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FLOWERYBEANBAG - employment help needed please

(10 Posts)
bratnav Thu 15-Jan-09 19:35:30

I started working for a company in mid October last year, with a 3 month probationary period.

On Monday I was told that they were not keeping me on after my probation due to performance issues. I have never had any formal warnings re this, only a casual chat with my line manager re a few details that I was missing, and they offered further training, reasonable surely whilst I was still learning my role.

My issue is this, I am pg and am fairly sure that although I hadn't told anyone at work, they must have known, due to a few days off sick, and me still rushing to the loo fairly frequently throughout the day, also I look like Jessica Rabbit at the moment.

I am certain that they have let me go because I am pg. What can I do?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

flowerybeanbag Thu 15-Jan-09 19:41:35

Why are you 'certain' they let you go because you are pregnant? I don't think a taking a few days off work, going to the toilet more often and have a curvaceous figure are nearly enough to say that they 'must have known' about your pregnancy tbh. If you haven't told anyone and don't have a bump the size of a house, you're not going to be able to say they must have known.

During the first year, they don't even have to give you a reason if they don't want to, and certainly don't have to bother about warnings, etc

Unless you have any other evidence that the relevant people knew you were pregnant and evidence that dismissing you was because of the pregnancy, I think you might have to just write this one off to experience I'm afraid

bratnav Thu 15-Jan-09 19:46:02

Sorry, I forgot to say that it is standard procedure for them to check emails if an employee is off sick to check if any urgent works appears on there.

I know that there were emails that DP and I had exchanged a day or so before, discussing time off for the scan next week and my morning sickness.

Would that make any difference?

Northernlurker Thu 15-Jan-09 19:49:23

You can't prove anything though. They could just as well be letting you go because they don't like your dress sense/herbal tea/taste in films! I suppose you could ask what exact performance issues they have and I would want to ask what form of reference they will give you but otherwise I think flowery is right and you just have to swallow this.

ilovelovemydog Thu 15-Jan-09 19:51:25


So, they did know you were pregnant. Is there any other evidence that they accessed your emails?

The trouble you will have is that they will say that it wasn't pregnancy, but your performance if you bring a sex discrim claim.

Was your performance improving?

bratnav Thu 15-Jan-09 19:59:40

Myperformance was fine, I addressed the couple of details that I hadn't been informed of before, and as far as I was aware, there were no other issues.

flowerybeanbag Thu 15-Jan-09 22:00:56

But do you have any evidence that your boss or whoever made the decision to dismiss you actually did read your emails, apart from the fact that it is standard procedure to do so?

Even if you know your boss was accessing your emails, the purpose was to check for urgent work issues arising, and there would have been no reason for him to read private emails from your DP. He would obviously say that he opened work ones only and would not have dreamed of reading private emails.

Plus even in the unlikely event that you are able to establish that the relevant people knew you were pregnant, do you have any reason at all to believe that pregnancy was the reason you were dismissed? Other than disagreeing with their assessment that it was performance issues? Any circumstantial evidence that blatant discrimination is likely?

I'm not saying it wasn't because of the pregnancy. Your boss may have been snooping in your private emails from your DP, and may even be silly enough to dismiss a pregnant woman because she is pregnant. But even if both those things are true I really can't see that you have nearly enough to make any kind of substantive complaint tbh.

bratnav Fri 16-Jan-09 15:55:46

I don't have any proof of anything, but I am certain in my bones (big help I know) that this is the reason.

My DP spoke to the wife of someone who works for him a couple of months ago, she works for the same company as I do. She was telling him that because of the appalling attitude of one of the directors (who she worked directly for) the company is NOT friendly towards pg woman.

I know there is probably nothing I can do really, but is it worth sending a letter to HR to see what happens?

flowerybeanbag Fri 16-Jan-09 17:51:40

Your bones may well be absolutely right - you're more likely to have an accurate sense of what's happened than us.

In terms of whether it's worth sending a letter to HR, it depends what you would be hoping to achieve. If you would be making a formal complaint of sex discrimination and wanting your job back, that won't happen. The response will be that your boss was completely unaware that you are pregnant and would not have dreamed of looking at your private emails. For reasons outlined earlier you won't be in any position to bring a legal claim.

If on the other hand what you are hoping to achieve is your boss being kept more of a strict eye on and hopefully prevented from doing the same thing again, contacting HR might be worth doing. In a 'not planning on making a formal complaint but would like to make you aware' kind of way. Alternatively, if you know someone nice in HR, ask to meet them for a chat.

The response will be completely non committal for obvious reasons, but it might have the effect of a sharp rap on the knuckles for your boss.

bratnav Sun 18-Jan-09 22:01:34

Thanks for all the fab advice flowery, will think it over smile

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