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employer had me arrested after I brought tribunal case

(192 Posts)
cantcarryon Sat 30-Jan-10 14:22:29

This has upset me so much, I am having suicidal thoughts.

Basically, I was accused of gross misconduct and dismissed because me employer alleged that I claimed for false overtime hours. This despite the fact that he signed all the payments off over several years. His motivation is that my job is to make financial reports to head office and I made a report which showed a deal he had put together had achieved really appalling results. He threatened me and ordered me to change the report and I refused.I am bringing a tribunal case against him and have been advised by my solicitor that I have a really strong case.

I received a call out of the blue from the police. They had received an allegation from my former employer, they wanted me to make an appointment to go down and talk to them about it. I went down, was promptly arrested, put in a cell for over an hour waiting for the duty solicitor, then spent over 4 hours consulting solicitor and being interviewed. Solicitor says case a load of rubbish but police are obliged to investigate all complaints. So basically, anyone can walk into a police station, make a completely false allegation against you and have you arrested and detained for hours, even days, and you can do absolutely nothing about it.

I've now been bailed and have to return in a month. I now have to worry for weeks that I may go to prison, i may lose my family. I feel so powerless, I can't even leave the house, never mind look for work. I feel my life has ended and don't know how to carry on.

Why are employers allowed to destroy people's lives and get away with it?

Please, can anyone offer me any comfort?

nickelbabe Sat 30-Jan-10 14:26:18

your boss is a twat.
well done for doing the tribunal, as it sounds like he could do it to others.

grumpypants Sat 30-Jan-10 14:27:07

what did he accuse you of? If the duty solicitor says the case is weak, can you take comfort from that? Sorry, not much help.

cantcarryon Sat 30-Jan-10 14:32:16

I'm accused of fraud for stealing money that relates to amounts paid for overtime hours which he now claims I did not work. Despite the fact that he signed all the payments off.

I was pretty upbeat before about the case as my solicitor assured me there was no way i could lose (and he has a very good reputation so i reckon I can trust him on this). But after being locked in a cell, treated like a criminal, I feel shattered and just can't face the world.

NonVinaigretteRien Sat 30-Jan-10 14:35:33

Sweetheart, if you're really feeling suicidal, give the samaritans a call on 08457 90 90 90. you need a real human being to talk to, not us internet sprites.

I can see why your stressed though. that sounds an awful experience and your boss sounds like an arse. It sounds like he doesn't have a leg to stand on. Stick with what your solicitor is saying.

NonVinaigretteRien Sat 30-Jan-10 14:37:01

Being put in a cell will knock confidence out of you.

However, you claimed for hours which HE then signed off.

SparkleandShine Sat 30-Jan-10 14:46:13

Lets face it your employer is trying to get you to drop the tribunal.

This is a game (allbeit a very very nasty one)

This is your game plan...

make sure you have all the evidence on paper (if you have the physical copies of his signature on the overtime that would be good)

continue as normal - you are in the right here.

remember he may do other stuff to get you to drop it - don't forget it is probably his job on the line too if you win the tribunal.

Ultimately if you have enough evidence he could be charged with wasting police time.

the sad fact with cases like this is you have to fight and fight and fight to win - you're talking to a veteran of a similar problem!

Dotgreen Sat 30-Jan-10 14:53:55

I'm a police officer. yes, we are obliged to arrest people when some one accuses another of a crime and there is a case to answer. Which you have done (answered the accusation) with the help of the solicitor. Please gather your friends and family around you. We don't think all people are criminals. just because they've been arrested. The case has to be looked into. I hope my colleagues treated you with respect. sadly it's our day-to day job and we don't sometimes realise how shocking it can be to most people that are not routine criminals.
Please call Samaritans because your life is more precious than the twat who accused you as revenge. Make sure everyone knows this.

LadyBiscuit Sat 30-Jan-10 15:16:02

Oh gosh you poor poor woman. You won't lose your family, your boss is a wicked man who is trying to frighten you into given up your tribunal. You said in your OP that you make reports to head office so presumably your boss isn't your actual employer, he's your manager (ie he is also an employee)? Is that right? I don't know if that makes any difference but the business may decide to take your side against his if he's being such an arse about it (I'm not HR or legal but getting an employee arrested on spurious grounds would be something my employer would view very dimly).

