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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have been discriminated and bullied and harassed for 3

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I have been discriminated and bullied and harassed for 3 years and been called piece of shit which I raised concern with managers and also told that person to apologise but she didn’t want to do it. As managers never wanted to deal with my 20 grievances I got upset and told them that I will get legal involved.After few days managers told me that staff who bullied me have complained about me but didn't want to say what about. They told me there will be an investigation into complaints. The investigator ask me questions regarding my grievances and did not ask me anything about others complaining about me. After when investigator finished with interviewing everyone she told me that my grievances were not upheld and one grievance of bully was upheld and that I have to go to disciplinary hearing.I was really shocked and at the same time angry. I told the investigator what did I do to go to disciplinary hearing . She didn’t want to say and said you will be emailed of what the allegations were against me. When I received an email I could not believe that this horrible person lied about me that I called her page 3 and also managers lied that they heard me saying it 5 times. I just could not believe they would plant this. I never been told about this allegations or had any meeting with managers regarding this allegations or was either worn about inappropriate behaviour. I have been set up and don’t know what to do. What would be my defence?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. In the circumstances your defence would simply have to be an assertion that you did not say the things you are alleged to have said and to ask for more objective evidence to back this up – such as other independent witness evidence, otherwise it is simply your word against the accuser’s and you should remind the employer that they need to be careful of using such evidence alone to discipline you. Whilst there is nothing stopping them from actually taking disciplinary action against you because of this, if they were to make a formal decision, such as a warning or dismissal, then that could be challenged if it was simply based on evidence provided by one person, or people with a history of issues between you and them. If the outcome is a negative one against you, then you will have the option of challenging it further, such as by claiming unfair dismissal in the event of a dismissal.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have to challenge any formal decision taken against you, 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, there is no extra cost and 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.
What advice can you give me in terms of the rights?

I will explain what is required of an employer in these circumstances. Alleged misconduct, such as the allegations here, is a common reason for taking disciplinary action against an employee. It could be due either to a single serious act of misconduct or a series of less serious acts over a period of time.

In order to justify that disciplinary action on grounds of misconduct was fair, the law requires that the employer:

· Conducts a reasonable investigation;

· Follows a fair disciplinary procedure; and

· Shows they had reasonable grounds to believe the employee was guilty.

In addition, the employer is expected to follow the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. Altogether, it means that a disciplinary procedure should be conducted as follows:

1. Investigation - a reasonable investigation is needed. What is reasonable depends entirely on the circumstances and especially the nature and seriousness of the allegations. The more serious these are, the more detailed the investigation needs to be.

2. Disciplinary hearing - if the investigation provides sufficient evidence of misconduct, the employee may be invited to attend a formal disciplinary hearing. They must be given prior notice of the hearing, including details of the allegations, allowing them time to prepare. They have the legal right to be accompanied at the hearing but only by a trade union representative or a colleague.

3. Decision and penalty - following the disciplinary, if the employer holds a genuine belief that the employee was guilty, then they can go ahead and formally sanction them. When deciding on the appropriate penalty, the employer should consider the nature and seriousness of the offence and the employee's disciplinary record. Unless the offence was one of gross misconduct, ACAS recommends that the employee should be issued with a written warning.

In summary, an employer is not expected to prove that the alleged misconduct had definitely occurred. Disciplinary action will be fair if the employer can show that it had conducted a reasonable investigation, followed a fair procedure and held a genuine belief that the employee was guilty. Finally, it must show that the penalty was a reasonable action to take in the circumstances and one that a reasonable employer would have taken.

If there are any doubts about any of the above and there is belief or evidence that the employer has not satisfied these requirements, an appeal can be submitted to the employer immediately after the disciplinary outcome. If the disciplinary results in dismissal then a claim for unfair dismissal can be made in the employment tribunal. There are two requirements to claim: the employee must have at least 2 years' continuous service with the employer and the claim must be made within 3 months of the date of dismissal.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I didn't have any witnesses to back me up they had 4. And witnesses I had didn't want to come forward because they were threatened by managers. All I have is recorded tape of witnesses confirming that I didn't say that.

That would still help to n extent. The issue is that you cannot force someone to act as a witness if they did not want to. And if colleagues are trying to engineer your exit then sadly it could happen - if the employer knows no better and suddenly there are a number of witnesses saying things about you, then if there is no other evidence to say otherwise, the employer could believe them in the circumstances. So it does depend on what you have available to counter these allegations.