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Hostile Work Environment

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BeingNaive posted 5/7/2013 09:09 AM

I could really use some advice, as I'm completely upset and don't know what to do.

My husband was injured at work, filed a workman's comp claim which was approved, and then came back when released by the doctor.

A month later, things started to change. He was written up over numerous infractions, which were ridiculous and 1 was in regards to something over a month old. One include an unexcused absence for the day we buried his mom because that was the 4th day off, but when his co-worker's father passed away, he was given 2 weeks off! Of course, nothing was said to him until the day he returned to work even though he had called in a few times to keep them posted on things. In the 8 years he has been working at this company, he had 1 write up (which was questionable).

Now they are dictating which way he drives when responding to emergency calls and are questioning his time spent on jobs, which everyone has admitted he is their best/quickest worker. In fact, he responded to 2 emergency calls which took 2hrs and 15mins each to complete and they told him he was only getting paid for 2hrs for each. That just doesn't seem legal!

Does anyone have any experience/knowledge of what to do when someone returns from a workman's comp claim and the environment turns hostile? He is the only one being treated this way.

Sorry if parts are confusing. My mind is racing and I'm really anxious!

DeadMumWalking posted 5/7/2013 09:27 AM

Lawyer. Now.

((((BeingNaive))))

BeingNaive posted 5/7/2013 09:38 AM

That's what I was thinking. I just wish this wasn't happening.

simplydevastated posted 5/7/2013 09:43 AM

You'll want to find out if your state is an "at will" state. If it is, I believe an employer can fire/lay-off anyone at anytime for almost any reason. Try calling your dept of labor and see what you can find out.

When I lived in FL my employer tried to accuse me of stealing money. I would never do that. I call the dept of labor and they said that if they come right out and say it I could sue for defamation of character and two other things (I can't remember). They never did come right out and say but I know they thought it because the way the treated me after and the looks on their faces.

Good luck

(((HUGS)))

Undefinabl3 posted 5/7/2013 09:43 AM

You need to see a lawyer now.

Also, everything that your DH can get from his work information (ie files and proof that he is doing a GOOD job ect, plus any email(s) that contridict what is going on right now)....he needs to do that ASAP, because if he is let go, all that stuff goes away.

Mainly the lawyer though.

I almost filed a hostile work environment claim against a co-worker. He would disrespect me in front of others, yell, curse, and hang up on me all the time. I knew I needed proof so I would forward hostile texts to my personal phone, forward hostile VM's and recorded a couple of calls.

"You'll want to find out if your state is an "at will" state."

Even if it is an at will state, it brings up a lot of red flags that all of this is happening after the accident - while he never was written up before.

If there is proof that they are choosing to force him out, force him to look bad, then that is prejudice and they can be sued for that.

[This message edited by Undefinabl3 at 9:45 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)]

BeingNaive posted 5/7/2013 09:55 AM

It is an "at will" state, but I find it very suspicious that this is happening after he filed a claim.

I'll have him request copies of his file. Not sure if they'll give it to him, but it's worth a shot.

If you're a bad employee, would you get a $800 bonus while your supervisor only gets $200? I think not!

So angry at how he's being treated and so guilty that he just takes it because he knows we need his income.

ajsmom posted 5/7/2013 09:55 AM

Is your husband in a trade protected by a union?

AJ's MOM

BeingNaive posted 5/7/2013 10:00 AM

No, he's not in a union. He works for "X" technically, but "Y" is the real company.

MissesJai posted 5/7/2013 10:21 AM

Lawyer up. Both companies X & Y can be held liable.

BeingNaive posted 5/7/2013 10:29 AM

Thanks all! I'm looking into lawyers now.

I never thought that they would be considered 2 separate companies, but I guess they would be. Different names and accounts so that makes sense.

Really nervous about this, but he's put up with so much over the past 2 months. When he was first hurt, someone from "X" called his doctor and implied that they believed he was lying about how hurt he was. Can you believe that? I mean, yes call and verify that he is injured but don't come out saying "well we didn't really think he was that hurt".

Undefinabl3 posted 5/7/2013 10:45 AM

No, he's not in a union. He works for "X" technically, but "Y" is the real company.

So is it X that is writting him up or Y?

It sounds like it is X....and I would just start getting your ducks in a row at this point.

BeingNaive posted 5/7/2013 10:53 AM

It's just "X", but he has tried to talk to the owner who's at "Y". It hasn't made a difference.

