Accused of bullying and harrasment(38 Posts)
My work colleague resigning she cited due to me bullying and harrasing her but it was the other way round and i have been waiting to hear if i face a disiplinary and I have been suffering work related stress and anxietydoctor advised me to take sick leave and have me diazepam I didn't go off sick as felt it would make me feel worse. I have just been asked to see occupational health by my employer and letter says they have completed there investigations and will let me know next steps after I have been seen but this is all stressing me even more
It is horribly stressful. Hang on in there. I'm not sure exactly what you need to help you. The thing that springs to mind is that she is claiming you bullied and harassed her. They are quite distinct :-
Harassment applies to targeted unwanted behaviour specifically relating to a protected characteristic (sex, race, disability etc) In the investigation, she will be asked how you harassed her specific to a PC (e.g. You targeted her because she is Muslim, you were derogatory and discriminatory because she has a physical or mental impairment etc)
Bullying - she needs to elaborate specifically on how you bullied her, which normally equates to some unwanted, undesirable negative behaviour targeted at her personally. She would need to be specific about how it affected her and whether it was one or more than one occasion (date/s time context) It doesn't require witnesses, but balance of evidence that shows consistency I.e what is the likelihood it is something you would do to her personally but not to anyone else.
Hearings/investigations are designed to ensure both sides have an equal say. Get your ducks in a row. Make a log of times you and she had had any such situations that might have led to her grievance. If you believe it was the other way round, pull together your side of the story.
Best advice I have Don't rely on memory, it will let you down Facts and data, keep it succinct and crisp, to the point.
Presumably there have already been face to face meetings between you and the disciplinary bods? Where you have given them your version of events?
I guess if she has already left and the investigations are almost concluded then your ex-colleague has had her case prepared (presumably with union help? solicitor?) for some time, and if the company saw fit at the point of her first accusations to do further investigating, presumably they believed her/have to go through the motions.
Have you done the same? Because you need to.
How have you responded so far? If you can give some details about the supposed incidents and what really happened, then maybe we can give you some guidance?
Can you give us some more details if possible OP? It's hard to advise.
Well it sounds like they wish to have occupational health evaluation done first. Investigations usually mean they have interviewed people who work with you both and may have witnessed both of your behaviours.
The fact they are not telling you op no action but wish to have occupational health review before detailing next steps would indicate they feel There is something amiss. The relationship was clearly damaging between you and your colleague if both of you feel the other was bullying and harassing you.
Your best bet is to recongnise any issues on your side ( none of us is perfect) , any personality clashes and what your improvement plan is to ensure there is no future issues. Cite good relationships you have at work and also point out this issue was isolated with the colleague.
For work related stress that's a seperate issue and possibly would indicate you're not coping and a plan needs to be developed for that also.
She had previously been in trouble for saying I have a mental health condition I didn't have and I she told a lot of lies about little things she also didn't get along with the two other people we worked together with and I have always felt she would do something like this she said she had 19 previous jobs and has moved 31 times over the years but I felt because she had a family connection in the company she was favoured in some ways and got away with bad work practices at times and I have times and dates but that hasn't even been included. I never suffered stress anxiety or depression until I started working for my present employer .
It seems my employer has done investigations but they want me to see occupational health before they decide what to do I am sure she is going for constructive dissmissal and has just got her two years employment here to qualify, I have suffered stress anxiety and depression since working with and up till now I have felt very unsupported my my employer even though she also didn't have good relationships with the two other employees in our department although she did with other parts of the company I believe some of it due to family connection.Thanks for your advice.
Roberthill based on your latest update, if she is citing Constructive Dismissal then she will have a lot of hard work to do.
CD is centred around a serious breach in the contract of employment, between employee and employer. If you are a colleague (ie, you are not her line manager with authority to hire and fire her) CD is unlikely to be relevant. I'm saying this without all the facts, but it's my 'take' on this just based on what you've said.
I'd suggest a meeting with either a union rep or solicitor could reduce your stress levels, to know your rights and possible next steps.
Hi I have had the investigation stage and felt it went well for me as I haven't done anything wrong I have done all that has been asked of me at all stages although this has affected me mentally via stress and anxiety work related but I had a letter saying investigations are now complete and before a decision can be taken by the organisation as to the next steps they would like me to undergo a medical examination by there occupational health advisors . I also haven't had a day off sick in 3 and a half years even though my own DR advised me to as I felt it wouldn't help I did make my employers aware of this at the time . Thanks for any advice you can give.
I think acas have a helpline . It might help to speak to someone to clarify your position.
Hi yes I had telephone contact with a union rep as my rep is on hol till next week when I will be gaining more advice as she dealt with a situation with my colleague in the past where my colleague was given a disiplinary and punished for infering to a third party about my mental health. Thanks for any advice you can give and sorry to confuse have changed my username .
