Going to employment tribunal for sex discrimination

(62 Posts)
willowsmam Fri 13-Apr-18 19:10:21

This might be a bit long winded and tbh I’m not really sure what it is I expect to get... maybe some support/validation/tips from people that have been there.

I was the only female in a team of men and we travelled the world together as a team. I got a little closer than I should have done to one of the guys, to the extend that his wife thought he was having an affair with me. It wasn’t, but I got the impression he wanted one and when I backed away, things got difficult.

It ended up that I spoke to him about how he kept looking at me and how we were trying to have a professional relationship. He went to HR, said I was harassing him. Next thing I knew, I received a written warning by email. Yep... no investigation, no evidence, no hearing.... they took his word over mine. And to make things worse, his best mate who also worked in our team also stuck the boot in, and the whole team had to be consulted and the decision was that I needed a warning. And that is what I got!

I appealed the warning on the basis that it was unfair, unwarranted and didn’t follow the ACAS guidelines, and I submitted a grievance that I felt the process and parts of the warning discriminated against me (and detailed those).

2 weeks later I was dismissed for poor fit/apparently poor performance plus this issue with this guy. Even though my performance was great and had only received praise up to that point. Then they decided they were making me redundant.

I’m taking them to tribunal. They didn’t even respond to the tribunal papers so the court has awarded a defaulted judgement in my favour. However they’ve now decided to lawyer up and have asked the court to set the judgement aside and allow them to respond.

My employment was terminated 4 months ago now and and I’m still angry and hurt over what has happened. I’m working again, albeit in a lower paid role. The company seem much better but I’m constantly haunted by what has happened. And I obsess about it constantly. I wish it was over.

OP’s posts: |
daisychain01 Sat 14-Apr-18 04:09:53

So did the Tribunal order your employers to reinstate you? Not clear from your OP, as you mentioned they made you redundant.

If you received a redundancy or settlement agreement, I'd get the hell out, get a new job and leave the whole messy business behind you. Learn from any mistakes made, don't get 'close' or overly pally with work colleagues, it so easily turns ugly as you've discovered.

YimminiYoudar Sat 14-Apr-18 05:10:02

Has the court granted the request to set the default judgement aside?

willowsmam Sat 14-Apr-18 08:04:57

I was dismissed but then they changed their mind and called it redundancy. I didn’t receive a financial settlement.

I have since found a new role (thank goodness) although I’ve had to take a salary cut.

The court didn’t order reinstatement as I didn’t ask for that.

We haven’t heard back from the court yet. The solicitor said they might want a hearing to determine if they should be permitted to Submit their response x

OP’s posts: |
MrPerkinsisaprick Sat 14-Apr-18 08:10:12

You told him he was 'looking at you' in a way that suggested he wanted an affair? I'd be creeped out if a colleague said that to me to be honest.

willowsmam Sat 14-Apr-18 08:22:53

Why would you be creeped out @mrperkins ?

He had been keen for something to happen between us and made it clear to me when we were away with work, followed by the bombshell that his wife thought we were having an affair. When I stepped back, he wouldn’t speak to me for months yet felt it was perfectly normal to sit and stare at me when he seen me.

Surely you know the difference between a look and a ‘look’?

OP’s posts: |
MrPerkinsisaprick Sat 14-Apr-18 08:32:10

It depends how he made it 'clear to you'. If that was through more 'looks' or not.

willowsmam Sat 14-Apr-18 08:35:56

No it wasn’t through looks.

We had been away with work at a conference and he asked if he could speak to me, and he told me then. And how his wife thought he was having an affair with me. When I asked him what made her think that, he told me she’d overheard him talking to his friend on the phone about me....

OP’s posts: |
Frankie2015 Sat 14-Apr-18 08:47:57

You admit you got a little closer then you should of had and then he approaches you for an affair which sounds like you’ve lead him on a bit. Total dickhead move on his part for being married but that’s a separate issue.

Then you change your mind and he wasn’t even allowed to look at you! Jesus no wonder women find it hard to find positions in business when men are going to be scared for even looking at women he wrong way

He probably called HR before you jumped on the #metoo bandwagon and called them first and that what they advised him to do.

willowsmam Sat 14-Apr-18 08:51:11

Yea and I do get that bit is difficult but he made it difficult for me but refusing to have anything to do for me and it put me in an awkward position. So in that instance, I don’t think it’s fair that he does that. I didn’t want to make a big deal about it and said that, but we had to work together.

