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Harassment and wrongful dismissal?

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  • Harassment and wrongful dismissal?

    Hi

    I was recently fired for sending a contractor some wrong information. My employer said that this amounted to gross misconduct and fired me on the spot. They did not carry out an investigation or give me a warning nor did they tell me that I could appeal. Because it was gross misconduct, they said that I was not entitled to my notice pay of two months.

    During my employment, I was also subject to several comments from my boss who made fun of my hair colour and suggested that it made me stupid. He also made hurtful comments about my hair colour on several different occasions. I am wondering whether this is harassment?

    I am at a loose end really and not sure how to proceed from here. I spoke to someone who works for ACAS and she said she was unsure about the harassment incident. Any advice would be welcome.

    Thanks, Sophia.
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  • #2
    Re: Harassment and wrongful dismissal?

    Tagging [MENTION=51026]Ula[/MENTION] [MENTION=26290]mariefab[/MENTION]
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    • #3
      Re: Harassment and wrongful dismissal?

      Sorry to hear about your situation. Just one question I need to ask is how long were you employed at the company? Unfortunately, if you have less than 2 years’ service, you can be (fairly) dismissed without youremployer giving any reason at all.

      Did you raise the issue about the comments made by your boss at the time they happened and how long ago did they happen?

      What type of wrong information did you give the contractor - was it sensitive information?

      In regard to your dismissal for gross misconduct if they are following a fair process then you should be given the right of appeal and certainly if you had more than 2 years service they should have informed you of this right. In regard to your notice period unfortunately dismissal for gross misconduct does allow an employer not to pay notice.
      I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
      If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


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      • #4
        Re: Harassment and wrongful dismissal?

        Hi. I was employed for four years.

        The contractor was given some information by mistake. I asked my colleague to print out information in an email and put it in an envelope. It would then be signed off by me. Unfortunately, in the email was a letter from my manager who made some unsavoury remarks about the contractor. This was attached in the printouts. It was an honest, albeit careless, mistake. It is such a stupid mistake. As soon as I became aware of what happened, I informed my manager but then I was sacked for gross misconduct. I had never had a warning prior to then and always received good feedback in appraisals.

        The comments were made on several occasions. I did not make any comment and couldn't tell my manager as it was him that was making the remarks. On several occasions, he made disparaging remarks about blonde women and always told them in my company. He even made a comment to me in rage on one occasion and called me a stupid blonde b****. My colleagues found this funny, however, I did not.

        I was not informed of a right to appeal. I was called in for a discussion with my manager who then dismissed me on the spot. He sent me a letter a few days later confirming it. That was it. No information about an investigation or whether I could appeal.

        ACAS did mention the possibility of wrongful dismissal.

        Sophia

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        • #5
          Re: Harassment and wrongful dismissal?

          Before you were called in for a discussion with your manager had you been:

          1. formally invited in writing to the meeting with it being described as a disciplinary meeting,
          2. provided full details of the allegations,
          3. provided any documentary evidence that they were going to rely on in the meeting,
          4. given the right to be accompanied,
          5. informed of the possible outcome of the meeting i.e. dismissal due to gross misconduct?

          Following your dismissal did you get a letter detailing the outcome of the "meeting"? I know you were not told you had the right to appeal but just need to know what they did tell you.

          Depending in the answers you provide then I believe that ACAS may well be right.
          I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
          If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


          You canít always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

          You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.



          If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Harassment and wrongful dismissal?

            Nothing was really said at the time. the next day I was called into the office to say I was going to be sacked. I was given no warning or indication of a disciplinary procedure. He said that because he thought this was gross misconduct that I was dismissed immediately. He then followed this up with a letter. The letter was simply confirmation of termination for gross dismissal. It did not say anything about an appeal or that the decision was made following a disciplinary process. Even if they can prove that my conduct was gross misconduct, does this mean that I cannot claim? THis doesn't seem fair and is all very stressful for me.

            I got an email from ACAS who said that because I had a pay in lieu of notice clause, that I may be able to claim wrongful dismissal as well as unfair dismissal because it is unlikely that my conduct was gross misconduct. They also said on the phone that it may be possible to claim for harassment on the grounds of sex because of the comments about me and women in general. Tried looking for information online but not sure.

            Comment

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