Grievance upheld against serial bully...mediation??

(35 Posts)
winterpansy Fri 14-Dec-12 20:52:04

Hello,
I am going through a bit of a hard time at the minute and could do with some advice. I've been off work on work-related stress for 6 weeks now and on 8th Oct I submitted a grievance of bullying, harrassment and discrimination against the CEO. It's a small organisation of just 5 people so you can imagine this was incredibly difficult to get the guts to actually go raise the complaint. There was an investigation which has uncovered that 2 previous female staff members left because of his behaviour, there has been a previous grievance upheld against him for similar reasons and yet he has got away with this for years because the board have essentially let him.

I found out on Wednesday that my grievance was also upheld - in full. There were 17 examples of his behaviour in my complaint and each one was proved to be true. The investigator told me that he presented his report into the grievance and exposed the truth about this man's serial bullying and abuse of women. The Chair of the Board told me I would hear today what the outcome would be. I found it strange that he didn't tell me what it was straight away but was ready to celebrate getting rid of the evil man.

So, as you can imagine, I was full of the joys of Spring as I wrongly assumed that as he has been found guilty of gross misconduct, he would be dismissed.
This meant I could go back to my job, which I enjoy, and start to ttc DC2 as DH and I had been planning.

Today I recieved the outcome of my grievance -they want me to go for mediation with this man through ACAS! That's it. The only outcome. I am devastated that he is not even being disciplined for his behaviour and has got away with this again. I have appealed the decision and am waiting to get a date back for the meeting but assuming the appeal will not change anything, I am going to have to hand my notice in. I can't work with him. Is this good enough grounds for constructive dismissal? I know it's really hard to prove it in an ET but the guy who did the report is willing to be a witness, as are the other people who left the company because of him.

I'm just rambling now but would appreciate any feedback anyone may have. I'm so stressed and upset.

winterpansy Thu 28-Feb-13 14:42:28

Aw, thanks so much cheddar. We're going to put the money to good use by paying off a loan and enrolling me on a new course so it will benefit me long-term. It'll also give us a bit of a cushion to soften the blow of having to go p-t. Might have to buy DS a wee present though!

You're right, he's not My Problem anymore. Thank goodness for that smile

CheddarGorgeous Thu 28-Feb-13 09:24:50

thanks for you Winter, well done for seeing it through, now try to forget about him and think about how the money will help you.

Ignore evil CEO - he sounds like he will never learn or change but he is Not Your Problem now.

winterpansy Wed 27-Feb-13 19:42:38

Final update - settled out of court for £5.5k. Once fees are out of the way I walk away with almost £4.5k. I've kept my dignity and while they are not admitting liability, they are not giving me that amount because they like me!

I'm just glad it's over. I'll never let anyone treat me like that again so a lesson has been learnt and I can finally start to get over this whole debacle for good.

I'm going to have to see evil CEO at a conference soon but I shall hold my head high while shitting myself in case he has a go!

Thanks everyone for all your comments over the last few months. Much appreciated thanks

winterpansy Thu 21-Feb-13 22:22:57

I know, it would make you sick. I did my best but can't fight them anymore. They, and he, are never going to change.
The sector I work in is so badly regulated for this sort of thing - even when public funding is paying for all the investigations/court setttlements etc.
But, I'm moving on. Hurray!

CheddarGorgeous Thu 21-Feb-13 21:59:57

Well done Winter, have commented up thread but NC'd since.

Good for you but how galling that this prick is still getting away with this shit. When will the Board realise?!

winterpansy Thu 21-Feb-13 15:07:07

Hello everyone,

Just popped by with an update.

Basically, they are trying to settle out of court with me for around 5-7.5k. I'd be happy enough with this (legal costs will be 1k) but to get to this point the board actually asked me to go back (!) and also to attend more bloody mediation with the CEO and the Chair even though I'd left. I told them where to go!

I'm hoping it gets settled soon as I am fed up to the back teeth of it all. I've start my new pt job and I love it. The boss is ace and the work is very flexible and rewarding. I've landed on my feet here!

In the meantime, the CEO has had another grievance of sexual harrassment brought against him and this time the board have talked the employee involved into retracting it and trying to sort it out informally, even though he agressively spoke to her about making allegations of sexual harrassment before Christmas (as per my last post) and she went off on stress for a month too. Think she's going to have to quit too. The saga continues.

I am again and again astounded at the incompetance of these people. Unbelievable. So glad to be away from it all.

I'll come back and update if/when we settle. If not, I'll be on asking for ET advice! Hope yours is going ok badmiss

Thanks again for all your comments and support through this.

