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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50202
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have been the victim of harrassment with violence for the

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I have been the victim of harrassment with violence for the last 18 months, which has resulted in death threats. The person doing this is an Ex-employee of the company I work for. My employer has been very supportive & have already stated I would not have been a victim of this if I had not worked for them. I have been suspened on Health & Safety/ welfare grounds, after being assulated. During this suspension my employer has recieved 2 Whistle blowing compliants about my behaviour over the last 6 months, which they are investigating & I have been interviewed already for. However I have been dignosed with Post Traumatic stress, which has been a direct result of me being being the victim of serious death threats. I have worked for my employer for 10 years, have won employee of the year & also a national awards. There have been no conduct related issues until this harassment case started. What can I do here please ?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Do you have any idea at all what the nature of these alleged complaints are?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The allegations are losing my temper, not supporting my team, there are comments in there about the way I stand & also favouritism. The thing is some of the points raised go back to Jan 2015.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you in a short while. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Many thanks for your patience. It is a tricky situation because on the one hand you have been the victim of harassment and assault, on the other hand you have displayed behaviours which the employer can pursue further against you. Whilst you may not have been exposed to these issues had you not worked for them, that does not mean that the employer can just ignore these issues because they are as a result of working for them. Saying that if they are as a direct result of your PTSD, then it could be that you will have some protection under discrimination legislation. If you are considered disabled under employment law (PTSD can be a disability if it satisfies the criteria) then an employer will have a duty to make reasonable adjustments. In this case these adjustments can be being more understanding about the effects your condition may have on your actions and behaviour and either ignoring or at least not treating these as seriously as they may normally do.

So whilst there is nothing stopping them from taking this matter further and perhaps looking into these incidents in more detail and even disciplining if they consider them serious enough, you can challenge this under the reasonable adjustments argument, as long as you can show that your condition amounted to a disability.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law on disability and how to establish if you are disabled, 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

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you. In the legal sense of the word, disability can have a broad meaning and there is no single list of medical conditions that qualify. Instead, to establish whether a person is disabled, they need to show that they meet the legal definition of a ‘disability’.

The Equality Act 2010 defines a disability as a “physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.

I will break this definition down:

  • Physical or mental impairment – this can include nearly any medical condition;
  • Substantial effect – the effect must be more than minor or trivial;
  • Long-term - the effect of the impairment must either have lasted or be likely to last for at least 12 months;
  • Normal day-to-day activities – these could include anything considered ‘normal’ in a person's normal daily routine (e.g. walking, driving, speaking, eating, washing, etc.)

If a person satisfies the above criteria, they will be classified as being disabled and will have automatic protection against discrimination, which means that they must not be treated unfavourably because of their disability. In addition, their employer would have a duty to make reasonable adjustments if they are likely to be placed at a substantial disadvantage when compared to non-disabled employees.

If someone who is disabled is being treated unfavourably because of their disability or their employer has failed to make reasonable adjustments it would potentially amount to disability discrimination. The first step would be to raise a formal grievance. The next step would be to consider whether a claim for disability discrimination should be made in an employment tribunal (the time limit for claiming is only 3 months from the date of the alleged discriminatory act taking place).