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Workplace Harassment

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Shambles, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. My current workplace is notorious for poor treatment of staff and as such has a high turnover rate. For the past few months I have borne the brunt of their latest tirade; to the stage where I have had to take leave from the organisation in October. Things settled down after I returned but now have returned to what it was like previously. They are talking about restructuring the organisation and because of the area I work in it is usually the first to go. It also makes me suspect that they may be trying to make my work life miserable so I leave and they don’t have to pay out redundancy package.

    Yesterday I received a warning because other staff did not find me approachable and a report that was signed off by the executive team and the CEO was sent to the printers with an error in it. At this meeting I was told that if one person complains about me being unapproachable I will be out on my arse (not a pleasant feeling at all considering I have been told by the CEO on a previous occasion that their are people in the organisation who do not like me and want me gone).

    The organisation has over 100 employees so I don't think it is affected by the recent workplace reform (however I stand to be corrected). The agreement i signed when I joined said I need to get three written warnings.

    There are also other employees both current and previous who have been treated in similar ways, so it is not just me. The organisation has a dispute resolution process but the person who I have the issue with is the CEO. I have thought about going to the board but many of them are personal friends of the CEO. Previous staff members have sent letters to board members which were never received or tabled.

    What I need to know is what steps do you need to take when you feel that you have been unfairly treated in the workplace?

    I can’t seem to find the information of wagenet.
  2. AIRC is the way to go. If the company is not treating the way they are meant to be treated or they are being harrased in some way, they are up for a slapper of a fine. But, if nothing happens with the AIRC, make sure that you understand things will not get better at work, the will quite possibly get worse because they will think they cant be touched.
  3. >100 employees then Unfair Dismissal laws can come into play.

    The office of Workplace Relations I think it's called now is who you need to talk to.
  4. Depending on how important this job is to you, you can either call their bluff or leave. If a job is causing this much stress and you have saleable skills, then go work for a company that wants you. I am constantly told by people I know in small business that good employees are rarer than rocking horse doo doo.

    I've been in a situation with a crap boss and I had to stick it out. In the end I won (big time) though it was a real battle of nerves. One thing that really surprised me was how much beaten down I'd become. I found another position in the same company and discovered that people valued me, my skills and what I brought to their team. I'd been led to believe I was worse than shite and started to believe them.

    So, multiple choice I'm afraid. Remember, taking them to whatever organisation it is, your position in that company is likely to be untenable even if you win.
  5. #6 Ktulu, Dec 2, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Awww and here I was thinking I'd have the perfect opportunity to answer a question with a single 3QOspidd7ko[/media]]link :p

    You have achieved the first step - you acknowledge that the company is crap, treats it's staff poorly, and is incapable of change.

    Well done!

    Do the following in order:

    - update your resume.
    - brainstorm possible positions you could move to and decide whether you want new or similar industry.
    - begin applying for some jobs, until you get at least 1 interview and have the opportunity to find out what other places are offering.
    - STAND UP FOR YOURSELF - lose the fear of losing your job. When someone treats you poorly, inform them that this is unacceptable - if they persist, treat them similarly back. If it still persists, tell them to **** off.
    If it's the CEO, then tell them off. Tell them what's what. Do it politely AND forcefully - even if they hate you, they have to respect you for it - and you will feel empowered and incredibly happy.

    - decide whether you just want to get out of there, or whether you want to engineer a situation whereby you get some sort of redundancy or unfair dismissal package [then do your research and be careful - but this means you'll probably have to stay there longer ;( ].

    Know there are companies out there whose top priority is their staff.
    I moved to a company like this a few months ago and have never looked back.

    Greener pastures, matey, greener pastures! :grin:
  6. You've probably heard this already, but write down everything, don't keep a file in your work computer as files are accessable to too many people, and if possible record everything, even if it means taking a small pocket recorder into a meeting. Sometimes even the tiniest slip up by an over eager supervisor/manager or CEO can result in them facing and losing an unfair dismissal case.....

    The end result is, that if they want to get rid of you they will find a way, your job is to make them pay for it.

    Good luck with it.....
  7. That is the best advice here. It really is difficult to get rid of staff (in a medium sized company) and they might just offer you money to leave and end the pain.
  8. Cadbury, I feel for you. I had a similar situation happen to me in 2002. I was coming up to 10 years of service with the large corporate for whom I worked. They didn't want the Long Service Leave accrual on the department's budget so they did everything to make my life unbearable. At 9 years and 10 months the pay rises came in. Despite being allocated an Excellent work appraisal, I only received a pathetic pay rise (and I had taken on more projects during the year), I was peeved to say the least. The Director invited me into her office and said if I was not happy I should go. We bandied that one about for a while with me refusing to go and I said to her "to invite my dismissal is illegal". When I was getting up to leave her office I noticed the dictaphone machine directly in front of where I was sitting. She had been recording me. I then said for the benefit of the tape "This interview has been recorded without my consent and I believe this to be illegal". She went white.