BadMissM Sat 19-Jan-13 19:29:53

In the middle of an ET myself...with no supoort. It's a long slog, but you are better off getting out of there by yourself. Staying only made it worse for me, I was determined not to be bullied out, but when it's management you have no chance of staying realistically. Good luck!

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sat 19-Jan-13 18:44:54

Hurray for Winter.

Enjoy the Champagne and your new job. Keep us posted re the ET too. smile

TheDailyWail Sat 19-Jan-13 15:49:34

You will be well rid of them. It sounds as if your new job will be wonderful. Good luck with your New job and ttc. I have been through some old documents and I found my resignation letter and 2 grievance letters from the job from he'll 3 years ago. I am on my second job since then and both have been wonderful work places. It's wonderful when you enjoy your job but when it is intolerable it takes over your life, affects your sleep, health and eating.

winterpansy Thu 17-Jan-13 22:26:17

Hi there daily! Thanks so much for your message. I met with my new boss on Tuesday and she is totally lovely - and I've had two offers of freelance work this week too so things are looking up.

Yes, it was totally lovely of my Uncle. His background is management consultancy so he can see how awful the whole thing is for me and how badly they have behaved.

My official end date is tomorrow and I'm going to break my no drinking prep for ttc dc2 to crack open a bottle of champagne grin

Interestingly though, the Board didn't know I'd lodged the ET claim until I copied them all into my resignation and it was mentioned in that so there have been emergency meetings taking place this week and someone else has gone on stress leave because the CEO confronted her about the fact she had been mouthing off about him making sexual advances to her. It's a total mess and I am so happy to be rid of them all!

TheDailyWail Tue 15-Jan-13 22:40:37

fingers crossed for your new job. wasn't that lovely of your uncle to offer financial support to take this to court?

winterpansy Sat 05-Jan-13 22:18:45

Thank you! I am indeed in a much better place mentally to get through this. I've had incredible support from friends and family - who are all outraged and incensed on my behalf. Getting the new job has given me a little more confidence (it's been waning for some time due to the CEO behaviour) and I can't wait to get stuck into it. It won't pay as much but will be very rewarding, I'll have more time with DS and we will just about manage financially so all is good and I'm very optimistic. And...I'll hopefully never have to see anyone involved in this every again. That's a winner in itself!

Yes, arseholes they are indeed. Incompetent, arrogant, obtuse, cold, moronic…I could go on grin

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sat 05-Jan-13 22:07:46

I've been following your thread, so sorry you have been treated like this but glad you are finding your way through.

What arseholes your board are!

winterpansy Sat 05-Jan-13 22:01:25

Hello - I have an update!

Well, they turned down the compromise agreement offer before Christmas as 'they did not have enough time to consider it properly as it was too short notice to get the board together'(!) so my solicitor submitted the ET Claim for Sex Discrimination.

So, I haven't resigned yet but have managed to get a part-time job (which I'm very happy about!) starting in a few weeks so need to speak to the solicitor to see how/when to go about it. I've heard nothing from work at all apart from when i send in my sick notes.

My Uncle/Godfather has offered to give me money to take this to court and turn down any offered settlements (if they appear!) but I think I just want it all over and done with as soon as possible. Once I start my new job we will be ttc DC2 and I just want to concentrate on my family without this nonsense hanging over me.

My colleague/friend who still currently works there is applying for jobs left, right and centre so if she gets one of them we will be overjoyed that their incompetance will have lost them 50% of the staff and there will be serious questions asked!

But, I'm in much better form about it all and am a lot less stressed. The Christmas break from it all did me the world of good!

winterpansy Sat 22-Dec-12 14:11:59

Thanks autumn I hope your husband's case goes as easily as possible. It's an awful thing to have to go through - most people just want to go to work, do a good job and then go home with no hassle!

flowery Yes, it all seems straight forward and there is no way they can deny any of the stuff that is in the claim form so I am hopeful they will even settle before the 28 days they have to give their response. PR wise, I work for a publically funded company who are under scrutiny quite a bit so it would be very damaging for them if this gets out. I actually feel much better about the whole thing now the claim has gone it - I feel some satisfaction that after the holidays they will be receiving notice of my claim. I'd love to see their faces!
So, I'm not resigning until I absolutely have to so they have a chance to accept the CA. Thanks for your comments.

I'll update after Christmas. Have a good one everybody!

flowerytaleofNewYork Fri 21-Dec-12 11:37:49

Hopefully it won't be a long game at all, as I'm sure they'll want to settle quickly.

