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Grounds for grievance or apology from employer?

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  • Grounds for grievance or apology from employer?

    I have been a loyal and happy worker at my company for 4 or so years. I work closely with a small team (of 4 "colleagues"), each of whom have expressed (to varying degrees) concern at the operating and management of the company over the last year. To a lesser extent I agree but have not been as vocal. These views have been shared amongst us in private conversations away from management, and oftern with a sense of humour attached (we are friends as well as colleagues and will oftern try to lessen the weight of situations by being lighthearted with each other). This obviously sits alongside some serious concerns put forward. The colleagies have also talked about their dissatisfaction with salary, given their hard work and success of our company. They have made these feelings clear on multiple occassions to the directors. On the contrary, I am satisfied with my salary.

    The directors of the company have somehow caught wind of my colleagues' wider dissatisfaction and unhappiness at work. They eventually called each one of us into individual private meetings to discuss our concerns and hopes for the future (4 meetings for 4 of us, with 2-3 drectors present for each). They have assumed I am just as disgruntled as them, and here's where the problem for me starts:

    In my meeting I am told on numerous (4/5) times, that 'if I want to leave the company, we will help you". I am surprised at this as have NEVER told them I'm thinking of leaving. I believe I have been seen as guilty of causing trouble in the ranks and judged by association with others. Even after telling them 'I've never said I want to leave', and that 'I'd prefer we didn't talk about it', they repeated their statement about assisting me leaving if needed. Furthermore they told me "it's a lot easier getting another job whilst you're already employed". This sounded like they were trying to convince me to leave the company. (Constructive dismissal?) .I love(d) my job and work hard all the time for the success of the business. I do not deserve this intimidation.

    After the meeting I felt terrible. Sick in the stomach (that knot feeling), loss of appetite, raked by anxiety, unable to sleep, unable to interact with my partner and loved ones. I felt worthless, undervalued, insulted and extremelty upset for days after. Crying on multiple occassions, including to HR.

    This all took me by surprise and caused me great distress and discomfort. What should I do? Raise a grievance? Demand an apology?
    Thank you.
    Last edited by el_geos; 20th December 2020, 02:44:AM.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    In my personal experience any action you might do in retaliation risks making things worse. I suggest putting your head down and remembering actions speak louder than words. It appears you have been the fall guy. Who put the thoughts to the directors about what was been said ?
    Sorry, but at work don't say anything you wouldn't mind being on the News. Look after your own wellbeing and be an exemplary employee.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Scot22 View Post
      In my personal experience any action you might do in retaliation risks making things worse. I suggest putting your head down and remembering actions speak louder than words. It appears you have been the fall guy. Who put the thoughts to the directors about what was been said ?
      Sorry, but at work don't say anything you wouldn't mind being on the News. Look after your own wellbeing and be an exemplary employee.
      The others involved faced the same meeting and share similar feelings to me, so I don't think I'm the fall guy for the group.
      The directors caught wind of it simply through reading various comments, noticing a drop in happiness, active participation etc. Nothing I have said in the past has caused them concern. And being an exemplary employee is what I've always been, this is why these perceptions against me hurt so much and are so unfair.

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      • #4
        Hope I've not unintentionally caused any offence. I understand your hurt.

        ​​​​​It is surprising that the directors have picked up on general feeling but not thought more deeply about record of people involved. If they are trying to shed an employee for economic reasons, don't make it easy for them, dig in. Did they say something similar to the others ?

        I'm liberated after decades of work, so it's easy for me to say look after your health. All things pass.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Scot22 View Post
          Hope I've not unintentionally caused any offence. I understand your hurt.

          ​​​​​It is surprising that the directors have picked up on general feeling but not thought more deeply about record of people involved. If they are trying to shed an employee for economic reasons, don't make it easy for them, dig in. Did they say something similar to the others ?

          I'm liberated after decades of work, so it's easy for me to say look after your health. All things pass.
          No not any offence taken at all! I really appreciate your reply.

          Yeah it's dissapointing they didn't provide evidence when they mentioned comments made by the team in front of me, implying that I am at least partly responsible. Sure I might not have condenmed these comments and I may have gone along with them, but they were not serious or malicious comments in the first place.

          They are not shedding for economic reasons no. I will have to stand my ground. And then reconsider my options in the future. But I really want an apology for how they've made me feel. It was shocking.

          Comment


          • #6
            Good for you standing your ground. Personally, I wouldn't attach any value to an apology. Doubt it they would be ready to do that anyway. You are right to look after your job prospects.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by el_geos View Post
              I have been a loyal and happy worker at my company for 4 or so years. .... They have made these feelings clear on multiple occassions to the directors. On the contrary, I am satisfied with my salary.

              ... They have assumed I am just as disgruntled as them, and here's where the problem for me starts:

              ... .I love(d) my job and work hard all the time for the success of the business. I do not deserve this intimidation.

              After the meeting I felt terrible. Sick in the stomach (that knot feeling), loss of appetite, raked by anxiety, unable to sleep, unable to interact with my partner and loved ones. I felt worthless, undervalued, insulted and extremelty upset for days after. Crying on multiple occassions, including to HR.

              This all took me by surprise and caused me great distress and discomfort. What should I do? Raise a grievance? Demand an apology?
              Thank you.
              Sorry, but I'm a bit confused...

              Surely during the meeting you pointed out quite clearly to them that you were happy in your job, that you were satisfied with your salary, and that you had no desire or wish to leave the company? You could have dissociated yourself from your colleagues by saying something like "I'm not sure exactly how my colleagues feel, but I for one am more than happy working here and would not want to leave." What makes you think they didn't believe you when you explained this to them?

              Forget the idea of a complaint or grievance - if they aren't already thinking of getting rid of you, you don't want to put the thought in their heads! Why don'tyou just ask one of the directors? Say you were a bit confused by them saying they would help you to leave and ask what they meant. Emphasise you are very happy working there and don't want to leave.



              Comment


              • #8
                I think that is an excellent idea.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Manxman View Post

                  Sorry, but I'm a bit confused...

                  Surely during the meeting you pointed out quite clearly to them that you were happy in your job, that you were satisfied with your salary, and that you had no desire or wish to leave the company? You could have dissociated yourself from your colleagues by saying something like "I'm not sure exactly how my colleagues feel, but I for one am more than happy working here and would not want to leave." What makes you think they didn't believe you when you explained this to them?

                  Forget the idea of a complaint or grievance - if they aren't already thinking of getting rid of you, you don't want to put the thought in their heads! Why don'tyou just ask one of the directors? Say you were a bit confused by them saying they would help you to leave and ask what they meant. Emphasise you are very happy working there and don't want to leave.


                  Hi Manxman,
                  Sorry christmas got in the way of my reply.

                  In response to your first paragraph, yes in the meeting I did make it clear I was happy with my job and salary. I also made it clear I didn't want to leave. I think they didn't believe me entirely because they see my team as a collective, so when there is disgruntlement by one, they believe we are all in on it together (plotting and scheming away in the background etc). But this isn't true. Sure as a team we joke around behind the scenes in private messages (as any close knit team would) but I've never personally been rude or rebellious towards the directors. They simply distrust us.

                  To your second paragraph: so related to this situation, I had a disciplinary hearing earlier this month for absurb reasons put against me. But all still in the context that the directors think I have been problematic. As a result I received a warning (which I simply don't have the energy to appeal), but also a 'mediation session' with the CEO to understand his view. I can also express my views at this session without worrying about being dismissed (as was a possibility in the disciplinary hearing).

                  Comment

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