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User Topic: Hostile Work Environment
BeingNaive
Member
Member # 30652
Default  Posted: 9:09 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)

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!


Posts: 173 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Michigan
DeadMumWalking
Member
Member # 25341
Default  Posted: 9:27 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)

Lawyer. Now.

((((BeingNaive))))


Me (BS), Him (WH): early 50's
3 DS: teens!!! :)
M: 25 (19 1/2 at Dday), Together 30
Dday: Dec 2008
Limbo-ish, again (after multiple S) -- weighing my options

Posts: 2606 | Registered: Aug 2009 | From: EU
BeingNaive
Member
Member # 30652
Default  Posted: 9:38 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)

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

Posts: 173 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Michigan
simplydevastated
Member
Member # 25001
Default  Posted: 9:43 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)

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)))


Me - BS, 39 (I'm not old...I'm vintage)
Two Wonderful children - DS10, DD7
Married, for now... (4+ D-Day - listed in profile.)

Posts: 5854 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: In the darkest depths of hell!
Undefinabl3
Member
Member # 36883
Default  Posted: 9:43 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)

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)]


Me: 31 MH
Him: 37 MH
New online find 6/19/14 - shit

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2012
BeingNaive
Member
Member # 30652
Default  Posted: 9:55 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)

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.


Posts: 173 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Michigan
ajsmom
Member
Member # 17460
Default  Posted: 9:55 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)

Is your husband in a trade protected by a union?

AJ's MOM


Fidelity isn't a feeling...it's a choice.

"Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now - always." - Albert Schweitzer
____________________________________________
Me: BW - Him: 200+ # tumor removed 7/09
DS - 31 - Yikes!


Posts: 21071 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: Been Through Hell...On My Way Back
BeingNaive
Member
Member # 30652
Default  Posted: 10:00 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)

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

Posts: 173 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Michigan
MissesJai
Member
Member # 24849
Default  Posted: 10:21 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)

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


FWW - 41
"Don't think first about the risks of speaking up. Think first about the risks of not speaking up." ~ Kerry Patterson

Posts: 5977 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: So Cal.....
BeingNaive
Member
Member # 30652
Default  Posted: 10:29 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)

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".


Posts: 173 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Michigan
Undefinabl3
Member
Member # 36883
Default  Posted: 10:45 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)

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.


Me: 31 MH
Him: 37 MH
New online find 6/19/14 - shit

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2012
BeingNaive
Member
Member # 30652
Default  Posted: 10:53 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)

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.


Posts: 173 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Michigan
BeingNaive
Member
Member # 30652
Default  Posted: 11:13 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)

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?!

Posts: 173 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Michigan
DeadMumWalking
Member
Member # 25341
Default  Posted: 11:25 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)

((((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))))


Me (BS), Him (WH): early 50's
3 DS: teens!!! :)
M: 25 (19 1/2 at Dday), Together 30
Dday: Dec 2008
Limbo-ish, again (after multiple S) -- weighing my options

Posts: 2606 | Registered: Aug 2009 | From: EU
BeingNaive
Member
Member # 30652
Default  Posted: 11:33 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)

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.


Posts: 173 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Michigan
DeadMumWalking
Member
Member # 25341
Default  Posted: 11:43 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)

((((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))))


Me (BS), Him (WH): early 50's
3 DS: teens!!! :)
M: 25 (19 1/2 at Dday), Together 30
Dday: Dec 2008
Limbo-ish, again (after multiple S) -- weighing my options

Posts: 2606 | Registered: Aug 2009 | From: EU
BeingNaive
Member
Member # 30652
Default  Posted: 11:49 AM, May 7th (Tuesday)

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)]


Posts: 173 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Michigan
painpaingoaway
Member
Member # 27196
Default  Posted: 3:19 PM, May 7th (Tuesday)

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.


me BS female 56/him WS 59
Married 33 years
D-day July 09/he gave me his slut's STD
Watch my movie: "My wayward husband's adventures in STD land":
Episode 1: youtu.be/9Jv0-d_CdYc
Episode 2: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8Tz822H82Gk

Posts: 7101 | Registered: Jan 2010 | From: Coastal South
BeingNaive
Member
Member # 30652
Default  Posted: 3:58 PM, May 7th (Tuesday)

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!


Posts: 173 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Michigan
JanetS
Member
Member # 2766
Default  Posted: 5:54 PM, May 7th (Tuesday)

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.