I have taken a previous employer to industrial tribunal before and won but it was very, very stressful so you really do need to make sure you have a good support network around you - it's a very long process.

Please do contact the Samaritans and go and see your GP to get some support. Don't let this man get away with this - you've done the really hard part, the next bit is just a slog.

Good luck xx

cantcarryon Sat 30-Jan-10 15:25:44

Dot - yes, the police officers were very kind and said they had no choice but to investigate, but the whole process of being fingerprinted, searched, locked up with no idea of when you will be released... I can understand why people commit suicide in their cells. And it could all happen again when I answer bail. I'm not sure i can face being locked up again, I really would rather die.

I'm trying to cling to all the reassurances from solicitors etc that this can't possibly go any further - but it really can, even with all the evidence on my side.

posieparker Sat 30-Jan-10 15:38:26

His false accusation will look very suspect as you're tribunal case was started before.

Good luck!!

Oblomov Sat 30-Jan-10 15:46:44

Poor you. You need a good cuddle. have you a best friend to call ?

not that i have gone to tribunal, but i did make a complaint against my manager and the HR manager, that was stressful.At the same time I made a complaint against my GP and HV who reported me to ss, misquoting the law at me.

Both cases are still ongoing. trying to say these take along time. you really do need to be calm, think of long term coping mechanisms and get some frineds to support to your solicitor on monday and let him/er allay your fears.

cantcarryon Sat 30-Jan-10 16:45:39

I am also worrying that, even if the case is dropped my photo, fingerprints & DNA wil be left on file and will cause problems applying for visas etc - ie that I will be regarded as having a criminal record. does anyone know anything about this?

Can't see how I will ever be able to work again either - apart from the fact that it is pretty impossibe to get a job without a reference from your last employer, the thought of working for anyone else fills me with terror as I feel that i could be unjustly accused of something again and end up in prison.

I just want to curl up in a ball and die.

cantcarryon Sat 30-Jan-10 16:50:06

Sparkle, I have loads of evidence that he signed the payments, including copies of the signed paperwork and he admitted in the appeal hearing that he signed the payments but did not check the hours sheet (he has always refused to sign anything but the payment sheet as he said "that was all that was necessary". Now he says I was hiding the hours sheet from him, despite the file being kept in his cupboard.)

I have just lost all faith in the justice system in this country.

BecauseImWorthIt Sat 30-Jan-10 17:03:03

If the case is dropped, you won't have a criminal record - and I'm fairly sure that any DNA/fingerprint stuff has to be destroyed in that situation.

Have you got friends/family who can be with you over the next few days? You need someone to help you calm down a bit as well as to give you some support.

There is no need to lose faith in the justice system! You've only just started the process, you haven't lost, or been the victim of the system. You're the victim of a spineless bully - and you have evidence to prove that you have done nothing wrong.

Chin up!

Tryharder Sat 30-Jan-10 17:03:38

I think you have to get yourself out of this mindset or your employer will have won! He is trying to grind you down and put you in a position where you drop the case against him. You must not let him win!

A friend of mine went through something similar without the arrest bit; her employer made all sorts of horrible allegations against her. In the end, she ended up winning thousands of pounds when it all finally came to court.

Think logically. You claimed for overtime which he signed off. If the overtime was fraudulent, then he would not have signed it! If you are confident that you are not guilty of any misconduct, then I do not see how he has anything against you. You won't go to prison nor will you lose your family. You have to murder someone or smuggle drugs to go to prison! Please calm down, see your GP, get ADs, counselling whatever it takes to get you through this but do not back down and do not let this arsehole win. In fact a doctor's visit would be a good idea - if you are diagnosed with stress and depression, it would add to the strength of your case against him and increase your payout.

Good luck xx

Reallytired Sat 30-Jan-10 17:17:38

Your life is not over and you will get employment again. There are ways round the references problem.

