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I am being discriminated against..please help

(18 Posts)
Mandykwl Mon 30-Jan-17 18:50:32

Hi,

I have been at my company for 7 years and since returninf from mat leave this whole year has been awful. Anything i do wrong gets blown out of proportion, i had no support when i returned to work. I submitted a letter to my managers stating dates and occasions when i have singled out, compared to younger male members of staff (on numerous occasions) and they didnt even get back to me or talk to me about it.

Now i have been given a low pmp score! Ive decided to tqke action but i have no idea how to do this . Im going to raise a formal greviance but i want to hit back now. A whole year has gone and i am sick of being mistreated.

thenewaveragebear1983 Mon 30-Jan-17 19:12:46

Look at Acas website they are very informative. Keep a record/diary and get as much down now so you remember.
Join the union. In fact do that online now if you can, as they won't be able to support you on things from prior to your membership.
Submit a formal grievance and clearly spell out what has happened, and what you would like to be changed. Brush up on the grievance policy and make sure they follow it to the letter and correspond only via email. If you have a chat with someone, say that you will just send them an email as summary and ask them to do the same.
Expect it to take forever, and for the company to defend to the bitter end everything they have done.
Expect for them to clearly spell out the reasons why they did what they did (ie. It wasn't because you were on maternity, it was because you did x,y,z - it can be very upsetting) .
I have recently experienced this. It has not been a pleasant experience fighting them over it.

Mandykwl Mon 30-Jan-17 22:15:49

Thank you so much for your advice. Ive spoken to Acas today and tomorrow i will submit the greviance. Could you recommend a union? Or is there a specifc one? (Can you tell i dont know anything).

I expe them to so how crap i am however last year i submitted a letter outlining the whole year and discriminative things that have been done to me. Neither of my managers responded and just ignored it....hopefully this will illustrate how bad they are.

My company wont change and its so toxic, Acas said i could remedy the greviance with a settlement claim....im not a gold digger or money grabber...and when HR asked me a few months back do i want to raise a greviance i said no cus i wanted to really do well...now i want to hurt them how they have me.....do u know how i would calculate a figure? X

Mandykwl Mon 30-Jan-17 22:16:45

So sorry to hear u had to go through this grin ( xxx

thenewaveragebear1983 Mon 30-Jan-17 22:34:57

It depends on your field of employment. Teaching obviously has its own unions, I think unite is a general Workers union? Other than that, I don't know.
To calculate your settlement, you need to consider: any financial loss (eg unpaid holiday or overtime etc owed), what notice you would have to give (they may pay you your notice period if you leave straight away), how long it would take you to find another similar role, and the cost of any emotional stress caused by discrimination. It's quite hard to calculate this. They pay you less if you've already found a new job.
They may wish to follow their own grievance procedures first (Acas will insist on this in order to proceed to a tribunal - a settlement is usually an offer to prevent a tribunal being necessary). Their grievance procedure may investigate and find you have no grounds for complaint and they may be able to prove this. Bear in mind that you'll probably not have a job at the end of this process, although in theory you don't have to leave, in reality you will likely make your work untenable if you raise such a grievance, if it's bad already.
A settlement is not an admission of fault on their part. In fact it's the opposite. You agree to not say anything to anyone, you get your payment and a reference but you won't get an apology.
I would speak to a solicitor first or the legal team at the union.

Mandykwl Mon 30-Jan-17 23:15:11

Im in the private sector (insurance) so i guess i will have to check. I just dont know what to do.... they are marking me low, singling me out and i feel so confused....its not even like i can start fresh. They said i can appeal my pmp but i dont see how this will help. If my job is untenable what would that mean? Did u end up leaving? X

thenewaveragebear1983 Tue 31-Jan-17 07:59:03

I did leave, I didn't go back after my maternity leave but I resigned, it was always the plan that I would be a sahm.

I think the point I'm trying to get over to you, probably badly!, is that it's very hard to prove discrimination unless you have actual proof. So unless you were clearly the best candidate for a job but they gave it to someone else because you had just had a baby etc....and even then, they are unlikely to say that in your feedback. They will say it's because you were unreliable, or didn't answer questions well, or didn't interview well for example. That why I said to expect this to be an upsetting process.
If you are unsuccessful in your claim, can you really see yourself returning to work there? That's what I meant by untenable- if it's hard now, will it be worse later?
In my honest opinion, don't jump the gun. By all means put in your complaint, women should because it's the only way this sort of discrimination will ever be stopped- but don't expect too much. Your company will fight you every step of the way and you need to be prepared to fight back. It's exhausting and upsetting and you will be working with the people at the same time.

myfavouritecolourispurple Tue 31-Jan-17 10:38:05

I am a member of Prospect - you might want to look at that one OP. Have a look at the unions and if there are any that are more pertinent to the sector you work in.

myfavouritecolourispurple Tue 31-Jan-17 10:39:07

www.tuc.org.uk/britains-unions take a look at this

Mehfruittea Tue 31-Jan-17 12:28:13

I'm also a member of prospect and they have recently helped me settle a discrimination claim. I got 15 months salary, but I was able to prove very severe discrimination and bullying.

