29-May-13 17:38:52

Employment law isn't really about duties of care. Employment law is about contractual and statutory rights. It does sound to me that your grievance, having been upheld, has not resolved the issues which means that you need to take the matter further. How long have you worked there?

Hardhaton Wed 29-May-13 17:39:00

I think you need to get harder. Go into your manager and tell them that basically this needs to be sorted or you will be taking the problem outside of the company to someone who is willing to help

NotYoMomma Wed 29-May-13 17:50:47

I have been quite timid asking what's happening. The problem is I'm not in a union and I am not very vocal

Boss is off next week then I am on holiday. I was going to write an email tomorrow but don't know if I should write it to HR, my manager (who is all about placating the bully) or the senior.

I'm so annoyed that I am being treated differently (in a bad way!) while every whim and request of this man has been met.

He is very into his rights and has played the policies for years sad

Virgil Wed 29-May-13 17:54:08

write to your manager copying HR. If you need help with the email then shout

PDog Wed 29-May-13 18:29:09

What's the next stage of the grievance procedure? Did you get a written response (you should have)? This should set out your right of appeal, usually to the next stage of management.

Ime, these things are not black or white and can be difficult to resolve to the satisfaction of all concerned. However, they upheld your complaint so it seems very unreasonable that there appears to be no recupercusions and he is allowed to return to his seat and you are told not to do things you would ordinarily do. How was this communicated to you? Did they explain why he was moving back? Have they offered you any additional support? Talked about any sort of mediation between you?

NotYoMomma Wed 29-May-13 18:35:39

Nope my manager told me nothing.

I received paperwork from the investigation against him saying he was guilty and wad going to disciplinary. Nothing about the outcome.

I only received verbal confirmation that the complaint about me was not.upheld.

BOth my manager and senior are off next week, and I am off the week after. I don't really know who to talk to.

to have not offered any mediation - I just want him moved to a different team. I feel it's unfair to make me work in an environment where . Walk on

NotYoMomma Wed 29-May-13 18:37:34

I walk on eggshells, am scared to be around him, have had.picnic attacks due to his treatment of me and been maliciously accused of rubbing my breasts on him!

'm the victim in this and you would think it was.him or 50/50!

NotYoMomma Wed 29-May-13 18:38:44

No communication from work about him being moved back, found out.from 3rd party then confirmed with another manager that it was at his.request for his.comfort.

SauvignonBlanche Wed 29-May-13 18:40:53

Does your work place not have a union?

NotYoMomma Wed 29-May-13 18:43:19

No union unfortunately sad

Greydog Wed 29-May-13 19:00:15

is there no union because your employer doesn't recognise one, or because no one has organised one?

NotYoMomma Wed 29-May-13 19:04:56

It doesn't I think. It's a private tech company

PDog Wed 29-May-13 20:49:36

Did they ask what you wanted as an outcome? What did you say? I think you def need persue your grievance to the next stage.

Email your manager and explain that you feel disappointed with the lack communication; that despite your complaint being upheld, no action has been taken/you are not aware of any and that you were told he is moving back near you. Say that you feel this is unacceptable and wish to persue your grievance to the next level.

NotYoMomma Wed 29-May-13 20:55:58

Going to send it tomorrow. I don't like conflict but I feel I can't work like this and with a man who has accused me of sexual harassment and intimidated me.

I am quite nervous about it (having anxiety anyway) but.I'm determined to not let this drop. I have a daughter and the thought that she could go through similar and I haven't fought my corner... I've cried a lot.

I'm just not to word it

PDog Wed 29-May-13 21:42:12

Good for you. Happy to look it over for you if it helps.

kgoodall638 Thu 30-May-13 14:56:26


There are a number of things that you can check to make sure you are protected and have done everything yourself to resolve the situation. Unfortunately in many cases like this, it depends on the strength of the line manager to deal with such situations, how much training they have had and the relationship with the other party.

You mention they haven't told you what happened to him. Under data protection laws, they are not allowed to tell you what, if any punishments have been put in place. This is between your employer and the individual concerned (frustrating I know but it's the law).

Actions to take:

1) If he knows his rights, make a point of knowing yours.

2) Get a copy of your staff handbook and check the grievance and harassment policy and procedure and memorise what they say the will do, then cross reference, what you have done and what they have done to resolve. The staff handbook should be split into what they expect of you as an employee and what you can expect from them.

3)Ask why you have not received written confirmation of his accusations against you not being upheld? I am assuming that an investigation would have taken place for this to be resolved or final decision come to?

4) Do not worry about a Union, you do not have to be part of a union to be protected under Employment Law.

5) If you feel that you have tried to approach your manager and you are not getting a response, you have the right to then go higher or to involve HR. I personally would go to HR, and go as if you are asking for advice on how to handle this situation, rather than confrontational. This way you are doing everything right and professionally. Although hard, also try to take emotion out of it! (Easier said than done I know, especially with hormones flying!)

6) If they then do not give you mutually agreeable action plan with resolve dates (has to be reasonable on both sides and fair to both sides), I would suggest speaking to a solicitor (a lot do free 1 hour sessions) in which you can ask them advice about constructive dismissal. This is when an individual feels that it is untenable for them to continue to work in that environment due to an employer not resolving issues and effectively 'being forced to leave'. I am assuming your doctors are up to date with the situation that is causing your anxiety. If this is not the case, I suggest it gets put on record if the cause is the work situation.

All companies will want to avoid constructive dismissal, for two reasons, bad for publicity and costs them time and money, and you are pregnant, so if they have failed in their duty of care, they are likely to get more stigma and potentially a hefty fine. I would only ever suggest this is extreme cases and once appropriate legal advice has been sought.

For the record I am an ex property manager who used to deal with grievance and harrassment complaints, however I am not a qualified HR professional. You must speak to someone who is qualified in employment law, alternatively, seek advice from its free and confidential and they are trained professionals who can give you advice.

Sorry for the essay, but hope it helps.


Virgil Thu 30-May-13 18:53:57

kgoodall638 has given you some useful information but it is not correct that they cannot tell you the actions that have been taken due to data protection legislation.

NotYoMomma Fri 31-May-13 15:24:34

I wrote my strongly worded email expressing my disappointment in what has been done since the complaint and that I feel that no satisfactory outcome has been reached.

Have also asked for him to be moved to a different team or for at least his desk move to be permanent.

I also said if it wasn't resolved o would like to take it furtherin our grievance policy.

Am not putting the email here as it would out me but it was whispers very good

NotYoMomma Fri 31-May-13 15:26:08

I also now have all the paperwork and had a chat with the HR lady who delivered it all to me.

She also advised following up via email and keeping copies. She was very good

NotYoMomma Mon 17-Jun-13 22:48:17

Just an update from me and a thank you all so much!

The bully has been removed from my team with immediate effect (this was last week) and removed completely from my work environment.

I am delighted!

I am back to work and hitting my targets again and even won a bottle of beer today! Which I gave to a team mate as I am pregnant.

EVeryone is so much more relaxed and looking forwards now and I am SO Happy!

Feel totally vindicated and quite proud that I didnt let this go as I had at points felt I should just leave the team/ my job.

The bully is pretty much at the bottom of the promotion ladder now and will not be getting a payrise or bonus this year due to being on a disciplinary for behaviour (twice!)

Thank you all!

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