Posts: 2592 | Registered: Nov 2003 | From: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada
BeingNaive
Member
Member # 30652
Default  Posted: 7:47 PM, May 7th (Tuesday)

Thanks JanetS. DH and I talked about him becoming a contractor. There's a lot to it so we're gonna take a little bit of time to research the costs to get started.

I know there are some good benefits to having him become a contractor, but there's also some downsides. I worry about the taxes and of course, the possibility of not having work.

Good thing is we have a pole barn with it's own meter so we already have a shop for him!


Posts: 173 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Michigan
StrongerOne
Member
Member # 36915
Default  Posted: 12:02 AM, May 8th (Wednesday)

Lawyer.

Take extensive notes at any meeting, send an email summarizing ("minutes") and asking for corrections.

Be very careful about the independent contractor "deal". BTDT. It was great when I was in grad school and needed an partitime source of money because I already had insurance etc. It sucked donkey balls when I first graduated college because I had NO benefits, no protection, nothing. In both cases figuring out the taxes was horrible.

Go into it carefully. Meet with an accountant or a reliable and ethical financial advisor.

Oh yeah, and the workers comp situation? Did I say, lawyer?


DDay Feb 2011.
In R.

Posts: 872 | Registered: Sep 2012
sunandmoon
Member
Member # 10180
Default  Posted: 9:51 AM, May 8th (Wednesday)

Chiming in late here. Work in HR- have been for many years.

They are not required to provide a copy of his personnel file. They should be required to allow him to review it- he would lose that privledge if he is terminated so I would suggest he does so ASAP.

For any formal write-ups he should have been provided a copy. Also, he should have been able to provide a rebuttal statement if he did not agree with the write up.

In terms of the Comp case, sorry to say it but you would not beleive how many people scam when it comes to these cases. Employers have to be agressive when it comes to assuring that the cases are genuine. The case should have been managed by the carrier and the only time I would call a Dr. is to have paperwork resent if I did not have it for the file.

In terms of how your H was treated when he was out due to a death in the family, don't compare. The person who was off for two weeks may have requested a leave, been granted PTO for that timeframe or time without pay. His company may (should) have a berevement policy. It would typically be in the Employee Handbook if there is one. Have him find that and see if he was outside of the bounds of the policy or not.

I am sure I do not have all the information but I do not see a hostile work environment based on what you have in this post.

Finally, if he is asked to do the work for company Y but in the exact same way with the same parameters and expectations it would be tough for company Y to leagally ( by IRS regs) call him and IC. Just something for you to be aware or.

Best of luck!

sunandmoon


Posts: 1635 | Registered: Mar 2006
BeingNaive
Member
Member # 30652
Default  Posted: 11:25 AM, May 8th (Wednesday)

Sunandmoon - Thanks for your input. DH met with those involved and owner of "Y" definitely agreed he could see why DH was feeling the way he was. Those that called on the comp claim were actually suspended by owner of "Y" due to their accusations of DH lying.

I understand why you do not see a hostile environment on some of my typing, but I guarantee it is, 100%. Owner of "Y", while being a mediator of sorts, definitely agreed with DH on almost all of his points.

He was within the parameters for the death. I agree his employer has a right to check on his claim, but the person who did so was not authorized to and tried to hide the fact it was done. Owner of "Y" had no problems with the claim. Someone from "X" went outside their authority just to try to disclaim DH.

Anyways, he's just going to wait until it's time to work with my company. Might actually be a bit sooner than we thought so I'm happy with that.

[This message edited by BeingNaive at 11:27 AM, May 8th (Wednesday)]


Posts: 173 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Michigan
sunandmoon
Member
Member # 10180
Default  Posted: 3:36 PM, May 8th (Wednesday)

BN-

I appreciate your position and the frustration. I even understand the support and nuetrality by employer Y. That said, I just want to be sure you are aware that what you have laid out does not support Hostile Work Environment. See reference:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/hostile_work_environment

I only say this to suggest that taking on any expense by retaining an attny may be risky. Also, if there is a continued relationship with organization Y it may be wise not to shut that down. Finally, based on what you said, it is not the Company that was inferring his claim was false nor contacting the Dr. and when they discovered someone did so in an unauthorized manner they responded appropriately.

I do hope this other opportunity works out and he can make a change that will put these issues behind him.

sunandmoon


Posts: 1635 | Registered: Mar 2006
Topic Posts: 25