I don't know if anything can be done or what a lawyer might suggest in this situation, but just taking some action is helping. Makes me feel less helpless about the whole thing.

DH and I will talk about it later tonight to see what we should do if a lawyer says he has a case. I really hope he does have one because then we'd have some options.

BeingNaive posted 5/7/2013 11:13 AM

More bad things! Now he has to report to a meeting with supervisor and manager from "X" and owner from "Y". What if he loses his job?!

DeadMumWalking posted 5/7/2013 11:25 AM

((((BeingNaive))))

It sounds like they are amping it up very high very quickly.

Just breathe for now, there's nothing you can do specifically about him going to the meeting, but get some legal advice and as Undefinabl3 said - get your ducks in a row.

Hang in there, and good luck. Sending you strength and tons of mojo and positive thoughts.

((((BeingNaive))))

BeingNaive posted 5/7/2013 11:33 AM

Thanks DMW. I'm totally freaking out right now, which means I'm crying at work.

While owner at "Y" just told him to talk to supervisor at "X" and try to work things out in the past, I always thought owner at "Y" liked DH and knew his work ethic.

I'm just so afraid that owner at "Y" just gets fed up with the situation and figures "better to let 1 go than 2". Nothing to back up my fears, but I can't help it.

DeadMumWalking posted 5/7/2013 11:43 AM

((((BeingNaive))))

Is there something you can do right now to distract yourself from your worries? Can you take a little break and have a hot drink or a little walk?

It sucks being completely helpless. It feels like you're just waiting for the terrible thing to happen without anything you can do about it.

But: once you know what happens at the meeting, you and your H (along with your lawyer) can work on coming up with a specific plan to deal with whatever it is.

For now though, you aren't entirely sure what you're going to have to deal with, so work on putting together his work story, any evidence of previous positive reviews, etc, and on finding a lawyer.

Right now you don't really know what's going to happen - maybe you will very soon, maybe not. But you see the writing on the wall. So do what you can right now.

In a funny way, that might also help take your mind off of your sadness, fear and worry over this for a while because you will be actively doing something about it.

Take care, and take action.

((((BeingNaive))))

BeingNaive posted 5/7/2013 11:49 AM

You're right. I need to distract myself.

I'll wait until after I talk to DH to see about his work file. I do have copies of the write ups though. Also, all doctor notes from when he was sick/injured.

Luckily, DH has always kept a record of his work days. He details everything he does during the day so any questions they ask him can be answered.

I hate that they're trying to gang up on him and probably already painted a completely different picture to "Y" owner. Just hope DH can keep his temper in check. He's pretty laid back until you question his word or work ethic.

Might go out for a walk too. Sun is shining so that might help me. Who am I kidding? I won't feel better until I know what was said and what's going on.

Edited because I couldn't spell lol

[This message edited by BeingNaive at 11:50 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)]

painpaingoaway posted 5/7/2013 15:19 PM

I'm so sorry BN. My H has a similar type situation, and he has lived in limbo hell for over 2 yrs now. Numerous other employees have been fired, or driven insane until they quit, and one guy died of a heart attack, and I'm sure H's HORRIBLE boss had a hand in that.

Tell him to write down every.single.thing.

And lawyer up.

BeingNaive posted 5/7/2013 15:58 PM

Well, we've taken some steps to get him out of there.

Haven't heard back from a lawyer yet, but hope to soon.

Owner at "Y" basically tried to be a middleman and a few things got ironed out. However, DH and I decided he'll be leaving as soon as he can.

Owner at "Y" wants him to become in independent contractor so he can still have DH working for him, but he wouldn't have to deal with the people at "X". Seems like a raw deal to me. Pay money to become a contractor and you no longer get any benefits while the people at "X" keep their jobs as is.

My company has said they will hire DH for 6 months beginning August 1st so he just has to hold out until then. Haven't worked out all the details, but it would supplement his income until he found something else. At least it's something and getting him away from "X" and "Y" will make things MUCH better for him!

Thank you all for your advice and for letting me vent/cry/panic!

JanetS posted 5/7/2013 17:54 PM

I'd rethink maybe? considering the independent contractor thing. IF he could be guaranteed a certain number of hours (or dollars) for his work, then he'd be able to write off ALL of his work expenses. With those write-offs, he could use that $ to buy into a retirement fund, buy medical insurance etc.

Not sure what they are offering, but it might be worth checking it out. Then crunch the numbers.

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