Mandykwl Wed 01-Feb-17 20:17:50

Thanks everyone so much. I have decided that i am going to look for a new job...i dont want to stay there anymore.....im undecided of how i want to depart....please could give me a sanity check as this is what is going on in my mind

- put in a grievnce and then go off sick (i can search for a job in the mean time) i would look to remedy the complaint by being compensated
- join a union and take formal action, no sickness
- find a job and just leave, which personally really makes me feel so upset

I guess my silver bullet is that when i sent a letter to both my managers (stating dates of discrimnation i have faced during the entire year) and they never addressed the issues with me, it shows victimisation.

thenewaveragebear1983 Wed 01-Feb-17 21:36:08

All three options might work but its really up to you. These are just my thoughts.
1. If you put in your grievance and then go off sick, you will need your doctor on side to confirm the stress is making you unfit to work. Expect the company to ask occupational health etc to speak to you. If it was me I would self certify sick for 7 days, and in that time speak to your doctor. You don't need to say anything to your employer for those 7 days. See what the doctor suggests about signing you off. You might find that they don't uphold your complaint, but I suppose at that point you could resign. You should still join a union if you do this, they will help you, and their help is free.
2. Join the union and complain- self explanatory. You could still be signed off at a later stage if it became very stressful.
3. Find a new job and leave- I can wholly understand why it angers you because you want them to be held accountable. Can I offer advice to you from my experience? Unless you can categorically prove with evidence that they have discriminated against you, you will not get an apology. They might 'pay you off' but its not compensation. Its a settlement to make you go away quietly. It's to avoid you taking it to a tribunal. If you went to a tribunal its a long drawn out experience, and you might not win and you might incur legal costs. They know the value of settling it early outside of court, so offer you a sum to do so and you sign a legal agreement that it is off the record and confidential. In reality, the least stressful option for you is to look for a new job and leave, smiling. I wish I had done that. This experience has been so stressful for me, I have lost all my work friends because I cannot bear hearing about 'work' and I haven't enjoyed being off with my baby because I felt so angry about the way I was treated.
I'm not trying to be negative, and I strongly believe women need to fight this in the workplace because I hear so many stories about it happening. But you need to think about what is best for you because it's a lot of stress and upset for what could potentially be a minimal payment (ie. A few months salary that only covers what you would have for working anyway). The pp who got 15 months salary must have had an exceptionally strong case and lots of evidence.
It's very hard op. I would seek some legal advice. You can't just ask for a settlement, you have to go through the grievance policy first, and it may be that the company investigate and don't uiohold your complaint, or they might give training or disciplinary to those concerned. There might never be money offered.

Mandykwl Thu 02-Feb-17 16:47:14

None of the unions will help me because i have a pre exisitng issue...oh an today my flexible working application got rejects.... basically im a screwed

TheCustomaryMethod Thu 02-Feb-17 17:05:17

Sadly, I believe that's fairly standard policy for unions - they view it in the same light as taking out house insurance the day after you were burgled. Hopefully ACAS will at least be able to continue advising you.

I think your best option would be to raise a grievance through your formal process, but in the meantime start looking for a different job. Speak to your HR department to make sure the grievance is correctly registered and followed up.

A business normally has to give a reasonable rationale for refusing flexible working - if you don't feel they have, this is also something you could appeal.

I'm not an advocate of taking sick leave unless you're genuinely sick - if the stress is making you feel ill, see your GP and be guided by what they say about whether you should be in work or not - as a PP said, you'd have to be prepared for an occupational health investigation if you went down the long-term sickness route.

Wishing you luck!

thenewaveragebear1983 Thu 02-Feb-17 17:24:02

Seriously op, after the crap I'm still going through, badly handled investigations, mishandled evidence, blatant lies, insulting offers, and finally today refusal to even provide the evidence from the investigations they've carried out unless I decline their offer- just look for a new job. I have had to fight every single minute detail. Every email they have sent has contained incorrect information, every interview they carried out has lies in it that I have proven with actual evidence. No one listens. The union are lost as to what to do now.

For your own sanity, just leave. Look for a new job. It's really not worth the fight.

Can you tell I 've had a rubbish day fighting my case and it's still not getting anywhere. And I have actual proof, on paper, in emails. All the company have said is that it's a coincidence, unfortunate timings, and 'semantics'. 18 months of this now.

Mandykwl Thu 02-Feb-17 23:06:25

Im really sorry to hear of your situations and really appreciate the time u taken to help me...

I am gna look for a new job for sure...this is so upsetting for me already....

I just wish i could hit them back...maybe in my resignation i will write im leaving for the discrimination ....but even then ...whats the point.

Funny how i was worth something to them before i had a baby.

Mandykwl Wed 08-Feb-17 18:52:43

Great news ladies... ive got a new job in the goverment so screw my current situation!!!!!! Im going to leave those assholes xxxx

thenewaveragebear1983 Wed 08-Feb-17 19:15:42

Good for you op, well done. Hope your new job works out well for you flowers

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