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Suspended and disciplinary hearing

(17 Posts)
Holamum Thu 20-Mar-14 10:33:45

My friend has been suspended from work and I am her shoulder to cry on. I want to get an idea of her chances of success.

The allegations are that she has been rude to staff and clients, with some even saying that she is racist. All the statements are consistent with each other.

My friend said that it is a group of people at work who have got together and conspired against her.

What are her likely defences in the disciplinary hearing?

FabULouse Thu 20-Mar-14 12:51:37

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Holamum Thu 20-Mar-14 13:06:36

Yes they have had statements for staff, and one client.

FabULouse Thu 20-Mar-14 13:15:41

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flowery Thu 20-Mar-14 13:34:24

What her defence is will depend on whether there is any truth at all to the allegations. Is there? I agree with Fab it seems unlikely that a client would have been persuaded to make completely fabricated allegations in writing.

Technical Thu 20-Mar-14 13:46:11

If you're honest with yourself/her, is she the kind of person who might have behaved the way she's accused of?

With so many statements, I agree with the others, that it's unlikely that they're all untrue.

In terms of her position, her best chance of success will be if she can show disciplinary procedures haven't been followed properly.

Holamum Thu 20-Mar-14 14:47:45

All the statements are coniststent in saying that she "ignores" them all and they think she is rude. Her defence is that they make unwholesome comments, and that's why she ignores them - she doesn't want to get involved.

If I am honest, she can behave that way if something offends her.

Technical Thu 20-Mar-14 14:49:12

So might she be able to make some sort of counter claim? If they've been behaving in an offensive way towards her?

Holamum Thu 20-Mar-14 14:54:05

Yeah a counter claim is the best way forwards I think. The client is not very reliable either. Thanks.

fascicle Thu 20-Mar-14 16:04:47

It all sounds a little odd, especially since your friend's employer is suspending her during the process.

Has your friend (and have you) seen the complaints, or a description of the complaints? What did the client say, and what was the basis for the accusation of racism? If your friend does ignore colleagues, is it just their 'unwholesome comments' or could it extend to ignoring instructions, work communications etc?

Where the staff and client complaints made at broadly the same time and did any of the staff complaints refer to the incident(s) raised by the client?

Technical Thu 20-Mar-14 16:09:14

The term "unwholesome comments" stuck out for me too? Is your friend from a different religious background to her colleagues?

flowery Thu 20-Mar-14 16:23:26

Have you actually seen all the statements OP?

It would be unusual for someone to be suspended if all they are accused of is ignoring people, and it's difficult to see how someone could claim she is racist if all she's done is ignore people.

Presumably she didn't feel these "unwholesome" comments were sufficiently offensive to put in a grievance about them, but they could constitute mitigating circumstances. Ideally she would have raised these comments as an issue with her manager in the past.

Holamum Thu 20-Mar-14 16:37:31

The client was the person who made the complaint that got my friend suspended. Client is only one claiming racism. Client might be an unreliable witness - has mental health issues - would that matter?

As part of the investigation staff were interviewed. Staff made statements that were consistent about my friend ignoring them and being rude. None of the staff mention anything about racism.

I saw statements. A lot of them are saying that they will leave if my friend is reinstated in her job - would that sway things?

Friend normally gets excellent feedback for her work. It's mainly the social issues.

Blu Thu 20-Mar-14 18:01:00

She's been suspended pending investigation and any ensuing hearing - o the other staff have no business to talk about 're-instated'. That sounds like work place bullying, maybe.

Is she a member of a union at all? Does she have legal costs as part of her home contents insurance? Many home contents insurance policies include legal costs. She should ask , and if so she could get support form an Employment Lawyer if she gets dismissed.

If they call her to a disciplinary hearing she should not go in alone. The case against her and the evidence should be given to her in advance, in writing.

FunkyBoldRibena Thu 20-Mar-14 18:07:47

Saying they will leave if reinstated is a red flag for bullying. If they just had concerns they would surely rather it was sorted than all agree that they want her to leave.

fascicle Thu 20-Mar-14 18:44:45

How long has your friend worked there - long enough to be protected against unfair dismissal?

As Blu says, your friend's colleagues are not in a position to demand that she doesn't return. If she has an otherwise good record, and if the client's claims are spurious/without foundation, then it sounds like she has a good case for defending herself against the allegations.

Holamum Thu 20-Mar-14 18:56:26

She has been there 4 years. She thinks she can prove the client to be an unreliable witness, the other staff just don't like it when she ignores them bitching and gossiping - they think she is rude.

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