OP’s posts: |
StopPOP Sat 14-Apr-18 09:18:59

Regardless of what happened in the run up to the written warning, the way you have been treated has been unfair.

You can't be disciplined without any investigation, chance to put your side, have a representative etc. Did they give you an option to appeal?

They can't dismiss you then retract and make redundant.

They can't make redundant without due process, consultation.

Hope you get resolution.

willowsmam Sat 14-Apr-18 09:21:47

Thank you for that.

No there was no appeal option with the warning but I appealed anyway. I didn’t get a response from that or confirmation that it was being retracted. Same with my grievance. And then I was told not to appeal my redundancy.

I haven’t been whiter than white in all of this. I know that I haven’t but it’s the process that I feel was very wrong and if it had been investigated, I don’t feel it was have resulted in disciplinary.

OP’s posts: |
neverknowinglynormal Sat 14-Apr-18 09:49:33

Having been through a partly successful tribunal, I would say there is some satisfaction to seeing the other side cross-examined and having to account for their behaviour. If they are then found "guilty", there is some sense of closure because your treatment has been ruled to be wrong. That's what I found, anyway.

neverknowinglynormal Sat 14-Apr-18 09:52:38

I think you're also right to focus on the process. Whatever you did, that doesn't give them the right to offer you no chance to defend yourself or appeal. If the tribunal think you contributed through your behaviour, they will just deduct some of your award. But if your dismissal was unfair, they will still make that award in the first place. I know how it feels to become obsessed with the injustice but I did find that the tribunal restored some of my self-respect. Good luck.

TittyGolightly Sat 14-Apr-18 09:58:12

2 weeks later I was dismissed for poor fit/apparently poor performance plus this issue with this guy. Even though my performance was great and had only received praise up to that point. Then they decided they were making me redundant.

How long did you work there?

What do you have in writing regarding the grievance outcome, the dismissal and the redundancy?

allthegoodusernameshavegone Sat 14-Apr-18 09:58:20

Have they advertised or replaced you since your redundancy?

AtrociousCircumstance Sat 14-Apr-18 09:58:34

He was inappropriate, you called him on it, and then they escalated it to ‘teach you a lesson’ until they kicked you out....

I hope you take them to the cleaners. Good luck and stay strong.

Brokenbiscuit Sat 14-Apr-18 10:02:04

Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the situation, it doesn't sound like due process has been followed.

willowsmam Sat 14-Apr-18 10:04:57

Everything is in writing - the Warning, my appeal, my grievance, the redundancy (and an alternative option of mutual contract cancellation that they gave me). Only thing I don’t have is proof of what was said in the meeting where I was dismissed for poor fit.

I was there 10/11 months when this happened, so I don’t have a claim for unfair dismissal. It’s sex discrimination and victimisation as I was dismissed, I feel, because of my grievance.

Neither of us acted properly however I feel I’m the one that has been punished. I completely understand why he went to HR and I knew that it was a possibility he would do that. However I assumed they would have investigated anything properly if he did. I know he was protecting himself in case I went to HR which I just wouldn’t do. It’s not in my nature.

OP’s posts: |
willowsmam Sat 14-Apr-18 10:06:00

They didn’t investigate my grievance past having a meeting with me which I have now put down to lip service. There was never an outcome given to me so I have no idea what they did with it, and I was sacked so quickly after.

OP’s posts: |
BoneyBackJefferson Sat 14-Apr-18 10:25:29

AtrociousCircumstance

You missed

she was inappropriate, they were inappropriate

from the start of your post.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 14-Apr-18 10:27:40

willowsmam

I know that its been said but you are 100% right to stick it too them about not following policy.

And if asked your mantra is 'they didn't follow policy'. try and remain aloof about the situation that caused this.

AtrociousCircumstance Sat 14-Apr-18 12:51:26

I didn’t miss anything out of my post.

They both got too close then the OP rightly decided to step back.

Then his reaction was inappropriate.

StopPOP Sat 14-Apr-18 13:33:45

I agree Atrocious

Lucy001 Sat 14-Apr-18 23:41:46

Before a whole load of people get drawn into this (again) - OP has posted a version of this story on just about every employment forum in the UK over the past few weeks. Including pretending to be the employer AND the employee ON THE SAME SITE(S)! Banned on one site (totally refused to accept they had posted as both the employee and the employee despite being traced by site admin to the same IP address). Outed on another. And has the cheek to go back with a slightly different version of the story to try again!

It's pathetic that someone would think that discrimination, which is a serious issue, is something to play with.

Please don't waste your time. There are people with real problems and issues...

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