Will be speaking fully with my union rep as she is on holiday until next week and had advice from another till her return as she knows my case but just worrying all the time about this it seems to be dragging on get too long been just over two months so far and another month until my OH appt . Thanks for advice .
My employer says there investigations are now complete and before they make a decision as to the next steps they would like me to undergo a medical examination by there occupational health advisors but I don't really understand what this means .Thanks for any advice you can give . Sorry to confuse have changed my username .
You need to pull your own evidence together - can you document meetings and conversations with dates? If she said you had a mental health problem etc then you document that and it is evidence. You can write down how she has made you feel and put in a counter claim for harassment. I had a situation where a girl who worked for me and was used to under delivering, being very lazy etc didn't like being held to account so she tried to make out I was being unfair, went to HR and bad mouthed me loudly in the office. I documented everything and it became very clear the girl was the problem. Needless to say she exited the business and both her Union rep and HR backed me in the end. It wasn't a nice thing to go through but I kept to the facts and documented everything.
Hi Carol, please please while it's fresh in your mind, document anything that you believe is a gap in their reported investigation data. This is wrt your comment above: I have times and dates but that hasn't even been included.
Think about what you can include from your perspective that fills in any important gaps. They need to have a complete account and not miss things out.
The Occ Health appointment is a normal aspect of any workplace investigation. My advice here is when you meet with the OH advisor ask them to please share with you the nature of the referral (which should have been a written form sent from your line manager). You have a right to see what they have written, it is part of building the complete picture of your case.
My advice re meeting the Occ Health advisor is do lots of listening and only a small amount of talking. Respond briefly and carefully to their questions, deep breathing, don't feel you have to immediately answer, its actually better to pause in between as it shows you are in control.
If the colleague has painted you in an inaccurate negative light, then you can show it is inaccurate by being measured and calm. Try not to criticise the colleague (hard though it is!), keep to your facts.
Would the other two colleagues who had difficulties with her provide statements?
Constructive dismissal could absolutely be relevant if the bullying was a colleague not a manager. The fundamental breach by the employer would be failing to do anything about it, failing in their duty of care to the employee.
Of course that relies heavily on the employee having raised concerns before and them not being addressed. Resigning and then claiming bullying without giving the employer the opportunity to put things right wouldn't be constructive dismissal.
The other two have and had both had problems with her as well she has tried to make out we have all ganged up on her which we haven't they have also found it very difficult to work with her in the past .
Hi thanks for advice but I won't be able to control my crying I don't sit and Baal but my voice shakes and my eyes well up uncontrollably even if i take medication when I have to discuss my ex colleague I do my job well and it affects my job not at all but I am and have been extremely stressed my my colleagues behavior but I will take your advice otherwise I wonder if it will look bad for me when I am upset I have real difficulty hiding my emotions when upset I won't get angry just sad.
She had a disiplinary when she infered to someone I had a mental I'll mess and got in troble at the time although I wasn't told what punishment she received.
If they haven't talked formally to you about your side of events (and to any witnesses, dobyiu know whether they've spoken to other colleagues?), then they haven't done an investigation properly. ACAS describe what should be done in disciplinary and grievance investigation, and it sounds as if they've just gathered 'evidence' against you, not tried to find out what has happened. Its also possible they found her information didn't amount to much, but they still should have gathered ALL the facts, from everyone involved.
You'll get advice on here as to how to argue your case, but it sounds as if, should they find against you, you would have good cause to appeal on the basis that they didn't follow a fair and reasonable process, and didn't have all the information (they can't have done if they didn't interview you about it).
Sorry you're going thru this, it sounds very stressful.
Your ooor thing. It sounds awful and I'm not surprised you are stressed.
The crying is frustrating but if you can't help it you can't help it. I would likely be the same and I'm not a cryer but I think in that situation I would be.
Take tissues, take water and take a notebook. Maybe you can write things down as you go along to help compose your thoughts. If you cry ask for a moment but don't apologise.
Good luck with everything else. I've no advice on employment law type of things but wanted to wish you well. I know it's virtually impossible but try not to take it personally - you know you aren't a bully etc and that this has come about because the person has made a false claim so keep reminding yourself of that.
No it won't look bad on you in the least. The situation sounds incredibly stressful. I do hope you have RL support.
Does your company have EAP Employee Assistance Programme? your Occ Health will be able to tell you. When I had a stressful situation at work last year, I was able to get free counselling and it was amazing, it really helped, I could let go of a lot of emotion in those session and regained control in the workplace. The advantage is EAP is 100% confidential, they are by contract not allowed to divulge anything to your employer.
If you can get 2-3 sessions in before your Occ Health meeting I believe it would help you.
Thx for clarification on constructive dismissal flowery
Thankyou yes they did do formal meet with me and I put my side and I am aware others I work did as well but so stressful and I can't see I have done anything wrong i believe she is after a payout but I will apeal any thing if found against me but is so stressful I think I have a better case for constructive dismissal but I woulnt do that .thankyou for your advice.
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