    I spoke to a friend, typed a filenote recording everything that was said, copied it to disk and took it home and I filed a copy with HR, I had some friends still! Yes I could have sued the company, but then I would never have worked in Melbourne again. The Director who interviewed me was married to a very infuential man and my life would have been hell. They also had unlimited funds to fight the case - I do not! Life is like that. For the next two months I kept my head down, cried a lot, before going to work, on the bus and on the way home as the pressure exerted on me to leave was becoming intolerable. But I survived it - just. At 10 years and twenty days I resigned. I won - I got my payout but it was hard work. Don't let them beat you and Yes, write everything down, everything. But don't record the conversations, or meetings without notifying those present - you cannot do that.

    All the best and keep your chin up.
  9. 748, your'e correct, the note taking is very important, but no underhand or illegal moves. They ruin any case.

    I was in a slightly worse position. I was a temporary resident with a work visa tied to my employment. My boss would say 'you're not pulling your weight and people think you're unapproachable' or 'people don't think you'd go the extra mile for them'. When I asked who 'they' were he refused to tell me. Of what little employment law I knew, I know that 'they' at some point have to be named. You can't (or couldn't) sack someone on hearsay. And most people won't collude with their employer for no reason. So I had to bide my time for 3yrs! I then changed to a much better group with fantastic managers and great colleagues.

    Good luck.
  10. #11 removed-6, Dec 2, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015

    Couldn't agree more!

    As you close one door behind you two others open in front of you. Don't be afraid of the unknown, embrace it. Good luck :grin:
  11. What type of organisation is it, what is your position and what do you do ?

    I ask because with over 100 people employed it sounds to me like a well established company.

  12. Thanks for the advice guys, really appreciate it. Now to put it into action. :)
  13. An old job of mine was like that. Worked at a call centre that got taken over by different managers. These managers slowly but surely got rid of all the "old" people that had started before they took over. Dragged me into a meeting saying that my co-workers didn't think I was approachable etc, meanwhile she sat there saying that i was FANTASTIC on the phones (which you would think would be the most important thing being a CALL CENTRE). By this stage I was very much at the stage of "you know what, I don't give a shit if I lose this job anymore" so I was just "whatever" to everything she said. I think that rattled her a little cuz I'd been known to not take shit from her :p

    So yeah, walked out of the meeting, after being told "it's just not working out, people don't think they can get along with you" and then proceeded to have pretty much the entire call centre rallying around me because of course they had no problem with me.

    I wasn't the first, and I certainly wasn't the last. I think there's about three or four original employees left from before being taken over.

    And now, funnily enough, two or three jobs later I'm working directly across the road from them at a pretty great company. I make sure I go over now and then and have lunch with the originals :p

    Managers/higher-ups treat you like shit because you take it, they know it rattles you and they get away with it. Either stick up for yourself or walk away. Things can be real tough when you don't have a job, but you're always slightly happier than you are with money, but dreading going to work everyday.

    My 2c anyway...and take what I say with a grain of salt, i'm only 23 :p
  14. I think it's all pretty well been said above.
    If you put up with something, it WILL get worse. I'd be looking for other work, calling their bluff at every meeting, and keep an eye on the classifieds, there's nothing like seeing your job advertised! :shock:
    Get references from fellow employees, people you can trust in the organisation, you'll surely not get one from your employer by the sounds of it....
    Also be sure and let everyone you work with what they are up to, I bet they are trying it on with them too. Sabotage from within while you can.
    If you've only been there a year or two, you can write the whole thing out of your resume with a bit of skill as well.

    Regards, Andrew.
  15. Hi dude I have been in similair situations over the years and they are never easy.

    One thing to take on board is that in times of stress we sometimes do become a bit short, so just take a moment to do a bit of self analysis. By the way they sound like a great bunch of pricks, do you have saleable skills you could take somewhere else?

    Keep smiling mate it will make them wonder what you are up to! :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:
  16. what state are you in?

    Most states have harrasement laws now.


    Unfortunatly NSW doesn't cover bullying, but hints at it. Certainly bullying won't stand up in court.

    some of the brochures here cover what you need to do.