I agree with your solicitor OP. With constructive dismissal it's difficult and lengthy because often there's a lot of he said she said with mud being thrown on both sides and very subjective information being given.

This case is very different because your grievance was upheld, ie they do not deny what happen or think that it was acceptable. There is no dispute as to who's in the wrong and to the facts, which is fantastic.

When a very senior member of staff is involved, especially the CEO, taking action is very difficult and sensitive, and in a small organisation even more so.

It's clear that one of you had to go, and it looks like getting rid of the CEO wasn't something they felt able/willing to do, or at least not this soon. You'd hope he'd fall on his sword given the very vulnerable position he's put the organisation in, and the PR risks involved, but that's not happened yet anyway.

I would expect them to offer to settle pretty soon. You are in a strong position so hold out for a decent settlement, and get a very good reference agreed as well.

Autumnchill Fri 21-Dec-12 07:39:57

I feel for you as I know how consuming it can be. My Husband is going through an ET at the moment and the date set is over a year after he left employment.

All I can suggest is take the solicitors advice and play the long game. I think once you resign you will feel like a weight is off your shoulders but don't expect it to be a quick process and you'll go through all sorts of emotions but don't lose sight of the fact that you are in the right.

winterpansy Thu 20-Dec-12 22:00:20

Thanks mythreeknight Haven't been back to ttc thread for a few days as I am so down about having to wait.

Update!
Basically, I asked could I appeal and pointed out exactly how ludacrious the idea of mediation was. I was told I could not appeal and to let them know within 7 days if I was going to accept mediation. Which I clearly wasn't going to. So I saw a solicitor who says I have an excellent case for sex discrimination especially as the company upheld the grievance themselves! But in order for me to move on swiftly, he offered them a compromise agreement for a few months wages, references etc. but there was a time limit on the offer as we needed to launch ET proceedings soon. They refused the CA and said they were dismayed at the time limit (!) as they could not convene the board in time to make a decision.

So ET claim is being launched tomorrow. I am desperately hoping they settle out of court if they meet after Christmas but the ET is insurance anyway. I need to resign though so am going to ask solicitor tomorrow when is the best time to do this.

I'm losing my mind with all this sad

Mythreeknights Mon 17-Dec-12 09:28:09

And remember Lear (or was it Hamlet) "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned".

Mythreeknights Mon 17-Dec-12 09:27:38

Hi winterpansy, just popped over from the 'slightly pointless' forum to see more about your work situation...sounds terrible and no wonder you are gutted. Sandripples seems to have some solid advice and it's great that you are seeing your solicitor. Whilst it is grossly unfair that you are having to job-hunt and be the one to move away, if you can get a good financial package from your worthless board members to cushion to blow as it were, then perhaps you will feel some degree of closure over this situation in the future.
As revenge is best served cold, perhaps a nice little 'leak' to the local paper once you have spoken to your solicitor would be satisfying?
Good luck xx

winterpansy Sun 16-Dec-12 13:46:03

Thanks monster and sand I am meeting a solicitor friend for coffee tomorrow and have sent her all my info. She will give me coaching for the appeal meeting and then we will get cracking officially on the case.
I feel so ill because of all this. I just want to go to work in a safe environment but that cannot be the case in this place so it's time to go - but I may as well cause them as much of a headache as possible.

Thanks again everyone.

sandripples Sat 15-Dec-12 20:57:41

I'm an HR manager and I agree you need legal advice. I think you also might have an option of making a claim without resigning - please ask your solicitor about this - it might be that you could make a claim and then the solicitor would seek an arrangement for you to leave with a settlement - you might not feel this is justice but it could potentially be less stressful for you, and leave you with a financial cushion plus an agreed positive reference, before you finally leave.

A strong letter from your solicitor about why you will not countenance mediation is probably the first next step anyway - solicitor will need to have sight of the employer's policies on bullying and also misconduct.

monsterchild Sat 15-Dec-12 19:46:56

Also raise the issue with your solicitor that they KNOW about his behaviors from previous employees, and that they CONTINUE to allow him to act this way. That may lead to grounds for punitive damages against the BOARD, not just him. As is should.

monsterchild Sat 15-Dec-12 19:45:51

It sounds like you have a good case for constructive dismissal. especially since it's not typical to handle bullying and threats with mediation, especially after he's been found to have done those things.

I think solicitor is the way to go. It could be the Board will change their tune when they discover that keeping him will cost them more than dismissing him.

Good luck!

BluelightsAndSirens Sat 15-Dec-12 19:42:06

It sounds like a dreadful situation to be in, I hope you can find new employment and be able to move on.

Have some more good luck.

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