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colleagues jealous of my reasonable adjustments(8 Posts)
I hope you guys can help. My colleagues keep making comments about my adjustments due to my disability, such as extra breaks and a special chair +footrest I have been given.
The colleagues who have a problem with it are newish colleagues who started a year go.
At first hears that things were being said behind my back but it has now got to the point where they are making unwanted comments to my face, such as 'you think you are better than everyone else'... this was said when I politely asked one of them to get of my chair and use the other office chairs. I've heard a few comments too which I've found very upsetting 'special people' comments, 'people who go on special bus' comments! These are grown middle aged women who are old enough to be my mother. I've even been asked if my partner is also disabled as disabled people apparently only marry each other!
One colleague once said to the manager that I should do a heavy lifting task they all do as we are all equal and the manager told me to do it and I refused, but I regret not taking this further. The heavy lifting is a once in a while task when we get office stationery delivery , e.g large amount of inks, photocopy papers, books etc, which can be very heavy and was also agreed I do not do as part of my reasonable adjustments.
I've become scared of even taking my extra breaks in case I get unwanted comments and I feel things will escalate as these women are very intimidating and hostile towards me.
My manager has heard some of these comments and just told them I've been authorised the extra breaks, but clearly they are not getting it. These women have also keep referring to another colleague who is very short as a dawarf (behind his back so far).
Any ideas how I should deal with this? Only one colleague has said he will back me up if I want to take it further as he has also experienced homophobic comments which have made him very upset. This colleague has in the past let me down by telling others something I've told him in confidence so I am not sure if I can trust him.
Would it help to do a short presentation to the staff explaining exactly what the problem is, and how it affects you? Not that you should have to, but the only alternative is using the company's official grievance procedure. (Keep a diary record of all the incidents that are happening).
Start a diary logging all the comments with dates, times etc. Join a union if you aren't already in one.
OP, I get reasonable adjustments. This is blatant disability discrimination.
It is harassment due to disability (the comments they are making) and it is discrimination by perception (assuming your partner is also disabled).
Raise a formal grievance in writing to your manager. Keep a diary of incidences. Join a union in the event your manager does nothing. Go to HR also.
Visit the formalgrievance website. He's really good. Lots of advice on there.
I agree that this is disability discrimination.
It’s something that needs to be dealt with on company level instead of you doing it by yourself.
I would advice you as @Singlenotsingle said to keep a log of everything that is said and done by your colleagues regarding your disability and then take it further to HR.
You certainly should keep a diary, and also make your manager aware of each and every incident. And I'm certainly not going to suggest that you should tolerate this, but you do need to grow a thicker skin and learn how to hand it back. I'm a lot older than you (and them!) and I find that people like this (a) exist everywhere and (b) rationalise their obnoxious behaviour by believing that nobody will call them out on it.
I can't walk very far, and I am very unstable even over short distances. This makes things like airports a nightmare - but I get fast tracked as someone with a disability, and once my walking aids have to be removed I have a wheelchair and therefore get boarded first. There is always at least one sub-human who complains about the "special treatment" I am getting, and I find that instead of ignoring it, it's better to confront it. Loud comments that everyone can hear such as "if anyone feels its a privilege being disabled and boarding first, then I will happily switch places with them if they take my disability and pain too" tends to result in most people shunning the perpetrator and the perpetrator being unable to take their eyes off the spot on the floor. You don't have to be rude or anything - just shine a light on their behaviour and comments. You aren't supposed to have a brain or ears or the strength of character to take them on. So prove them wrong.
Are you in a union, speak to them and your line manager. These staff need to be told that any comments made to you and the shorter colleague are bullying, harrassment and discrimination and could lead to disciplinary action being taken. With the lifting, no staff should life heavy objects unless they have received training and risk assessments, there should be a manual handling policy in place.
HR with as many examples written down word for word as you can. This is absolutely NOT acceptable. I wouldn't be able to stop myself from telling her directly and sharply too.