Post # 1
I’ll start by stating that I asked for Canadian bees only because I am in Canada and I know the laws are different in every country. With that being said, any and all input is welcome!!
I will try to make a long story short, but I can’t promise anything lol.
Ok so my bf has been working with his current company for about 2 years now. Within the last year he has had some issues with his coworkers but has overcome them by this point. About a year ago his manager started “picking on him” in the sense that he stifles bfs opinions/suggestions and just generally making bf feel like he wasn’t part of the team. This behaviour by the manager has gotten worse and worse. The manager has prevented bf from product related training, withheld important information regarding product defects, refused luxuries available to all employees of this company, nitpicking about times of breaks/lunches (even though manager won’t set a break schedule), taking things off of bfs desk, monitering ONLY bfs computer activity..the list seems almost endless.
My bf has been written up for being 2-3 minutes late from his break time and almost got written up for being away from his desk without phone coverage (there needs to be at least 1 bilingual representative on the phones during the day)–I should also mention that there is 2 bilingual reps in the main office and another one in another province that are all bilingual, so you can’t really tell if the other rep is at his desk or not since he is in another province.
THe manager’s actions have made it so hard for my bf to do anything at work, it has almost gotten to the point where bf has to ask permission to do anything (even go to the washroom!)
From the research I have done it seems as though his manager is bullying him and under the Occupational Health and Safety Act bullying is considered workplace harassment. I don’t know much about the laws surrounding this so I just wanted to ask any HR or legal bees what they think of this and if there is anything bf can do, without losing his job.
Thanks for any input!!
Post # 3
No one has any advice…. 🙁
Post # 4
Hmm, I don’t know the laws that well, but I would suggest he talk with the HR department about his concerns.
Post # 5
I have worked as an HR manager in the US. You didn’t get any other input, so that’s the only reason I am replying (as a non-Canadian bee). In the states, unless you are subject to completely inappropriate abusive behavior that can be documented, the laws here usually tend to favor the employer. Meaning, no job is a cakewalk and everyone has the “right to work or not”… So, he can always get up and walk out at any point. However, if they fire him, he would potentially be able to collect unemployment if he can back up the “hostile work environment” allegations… Despite their write ups. Side note: write ups are to get the employee to acknowledge something they did wrong… Partially to hope it’s a wake up call to the employee, but mostly so that the employer can justify why the employee got fired if it continues. So, if he starts seeing a lot of writeups, he may want begin looking for another position elsewhere.
Now, if you work for the government here, you can sue them for wrongdoing, win the case AND keep your job. I also have a great friend who is an attorney and handles this sort of thing, and you can really sue a business for anything and find SOMETHING they did wrong in hopes that they eventually offer you a settlement to “just go away”. That doesn’t make it right to do, though.
Again, this is only in the US, and I believe Canada is a bit more liberal on many laws. I would say that if he is just generally unhappy (assuming they are paying him properly, not making him accept unethical behavior, etc) that he should just look elsewhere for a company that treats their employees better.
Post # 6
@sparky263: I’ve worked in HR for a few different organizations in Canada. My suggestion would be for your BF to start documenting the instances when they occur, as well as, taking note of any co-workers who might witness the managers behaviour. I would definitely talk to his HR rep and explain the entire situation. They are probably going to ask if he has spoken directly with the manager about the situation, so if he hasn’t he’s going to explain why not, eg. doesn’t feel comfortable out of fear of loosing his job. He should go in prepared with any proof that he has, as this sounds like bullying and harassment on the managers part. I primarily worked for the government so when situations like this arose we would send the individuals to mediation and if that failed there would be disciplinary action or we would offered to move the individual or manager to a different work unit.
Many companies and organizations have thier own policies and procedures for dealing with situations like this. It sounds like your BFs manager is trying to build a case for termination so it would be best if he spoke with HR as soon as possible. If for any reason he does get terminated and doesn’t feel that it’s with just cause he can always appeal to the labour board and file a grievance. The same can be done of HR doesn’t take his complaint seriously.
Post # 7
@sparky263: I don’t have any background, but I would hesistate before going to HR. I know someone who did so and was laid off. While it’s illegal to fire someone for a reason like that, it’s hard to prove, especially if there isn’t blatant abuse.
Maybe he could look for a different position within the company if he likes the job in general?
Post # 8
Thanks for the replies.
I have suggested to him to document everything whenever his manager treats him this way so hopefully he will follow this advice. He is hesitant to go to HR just in case they decide to fire him for whatever reason rather than work through the issue.
I guess he will just have to document everything and when he gets a significant amount of evidence then possibly go to HR.
I will let him know about possibly asking for a department change though and maybe updating his resume as a “just in case”.
Thank you again bees for your input and experiences. I really do appreciate it and will suggest the different options you have all provided. Hopefully it doesnt turn out badly for him.
Post # 9
Check your provincial gov page for employee reps for the labor board. I called one of ours when my FI was having a few issues with his work not paying for their screw ups when it came to scheduling, or not paying for mandatory meetings. The employee rep I spoke to even offered to call the company if his advice didn’t help.
Post # 10
@iiiEllie: Thats great! I will definitely look into that. Thank you!