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Harassment at work

14 replies

leoleosuperstar · 12/09/2009 10:04

I am still in my probation at work.
Since I started my line manager has made comments (as he does to most of the women in the office) along the lines of having sex with him or what we are wearing.
These comments in my opinon are completely innocent.
I told him from the begining that I did not appreciate him touching me - rubbing neck, holding hands etc. He has often tiggled me when I am on the phone to a client or insisted on holding my hand to have a conversation with me.

Then the last week he has been vile to me - make horrible comments to me saying that I'm useless at work (completely untrue and the evidence would prove that I am in fact good at what I do). This week I have started to feel very low about it. These comments have affected me more than the others comments he has made previously.
Then on one of the days I replied to something he said in the office about it being a horrible place to work he replied.

The next day I was informed he wanted a meeting with me. 10 minutes before the meeting he asked me my start date (in my opinon to remind me that I was on probation) he then sat me down with a pad of paper in front of him and I had taken a pad with me. He said that this was an informal meeting and I did not require representation. He has written down in a square box at the bottom my start date.
I was then asked about a comment I had put on Facebook - I explained how it had nothing to do with work and he said that it was his duty to remind me how things might be seen on Facebook and told me a story about someone who was sacked for a comment of Facebook.
He then told me that the comment I has made the day before was unacceptable and I said that he had said something back so I can't see how he could pull me in over it and he said that he had allowed himself to be brought down to my level. He then asked if I had any issues at work to make me feel like this.
I said that I wanted to speak to someone in HR before decided what to do.
I spoke to a HR advisor and they have said it is harrasment and it's up to me what I want to do now - either formal or informal.
He has told the manager above him that the comment I made was made in front of guests in the office (it was not).

This has spoilt my weekend and the company is awful - just my department all the other departments seem much nicer and better managed.

I don't know what to do now on Monday.

What would you do?

Also: he has since I have been there (nearly 6 months) gone round the team 'picking' on someone for a certain amount of time and I am sure that's what he started doing to me this week.

Sorry for the long post.

OP posts:
franklymydear · 12/09/2009 10:09

ask for an internal transfer

make an informal complaint

look for another job

leoleosuperstar · 12/09/2009 10:12

They wont have to transfer me though will they? I can't imagine them allowing me to transfer.

OP posts:
leoleosuperstar · 12/09/2009 11:28


OP posts:
SolidGoldBrass · 12/09/2009 11:33

If HR agree it is harassment then the company are probably dead keen for someone to make a formal complaint so they can sack the creepy fucker. It sounds like HR are sympathetic, which means that this man has probably been at it for years and they have lost a lot of good staff, but have been unable to get enough hard evidence or persuade anyone to pursue a complaint enough for them to get rid of him.

LoveBeingAMummy · 12/09/2009 20:07

You need to write down every thing that has happened over the last 6 months, comments physical actions and any witnesses who were present. Then go in on monday and speak to HR/Senior manager and exaplined exactly what he has done and how it has made you feel. Good luck.

Remember there is a difference between harrassment and justified performance management.

leoleosuperstar · 13/09/2009 08:31

HR have asked me what I want to do.

I don't know how anything will be ok now at work with either option.

OP posts:
LoveBeingAMummy · 13/09/2009 10:37

Its normal for them to ask that after all you are saying your not happy so they want to know what you want to happen. Are happy to stay in this team/dept if things change ? Afterall he'd be pretty stupid to carry on when things has been made formal!

Sometimes a company knows what is happening but finds it difficult to do anything about it unless someone does somehting, could this be the case?

leoleosuperstar · 13/09/2009 11:08

The whole department is a nightmare but what I can tell the rest of the company is good.

It's government funded so generally these companies are good but the department is run by 3 managers that are so bad and cause problems where there are none.

I am upset I have been called in over 1 comment that I made after a week of horrible comments which come after 4/5 months of stupid sexual remarks. The manager does this to most of the women and the ones he doesn't he ignores.

I really don't want to go to work tomorrow and am now wishing I hadn't said anything.

Someone had to be moved from his team before and he makes no secret from new people that in his opinon she is a trouble maker and he cannot go on work events because of her. I don't want to be treated like this and I wouldn't want to be on the other team.

After speaking to a couple of people in my department not about the comments he has made but in gerneral they have said that they have been urged to go and see HR - about a different manager and a completely different matter.

OP posts:
LoveBeingAMummy · 14/09/2009 10:18

Maybe the company is trying to do something thne, but like i said if they have no proof and/or no-one is willing to do anything about it then it will continue.

You just need to figure out how to make it ok for you to go to work then, hope it went ok today.

LoveBeingAMummy · 17/09/2009 12:33

How has it gone this week?

muddleduck · 17/09/2009 14:05

You should post this in "employment issues" and you will get (more) excellent advice. There are a bunch of HR bods over there who are incredibly helpful.

leoleosuperstar · 17/09/2009 20:50

I decided to do it informally and made sure I spoke to HR to tell them everything that had happened and that I wanted to go informally. They said they were pleased that I wanted to do it informally and that is what they would recommend.

We had a meeting me, my manager and the next manager up. I explained the issues and he looked visably upset. That was Monday and the rest of the week has gone smoothly. We have a routine 1 to 1 next week so only time will tell now.

Thank you for your support.

OP posts:
smittenkitten · 17/09/2009 21:01

it sounds like you may have got the better of him by forcing the issue into the open, but I wouldn't trust this guy at all. Keep a diary of everything - it's the most powerful evidence you will have. the phrase you need is "shocked and hurt/offended" - can't get an injury to feelings award if you haven't been shocked and offended! humiliated etc will also do!

if the company is gov funded then its treatment of harassment and discrimination claims is important - they can lose funding/contracts if they don't obide by equality legislation.

Well done for standing up for yourself - these guys rely on you being confused and self doubting.

LoveBeingAMummy · 18/09/2009 07:48

I'm glad you are happy with the outcome. Sometimes the oerson really isn't aware they have upset people (think david brent!) other times they just don't see they are doing it wrong altough the message is about right it gets lost in what they say and do, and of course other times they are twats who need sorting out

Managers need feedback and development just like everyone else, having his manager aware will certainly help. You do need to make sure you keep the communication open with hi though for eg if he does say or do anything to upset you you need to bring this up with either him and or his manager. But i do think it'll be ok now.

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