An employment tribunal expects you to mitigate your losses by looking for work. If you are feeling suicidal then you are not fit to look for work.

You need to get your GP to sign you off as medically unfit for work so you do not have the obligation to look for work until you are well.

It might help you if you do some part time volentary work. Prehaps you could help out with the citizen's advice bureau. Or when you feel better you could do some agency work.

The sun always rises.

chocolaterabbit Sat 30-Jan-10 17:28:08

Oh you poor thing. Please do phone the Samaritans if you feel you need to.

On the references, companies can get into serious trouble if the reference is not accurate so most will deal with it through a central HR department and tbh, will usually only say dates of employment nowadays. It can also be resolved as part of the tribunal proceedings.

Also, fingerprints/DNA etc doesn't count as a criminal record, nor does an arrest so in itself won't affect future employment.

LadyBiscuit Sat 30-Jan-10 17:34:33

You will work again. Like I said, I took a former employer to a tribunal and won. I was subsequently employed by a more prestigious company in the same industry in a very similar role. And I now work for another one - it's never been an issue.

You haven't done anything wrong. Industrial tribunals aren't stupid - the fact that this man suddenly accused you of falsifying overtime records when you exposed him to head office is clearly just an smear attempt. There is no evidence in his favour and concrete evidence in yours. But you really, really need some support from your GP and family. Do you have a partner?

sfxmum Sat 30-Jan-10 17:35:52

does your profession have a proper union?
if his actions amount to harassment he is digging his own grave
just fight don't give him the satisfaction of winning

cantcarryon Sat 30-Jan-10 17:40:18

Thanks everyone, you are all right, I need to calm down and trust that it will all come right as I have all the evidence I need. I just find it appalling that anyone can just waltz into a police station and lodge a completely fantastical accusation and i am put in the position of being forced to prove I am innocent or I will be charged and sent for trial.

How on earth can I PROVE that I did overtime from home (as was the accepted practice for me) six months after the fact? All I have is the daily hours total, and I just can't see how i can give proof that i was sitting at my desk at home for those hours so long after the event.I will NEVER agree to do part homeworking EVER again (even if I get a job) if I can just be accused of fraud at the drop of a hat!

I do have DH here who is supportive but has limited patience with my panicked rambling!

Also have DHs mate here who, though he means well, isn't really helping with his comments " hope he hasn't got a mate in the masons, then he will get you convicted of whatever he wants and there's nothing you can do about it". Not what I want to hear!

Will get back to doctor - saw him when was originally sacked and got anti Ds, but I decided a couple of months ago that I didn't need them and stopped taking them - a bit daft, I now realise. I'm back to sleepless nights and feeling constantly terrified.

cantcarryon Sat 30-Jan-10 17:45:05

No union, and it is a very small company, he is in charge of that office and head office never interfere with what he does - they couldn't give a monkeys. He is the one who would do references and I am sure he will screw me up over it as he is detrmined to ruin my career whatever the consequences.

Reallytired Sat 30-Jan-10 17:49:05

Look at it the other way, he has to prove that you didn't do the overtime. He signed the records so he must have believed you did the overtime, or else he hasn't done his job properly.

cantcarryon Sat 30-Jan-10 18:01:14

The problem is he signed the final payments but not the back up schedules. Now he claims he never saw the hours sheets and had no idea how much time I was working, ie he did not check what the payments were properly before signing them off. He claims he "trusted" me to "get it right" without checking it. So basically, no-one checks my work so if I make any mistakes or work more hours than he expects (but never gave me any guidance on maximum hours, etc, just had to get the job done) then he sees it as fair to accuse me of fraud.

This is why I can't see how I can ever do similar work for another employer - I would be open to accusations of fraud again.

edam Sat 30-Jan-10 18:12:12

I doubt very much there are TWO such charmers in the world, tbh. You have been treated outrageously but it is a sign that your ex-boss is panicking. And the tribunal will see that, God willing.

Agree you need to go to your GP and call the Samaritans if you have any more suicidal thoughts.

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