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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48209
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been suspended from work due to a complaint from a client

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I have been suspended from work due to a complaint from a client who has accused me of stalking her! Briefly I did text her following positive (non-romantic I should state clearly) dialogue between her and myself consisting of discussing difficulties she was having at her work which she had been discussing on her phone with a colleague whilst I was driving her to her place of work. On my side I empathised with her and shared some of my similar experiences. Later on (after normal business hours)I texted her to ask how she had got on. She didn't reply. I didn't text again. However, it appears that she had some link to the "whatsapp" mobile app and from it she deduced that I was stalking her as it said on my profile "last seen at .....such and such a time" If you are familiar with this you will know that this simply means that I was last on the whatsapp program at a certain time, chatting to whoever. It DOES NOT MEAN that I last saw her at such and such a time!. She complained to my company and HR brought me in to make a statement. I had no representation nor was I offered any. I was so shocked at the alligation, frankly I went to pieces. After the interview I was suspended pending a report and further discussion with the complainant. I feel I am being used or set up in some way. What should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The crux of the complaint appears to be twofold - (1) the client thought I was stalking her because she misinterpreted the whatsapp status. I can swear on anything that I don't know anything about her other than her occupation nor do I have the time or inclination to stalk random females! (2) the client cancelled a follow up car service from my employer (I'm a "casual on-call" employee, zero hours contract, minimum wage) because of what she alleged I had done. I am in my mid fifties. I am happily married and I have no need to set about such scandalous disgusting practice such as I am being accused of. The company I am working for seem to be treating it as guilty til proven innocent. I'm not at all happy as I do feel helpess to defend myself apart from make the statement I gave at the interview prior to temporary suspension.What rights and what assistance should I claim?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello how long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
9 years
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Being placed on suspension is not an automatic assumption of guilt and does not amount to disciplinary action. It is there to be used as a precautionary measure whilst an employer investigates any allegations against the employee. Reasons for suspending could be in the case of gross misconduct, breakdown of relationship, risk to an employer's property, their clients or other employees, to preserve evidence or ensure it is not tampered with, avoid potential witnesses being pressured or intimidated, etc. During the period of suspension the employer should conduct a reasonable investigation into the allegations against the employee. It could be an investigatory meeting with you or other witnesses, although I must pint out that you do not have the legal right to be accompanied at such meetings. If the investigation gathers enough evidence to justify the taking disciplinary action that could be the next step. In that case the employee has the right to be informed in advance of the allegations against them and be given the opportunity to prepare for the hearing. On the other hand, if the investigation does not find enough evidence to justify a disciplinary, the employer should terminate the suspension immediately and allow the employee to return to work as normal. So at this stage, you are just suspended and not presumed guilty – it may appear otherwise to you but legally this is you status. You have to wait and see where the employer takes this next. If it is to a disciplinary then as mentioned you will have the full opportunity to prepare yourself and defend the allegations and you will also have the right to be accompanied. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law on misconduct disciplinary proceedings and what is expected of an employer, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Ben I've tried to tip u (afraid it's a nominal amount as I earn £6.91/hr only) thedebit card didn't activate but I'll check later. The report from employer is due tomorrow so I'll be back to u then. This is my first disciplinary in over 40yrs of employment and, to put it bluntly,it's freaking me out. I have a stress related heart condition and it's v v heightened at present. Anyway tks so far
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you and do not worry about a tip, appreciate the thought. Happy to help again if needed