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Advice from any HR people appreciated. Resigned after possible sexual harassment.

(17 Posts)
passthetequila Sat 16-Jan-16 20:24:50

Would really appreciate some advice from anyone with HR experience.

Until last week I worked in an administrative position in a predominantly male manufacturing industry. I frequently had to go into the warehouse and have generally got on fine with all of the guys there. My role was quite a stressful one and at times it has got too much and I have discussed this with my line manager and a more senior manager, recently though I have felt generally much more comfortable.

However last week two incidents occurred which led to me rashly resigning. This was accepted and I was placed on immediate garden leave. I regret this but accept there's not a lot I can do about it now and hopefully it will all work out for the best.

My problem is that one of the incidents, I think, constitutes sexual harassment and it was while I was upset (actually crying) that I wrote and handed in my notice. This incident has been going round and round in my head ever since. I haven't slept properly since, and I feel sick just thinking about it. It was two days before I could even tell my husband because I was too embarrassed to say it out loud.

I didn't refer to it in the resignation letter although I did mention it but not in detail when I handed the letter to the senior manager. He did not really acknowledge it and then went off to a meeting. Later in the day he called me in and said something along the lines of "I dont know what happened this morning and I don't really care/it doesn't matter now" then gave me a letter saying my resignation was accepted and I should leave that day.

I feel like I can't move on until this has been properly dealt with. I don't understand why the manager didn't want to know more about what had happened, the person who said what he did has got away with it and might do it again or worse. And I don't understand why my notice was accepted when it was little more than a scribbled note handed over while I was crying. Surely they could see that something out of the ordinary had happened and should have calmed me down and talked to me properly?

I don't know what to do, if anything. And if I do something it's not actually going to change anything. I just want it to stop playing out over and over again In my head.

Sorry this is much longer than I intended so thanks if you read it all.

HermioneWeasley Sat 16-Jan-16 20:27:50

Is there an HR team in the company you cN talk to? If you are on garden leave you are still and employee and entitled to raise a grievance etc if you want the incident investigated

12purpleapples Sat 16-Jan-16 20:29:30

You don't know what the other person may have said to cover their tracks, and you haven't been able to give your own version of events. Could you contact the manager and explain the situation? Would you want to go back to work there if you could?

passthetequila Sat 16-Jan-16 20:32:02

There isn't a proper HR dept. The head finance person deals with contracts and stuff and I think they refer things to an external company. But I'm worried that if I cause trouble that they'll give me a bad reference.

passthetequila Sat 16-Jan-16 20:42:34

Think I'd be too embarrassed to go back now. I know I over reacted and should have gone straight to the finance/hr person straight away. But I was so shocked and upset I wasn't thinking straight.

HermioneWeasley Sat 16-Jan-16 21:01:15

Any reference they provide has to be factually accurate, and to give you a bad reference because you've brought a complaint of sexual harassment (even if it is disproven) is unlawful.

I can't see what you have to lose by complaining to the head of finance?

AnthonyBlanche Sun 17-Jan-16 00:05:29

What was the "possible sexual harassment" OP? Without knowing what that was it is difficult to know if there is anyone you could do now.

AnthonyBlanche Sun 17-Jan-16 00:06:04

Anything, not anyone!

passthetequila Sun 17-Jan-16 09:46:21

I feel embarrassed even just typing this but I was walking through the warehouse carrying some papers and a pen and dropped the pen. As I bent down to pick up it up someone walked past, paused and said 'while you're down there luv' and sort of thrust his hips at me. I grabbed the pen and rushed off in the other direction. I'm probably over reacting or maybe it's me that has the dirty mind but I literally feel sick thinking about it.

MiscellaneousAssortment Sun 17-Jan-16 09:52:14

Well that's pretty clearly sexual harassment. Not nice at all. Can see why it upset you, particularly on top of other stresses.

I would have hated that and probably ended up crying in the loos and not wanting to go through that warehouse or any other location that would leave me vulnerable to this sort of thing.

passthetequila Sun 17-Jan-16 10:01:28

Yes misc, that's what I did. Ended up in the loo crying. Then instead of doing the sensible thing and reporting it I wrote my resignation and handed it in whilst muttering in between sobs that I couldn't work in this sexist place any longer.

HermioneWeasley Sun 17-Jan-16 10:19:08

tequila you shouldn't have to give up your job because of that. You should complain - you have significant protection

TiredButFineODFOJ Fri 22-Jan-16 03:03:46

Write a letter asap to the HR finance dude, stating that you "resigned in haste as a result of an incident in the workplace which made you feel degraded and intimidated, when (mr harasser dude) said and did x. After consideration you rescind your resignation.
In line with company policy, you are, in this letter, raising a grievance regarding sexual harassment by (mr harasser dude)."

Sometimesithinkimbonkers Fri 22-Jan-16 03:47:30

I think you have overreacted! Can't completely! Yes it is sexist but worth resigning over? Made you cry?
I've worked in some very male oriented jobs, just come back with a sarcastic comedown ... Usually shuts them right up and shows them to be the complete knob they are!!

passthetequila Sat 23-Jan-16 11:04:59

Thanks for all the helpful comments. I did pretty much what tiredbutfine suggested and have been invited for a meeting to discuss the issue further.

LagoonaBlu Sat 23-Jan-16 11:12:52

Its in un-fucking acceptable

You need to get angry

You were at WORK ffs

IWasHereBeforeTheHack Tue 26-Jan-16 23:17:09

Sometimes I don't think your comment was helpful. The man's actions are absolutely not acceptable. His actions were completely disrespectful to passthetequila. You may be comfortable responding with a sarcastic comment but that doesn't make his behaviour OK.

I second Tired's advice.

I speak as one who has both resigned in haste and, on another occasion, filed a claim of sexual harassment (against my line manger).

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