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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50165
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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A year ago in my job I was moved from backshift to dayshift

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A year ago in my job I was moved from backshift to dayshift as I requested which made me happy I then met this polish girl on dayshift as well who seemed really friendly at first and didn’t have any problems at all chatting with me.
One time she was talking to several other people in english in an open discussion and I simply asked her what they were talking about as it didn’t seem private at all. She then turned round and screamed at the top of her voice at me in front of a lot of people saying I was nosey and it was none of my business. I tried to talk to her about it in a more calm manner a few times after that day but she wouldn’t listen to me and be spoken to reason.
I had to make a complaint to the agency as this wasn’t the first time she had shouted at me in front of everyone while team leaders and supervisors either did nothing or laughed from a distance. One of the complaints I made was that I was doing a job myself not bothering anyone, then from out of nowhere she came up to me and started accusing me of telling stories behind her back saying that I was telling people she thought I was sexy. To this day I have no idea where she came up with that idea or who told her that but I didn’t bother with a complaint at the time as we both forgot about the incident the day after and became friends again.
After she had a meeting in the office with my employer after my complaint she pretty much left the room thinking she didn’t do anything wrong and soon after the woman dealing with the situation asked me in the office and told me that she would respect me as a co-worker and wouldn’t shout at me anymore.
Five months have past and despite these promises she made and leaving her alone she still kept on ignoring me when I had to ask her questions about the work and has actually shouted at me a couple of times more when i had to request something from her within the work. I have been very depressed through this period having to wake up every morning feeling like I have been punched in my stomach knowing that I have to come into work walking around eggshells worried what she might do and what she might say as she constantly tells stories about me in polish to all her friends having a laugh at my expense as it all seems to be a big joke to her.
A couple of weeks ago I was brought into the office by a different supervisor from the agency this time and she falsely accused me of following her and “making her feel uncomfortable” because I asked her if she knew the location of the team leader I was looking for as I was told by the team leader herself to go look for her at the department that the girl also so happens to be working in and had nobody else to ask. Yet she seems to have no problems speaking to other men constantly and she felt comfortable around me enough back then to ask me for a lift in my car with no other passengers.
I don’t know where she got that story from where I was following her but it is pretty impossible not to make it seem like that as we work in a small department and walk past each other very often.
This time it was a polish guy who spoke to me in the office and actually have suspicions that he and the girl are pals. I was pretty much accused of being a stalker by him before I even said a word and felt that it was more like a police interrogation than a chat. The woman who dealt with my complaint before actually conducted herself very well, she made notes so she didn’t forget any points, she was more pleasant, took points from both me and the girl fairly and even invited me to come in for a chat again if any more problems arised. The polish guy I thought was abrupt, clearly sided with the girl without much evidence, didn’t seem to take me seriously or believe me, and pretty much closed the door on the matter saying he doesn’t want to hear any more complaints from either me or her as if it was a threat that if he hears anymore about it then I’m sacked.
I tried to say to him that I’ve been depressed for the last few months and that she created this bad atmosphere in the work for me and he just looked at me as if I was ridiculous and told me “I Don’t think so”.
I’m now going into my work even more depressed and more worried as before as I feel that she can make up another story about me following her again and I’ll be paid off.
I feel that it’s only a matter of time when I will be unemployed and the fact that I’m only working for an agency doesn’t fill me with much confidence.
I have worked in this job for 4 years and have given a lot of nice girls a lift to their home in my car in the past and they all seem happy about it including the girl in question.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What would you like to know about your situation please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I would like to know if any action can be taken against the girl falsely accusing me of following her as it looks as though it will lead to my unemployment. I feel like she has used the fact that she is a girl to her advantage and made me look as if i'm a stalker. Surely she can't be allowed to just make up any story she feels like to get me paid off?
It has really effected the way everyone looks at me in work, and if i stay i don't think anyone would trust me anymore after all this.

Whilst this may appear to be a potential case of defamation which is when someone makes a false statement about someone else (this includes libel if it is in written form, or slander if it is in oral form), such claims are extremely difficult to pursue. Many people are intent on suing for defamation without having any appreciation of the law behind them, so I will try and clear things up for you now.
First of all, certain conditions must be met for the statement to be classified as defamatory. These are:
1. The statement has to be untrue.
2. It must directly identify the complainant.
3. It must have been published, usually communicated to at least another person.
4. It must be in a form of words, which would tend to lower the claimant in the estimation of ‘right thinking members of society generally', expose the claimant to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or cause the claimant to be shunned or avoided.
5. Its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant.
Whilst it may be easy to prove that defamation has occurred, the legal process of pursuing such a claim is extremely complex and expensive. As this goes through the High Court, you would need the professional help of specialist defamation solicitors and the costs are undoubtedly going to run into the thousands right at the outset. Also there is no legal aid available for such claims so the complainant must fund these personally. So when you hear about defamation claims being made, these are usually pursued by big corporations or celebrities who have a public image to protect.
You must also consider whether the party alleged of making the defamatory statement can defend the claim. Even if you satisfy the criteria to prove the statement was defamatory it could be defended on a number of grounds, including by providing evidence that the statement was substantially true or an honest opinion.
There is of course nothing stopping you from contacting the other party and threatening them that what they have done amounts to defamation and that you will consider pursuing the matter further if they do not retract their statement. This could prompt them to reconsider their position, but I would not recommend that you actually proceed with a claim for defamation due to the issues highlighted above.
You could also pursue this matter internally by raising a grievance with the employer. This is an internal complaint that the employer should investigate and deal with as they find appropriately.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Recently the girl was asking everyone at the work for a signature on card and money towards a present for someone else at the work leaving me out, disapointed by this I had to find the courage to ask her if I can sign this card. She said the card was at home and will get it the next day. The next day arrived she got someone else to give the card to me instead of her asking me herself. I said to her as I was walking by to collect some work “I’m not following you” (which may have been a stupid thing to do) then she went into a fit of rage shouting Leave me alone, You’re causing a scene, You started all this and also telling me to F*** Off in front of everyone a couple of times.
Even after all of that the polish supervisor from the agency had another meeting with me more or less making out the temper and the language she used on me was justified just because I said “I’m not following you” which I think is a bit ridiculous as she made it into a bigger deal than it actually was. He will be speaking to management to see what will happen to me on Monday.

I work colleague of mine has told me that she has done this to two other boys which unfortunately aren’t working in the job anymore (not to the same extreme as me) but surely this proves that she has a problem with her temper and it’s not a problem with me?

It does not prove it but it would show that this may be what she is like. However as mentioned defamation is not the way to go this is something which needs to be dealt with internally with the employers help. That is why a grievance is the best option here. Hope this clarifies things a bit more for you?
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Well we had a meeting and the managers have told us to act like adults and respect each other, so i'm fairly happy with that.