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Discrimination or not?

(29 Posts)
RachB2020 Thu 13-Feb-20 08:08:24

I had a thread couple of days ago, my manager pulled me for a chat around my performance with no significant details or feedback - he said he’s dissapointed in my performance and so is the management team he also stated the staff are frustrated with me also. I asked for evidence he asked me to go seek it from other managers, I have asked for this feedback and they have all responded with “I’ve slowed down and needed extra direction” I told my management team on 7th January during early stages of pregnancy I feel like a burden and can’t do what I’m used to because I’m tired etc - is this purely discrimination in my pregnancy and bullying? As the issues have suddenly just come to light, I’ve never had any performance issues and I’m still doing my job role everyday to the best of my ability.

RachB2020 Thu 13-Feb-20 08:09:59

To add to this we also had another chat the next day which got heated and he made me cry calling me dissmisive, I told him he was causing stress to me and my baby as I felt panicky. It’s so nerve wrecking going into a workplace where I feel alone and unwanted which has never been the case. It’s only happened since I’ve announced my pregnancy. Anyone else had any of this happen to them?

Russell19 Thu 13-Feb-20 08:11:09

Surely you should still be able to do your job to the required standard though. I know the first trimester is hard but maybe you should get a sick note if you can't work properly.

OllyBJolly Thu 13-Feb-20 08:14:15

From what you have said, no, it's not discrimination.

You told the management team you can't do what you used to. What did you do that you can't do now? Unless it's heavy lifting, exceptionally stressful or working with dangerous chemicals, I can't think what early pregnancy would exclude you from.

Telling you your performance is under par and it's affecting the team isn't bullying. It's management.

It sounds like you are using the pregnancy card for an easy ride and, without good reason, that can not be allowed. Unless there's more to it?

RachB2020 Thu 13-Feb-20 08:15:26

The feedback is that I’ve slowed down and needed more direction which has never happened in the past - this was something I’m self aware about which is why I stated in my first review in January I feel like a burden.

Just not too sure how to deal with my manager calling me a dissapointment and claiming I’m making the whole team including management frustrated and it’s only been over the past 4-5 weeks. Now I’m thinking it’s due to my pregnancy which is unfair? confused

Biancadelrioisback Thu 13-Feb-20 08:17:25

That's sounds crap!
You could say outright, or better yet put it in writing, that you feel they are discriminating against you as you're pregnant and not able to do exactly what you did previously. Ask for a response or a meeting with HR invited.

My old boss was a twat. I found out I was pregnant, burst into tears (unplanned pregnancy) told my friend/colleague and he overheard. Made my life miserable until I told him myself. Kept insisting I do tasks that were dangerous, that I was untrained for, working alone in the middle of the night in the city centre (usually would have at least two people). So I called him on the bullshit in an email with his boss and HR cc'd in. He came storming into my office and told me his boss hated me and never wanted me to address her ever again let alone email. So I went straight to his boss's office and asked if she could tell me this directly. She was baffled and he was a bumbling idiot who blamed my 'temper' on baby brain.
He was sacked not long after for a whole host of reasons.

RachB2020 Thu 13-Feb-20 08:19:53

Work 50+ hours, heavy lift, run around here there and everywhere etc - I wish it was that easy for me to have an easy ride. My concern is that I’m being compared to my work ethic before my pregnancy, In my chat there was common grounds of self awareness that I have slowed down etc but from feedback I’m still fulfilling my role - I’m aware as a management team it’s their role to measure my performance and trust me I’m not here for a get out of jail free card because of my pregnancy I just want some clarification that without clear feedback of the areas I need development in this can only be linked to my pregnancy and concerns which I’ve raised early January and if so is that discrimination in my pregnancy.

BritInUS1 Thu 13-Feb-20 08:26:54

You mentioned that your work ethic has changed

It sounds like you are not doing your job to the same standard as before

LIZS Thu 13-Feb-20 08:27:51

It does not sound like discrimination, after all you had initiated the discussion. What you need are Smart targets to improve and review. Go back to your manager and say the feedback is too vague but you want to develop. But you have changed your work ethic, not them, why? Being pg does not excuse that. Are there reasonable adjustments which may help? How long have you been there?

starbuckssuzie Thu 13-Feb-20 08:32:29

OP I've been in a similar position. It's awful when you are doing your best & it's just not good enough, never mind being pregnant. Sending hugs thanksthanksthanks

RachB2020 Thu 13-Feb-20 08:34:53

I had a standard company performance review in January where I mentioned I felt like a burden in work and I am self aware I am being more cautious to what I’m doing - I work in a very fast paced restaurant a lot of manual handling involved, standing up all day etc

I have worked in the company for 5 years, never had a performance issue, received a performance pay rise in November due to high performing this is why it’s all of a sudden to me and over the last 4 chats I’ve had with managers and the team nobody has claimed I need to improve anywhere I have just required extra direction on shift over the past 4-5 weeks - usually I would accept feedback, learn and develop from this. However I can’t help but think that this is linked to my pregnancy. My manager has also only just completed my risk assessment yesterday at work in a panic (I’m 14 weeks pregnant)

starbuckssuzie Thu 13-Feb-20 08:35:55

Is there anything work can do to support you? Extra training, sit in with colleagues that are performing to the required standard so that you can see how it's done/and it see how others work. Work should be supportive of you providing you are showing the drive to improve. Was your performance better previously? Has your performance dropped since getting pregnant?

RachB2020 Thu 13-Feb-20 08:39:28

This is what I’ve asked for this is the questions why, if I’ve already felt personally in January I’m a burden and I’m not good enough surely the conversation could’ve been different around support what I need from them how can I change from feeling like this.

