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Thread: Victimisation and bullying

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    Victimisation and bullying

    This issue involves a family member. She has been appointed to do "branch administration" at international company.
    Due to inefficiencies by others, she has acquainted herself with virtual everyone's tasks, and can at this stage do most of their work, if needed (needed in terms of the fact that if she does not do what is required by others, she cannot do her part of that task).
    She has also been trained in a course (cannot be mentioned here as that will identify her) which is specialised, and has the effect that it creates a proper trail of events, and responsibilities, steps to be followed to achieve a certain task, and is used to audit the results, if any queries arise. This result of these task is a internationally standard and is used as a legally acceptable result or outcome which is internationally accepted.

    Since she started to work at the firm she had applied numerous times for promotions whenever the positions became vacant, but has always failed to be promoted. Persons with less skills were appointed, and persons from outside the company were appointed in these positions.

    Since she started to work at the firm, she has had her "job description" changed numerous times to include work that needed to be done as and when these skills were lost by persons who resigned, or had been dismissed, to cover for that work. She was not awarded any compensation for this, nor any promotion. She was also not consulted with the addition of these tasks, and was not given any option but to just accept the situation. She can, at this point do most of the work of her colleagues due to this, and their failure to do their work.

    She is being harassed and bullied by a senior manager, with the branch manager and certain staff supporting this campaign, which is responsible for the South African and African Operations of the company she works for.

    At this point in time the harassment and bullying has escalated to the point that she she -

    1. Has been instructed (senior manager) that she will not do certain tasks, which has to do with the training she received, and notified that she will never be appointed in that position. Should she not adhere to this instruction, she will be dismissed. When he gave this instruction, she was told that she will get an email to this effect.
    Problem is that she still continuously gets instructions from her direct manager to do such work, and when she queries it as per her instruction above, she is also instructed by her branch manager to do that work. Effectively she is being forced to disregard the instruction from the senior manager. When she enquires about the email that was going to be sent, it is laughed off.
    2. She has now been instructed to keep a record of what work she is doing on a daily basis, and report that via email to the branch manager. When she sent this report, she was told that they want it in an hourly format, every day. This is clearly intended to intimidate and humiliate her, as no one else has to do this.
    3. She has now received a written "instruction" from another manager (of a different race) from this branch to do certain things - work related, but he tells her he loves her etc.! totally inappropriate. It seems that this vendetta has now given other persons the idea that she is "free game". She is scared to address this issue, as she has a family member which she is scared will be terminated, as he is on a short term contract.

    This is obviously busy taking its toll on her health as she is in a permanent state of being anxious, and tense, with the related health effects of knotted stomach etc. She is busy developing n ulcer.

    There is also no chance of getting her HR to investigate this issue, as with this managerís seniority he is well connected with these departments. He had been investigated for allegations of corruption a few years ago, charges which were filed by her then branch manager, apparently with sufficient evidence, but witnesses failed to materialise at that stage, and the investigation abandoned.(Read interference and his senior position in the company). It would seem that she is suspected in having part in this allegations, even though she has only been employed at this company for a mere few months at the time of these allegations being made. Interestingly, that branch manager has also been gotten rid of, as has been another employee at this branch. When this employee were dismissed, the senior managers words was - one more to go!

    Unofficial enquiries to another senior manager about the fact that she always gets overseen with regards to promotions, resulted in him admitting that the reason for this being overseen, is personal and from the senior manager. He will not acknowledge this officially.

    Another interesting point is that this senior manager intends to move his office to this branch and operate from this base. another reason to get rid of anyone that he does not want around.

    This is a long post, and from where I stand I cannot see that there could be any recourse for her to take, as this guy has obviously got the right influence at all the levels of this organisation to enable him to do as he pleases?

    Any ideas?




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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I think that the senior manager might be up to no good and he is scared of her figuring it out. Few people have access to all that is needed to piece a puzze together and I get the feeling that he is trying to block her from seeing a bigger picture.

    Most companies love muli-skilled people who are able to slot in anywhere....why doesn't he....