None of this was given, it felt like as soon as they could sit me down and tell me I’ve gone shit and compare me to how I worked 4 months ago. I literally am probably the most reasonable worker in there and don’t usually look into things, this isn’t just about me now when it’s affecting my pregnancy.

LIZS Thu 13-Feb-20 08:44:12

How is it affecting your pg? I think you are reading more into this than is necessary, pg or not.

GiveHerHellFromUs Thu 13-Feb-20 08:46:16

It doesn't matter if you feel like a burden. That's up to you to deal with.

By law, they have to make reasonable adjustments to allow you to continue to work throughout your pregnancy.

What they don't need to do is allow you to sit back and put your feet up for the next 6 months. There's still a job to be done.

Have they done a risk assessment? If not, ask for one.

Are the 50+ hours over and above your contract? If so, just work your contracted hours. If anyone questions your work ethic based on that, you can explain to them that you're working the hours your contracted to work so that you can remain on form. There's no point wearing yourself out and performing a half-arsed job.

Questioning you for taking your foot off the gas is not discriminatory.

RachB2020 Thu 13-Feb-20 08:50:42

Affecting me feeling like I can’t go into work, feel that anything I’m not doing isn’t good enough

RachB2020 Thu 13-Feb-20 08:51:54

Thanks for the advice.

GiveHerHellFromUs Thu 13-Feb-20 08:54:54

@RachB2020 are you the kind of person who throws everything you've got into work? Is your job your 'life', so to speak?

It sounds like you're more frustrated with yourself for not physically being able to do things than you are with them for mentioning it.

Don't be hard on yourself. Pregnancy is a long old road. Try and relax and do what you can, just don't let it get you down.

breatheinskipthegym Thu 13-Feb-20 08:58:07

Your language and general discourse with your manager sounds all wrong, tbh. From both sides.

For starters, describing yourself as a “burden” is emotive, and that things “got heated” is not a productive or healthy workplace dynamic.

Strip all of that stuff away.

Your workplace should have an existing and up to date risk assessment. If it’s a good and adequate one, it should have risks for pregnant women included. Ask to see this. If there isn’t one, clearly and concisely write the ways the working practices that are now dangerous or unwise, and highlight in particular the ways that those practices have changed since your pregnancy announcement, and the difficulties that this causes. Keep it factual and non-emotive. Eg (and I’m not quoting directly here, I’m making this up to demonstrate “Official WHO guidance is that pregnant women at X weeks should only lift up to Xweight. I’m frequently required to lift in excess of this, and the new ‘sole working’ shifts mean there is no one to call upon for support’. Highlight this, in writing and ideally to HR/boss’ boss, asking for a risk assessment incorporating your needs as a pregnant woman. Question why lone working has been introduced since your pregnancy announcement (for lots of businesses this breaches insurance terms, your higher up bosses might not be aware of these solo shifts).

This is your company’s turning point to either realise that decent employers would not take this approach, (or that your line manager is handling things all wrong) or you to build a picture of burgeoning discrimination, which will probably just get worse if things go unchecked.

You need to keep a clear head, and, IMO, your manager needs training in how to conduct a proper and worthwhile feedback session.

RachB2020 Thu 13-Feb-20 09:02:33

I am and this is why I think it’s affecting me more than it should because before pregnancy I have devoted my life to my job and my employers can see that so now I think where they need empathise and support me during this time they’re not. And I completely understand that it’s work and business comes first to managers so their within their rights to tell me to pull my socks up pregnant or not but they can’t give me any solid feedback for me to develop on that isn’t linked to my pregnancy which is the frustrating part because if I wasn’t pregnant we wouldn’t be having these issues, I wouldn’t feel nervous to come into work incase I can’t carry that heavy box and I am a frustration to people - it’s annoying. I feel also some people don’t speak about things like this because they don’t want to sound to sensitive

breatheinskipthegym Thu 13-Feb-20 09:02:59

Also, meant to write but omitted: reasonable adjustments. Form these collaboratively and concisely. Don’t overcommit, but equally don’t use it as a free ticket to slack without consequence. Avoid the floury language you’ve been engaging in so far and make sure it’s specific. Risk & adjustments requirements should be reviewed throughout pregnancy so you don’t have to think through every eventuality.

GiveHerHellFromUs Thu 13-Feb-20 09:11:56

You can't carry a heavy box. You can't work with toxic chemicals. You can work in extreme temperatures.
You need to accept that. It doesn't mean you can't work hard or do a good job.

Go in, sit down with your boss and discuss these things factually. Take the emotion out of it.

Your most important job now is to protect that baby. That's more important than worrying about the frustrations of your colleagues. And if they do get frustrated they're dicks anyway.
My one colleague wouldn't let me walk to the printer - which was really fucking annoying - but her heart was in the right place.
People will surprise your

NorthEndGal Thu 13-Feb-20 09:20:47

I would understand slowing down a but if you were morning sick, etc. But what does it mean when you say you have been needing more direction? Or extra direction?
Is that pregnancy related, and if not, is it something you could work on?

RachB2020 Thu 13-Feb-20 09:23:22

They gave me 2 examples - extra direction meaning jumping to clear tables and on the till when it gets busy (any ordinary direction they would give to any other member of staff as they manage a shift and delegate/direct jobs to staff members) this is where my confusion has from. There is no clear feedback conducted on where I need to improve

GiveHerHellFromUs Thu 13-Feb-20 09:25:12

@RachB2020 unless I'm misunderstanding they're just saying you need to be told to perform normal tasks that you'd normally do without being prompted. Is that right?

Things like clearing tables and jumping on a till won't be affected by your pregnancy, surely? If it's the standing that's an issue, they may be able to provide a stool or offer more regular breaks.

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