    Food for thought...
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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    Silver Member bones's Avatar
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    this is what you get if you don't have
    a union to report to or hr

    if this company is so big why not go
    over there heads surly they also have
    a boss and if she as good as you
    pointed out she is then i would
    personally find other work

    what i would do is print all the
    emails out and go to the ccma or
    big boss if they have one and ask
    for help he the big boss is willing
    or if the ccma can help she needs
    professional help

    but sadly according to the some
    professionals on this forum that
    if you do go to the ccma that you
    will find it very hard to get a job
    again i can provide links if you
    want so this makes this type of
    victimization easy to get away with

    so i am sorry to say this but she is
    in a corner sadly i cannot give you
    any sound advice other then hope
    she can find a boss that will help
    or a labor professional and or ccma

    sorry man i really am
    seek professional help with anything and everything never take advice from me

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    Silver Member Greig Whitton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bones View Post
    if she as good as you pointed out she is then i would personally find other work
    I agree. She might have grounds for a legal claim (more on that in a moment), but if she "has acquainted herself with virtual [sic] everyone's tasks" and "has also been trained in a course which is specialised" then why not move somewhere where she won't be under-paid and under-appreciated? Excellent administrative skills are always in demand.

    The one issue where she might have a clear legal claim is this:

    Quote Originally Posted by rcb View Post
    Since she started to work at the firm, she has had her "job description" changed numerous times to include work that needed to be done as and when these skills were lost by persons who resigned, or had been dismissed, to cover for that work. She was not awarded any compensation for this, nor any promotion. She was also not consulted with the addition of these tasks, and was not given any option but to just accept the situation.
    Assuming this is true, this essentially amounts to "wage discrimination" and is unlawful under the amended Employment Equity Act. The addition of new responsibilities might also constitute a unilateral change to her terms of employment, which is also unlawful.

    The alleged harassment and bullying might be grounds for a constructive dismissal claim, but I suspect that's a long shot.

    Founder of Evergrow - Helping South African business owners grow their business without the growing pains

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    It is not uncommon in the workplace that people are appointed to managerial positions, with no real managerial seniority, and such a person becomes the go to person, for simply anything. I don't think she has much chance of successfully making a case at present, so I would suggest the following: 1 Create a paper trail, i.e if one senior says "Do not ...), confirm this in writing, if another then says "Do..." confirm this in writing, and cc the former, forcing them to get their ducks in a row as to what the instruction needs to be. 2 Regarding doing the work of others, she needs to institute corrective action against those non-performers, but we all know it is easier to just do it yourself and get it done. This approach creates pressure (crisis management) on the latter and allows the former to continue with their irresponsible ways. Sure, this puts a spanner in the works, but if not addressed, nothing will change. Lastly, the most important issue is CYA (cover your behind). Do what you need to do properly, don't accept responsibility for the incompetence of others, and allow the organisational structure to fall flat on its face, if senior management fails to address weaknesses. Bearing in mind, that all senior management sees, is that the business is running, unless the hick-ups are allowed to be shown up.

    If all of this fails, and she has sufficient recorded and verified evidence, a case could be made. (This is a common problem in the workplace and one could say a lot more.)

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    Good afternoon guys, just a thank you for your replies - it's highly appreciated.

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    How did this turn out?

    I agree with the paper trail. Where contradictory instructions are received, point it out to all involved and request clear instructions. In the meantime, follow her direct managers instructions. If he goes against his manager, its up to the senior manager to discipline her manager, not her.

    Regarding the terms of endearment, request him to stop (be formal but short "this is inappropriate") in writing. Be proactive. Mail hr or your manager requesting clarity and documentation on the company stance and disciplinary code regarding sexual harassment. Cc mr love in that mail. He will get the picture.

    Sounds like she is not enjoying her work and should move on to where she is appreciated, or open her mouth and clearly point out the contradictions.

    If she is a very emotional person, it may be that she is making mountains of mole heaps by panicking and feeling victimized when she should just be assisting in refining the process and communication. I've seen that happen where the "victim" turns itself into the transgressor by always complaining about things and pointing fingers where its not appropriate so be wary if that too.

    Sent from my Z30 using Tapatalk

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