Posted by: Lou | 2009-04-07

Verbal abuse/threats of dismissal

I have worked for the same company for the last 24 years. About 4 years ago, the MD brought his son to work as a trader. It is not a family-owned business.
The son often has staff members in tears, due to verbal abuse (we are useless, b*tches, and worse).
I have encountered about 3 serious episodes of his behaviour, during which he also threatened to fire me (even though he is not in the position to do so, he could perhaps someday be in a more senior position).
I reported the incidents to the MD (he witnessed one of these), but nothing is done. I received the following reply from management : the absence of a formal code of conduct, we regard the matter as closed. I am embarassed, especially since other staff members could hear the abusive language, but do not know how to proceed.

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Our expert says:
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Re: Verbal abuse / threats of dismissal

It is suggested that you raise a grievance immediately. If this is not working then you need to go to the CCMA as soon as possible and claim an unfair labour practice.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Me too | 2009-04-10

I would think that if u' ve been there 24 yrs already then U must b much older than him. Many of these bosses sons r no more than youg " snotkoppe "  trying to throw their weight around. Don' t give him the satisfaction of seeing U in tears - he gets a kick out of that. Go 2 the highest in sen. management that U can + tell them straight out that U refuse to take any more of this guy' s abuse. Tell them if they can' t sort it out then u' ll declare a dispute + go to ccma. Don' t let this child bully U. or anyone else. He must grow up or be put in his place once + for all. If he can' t fire U then u' ve nothing to worry about anyway, so do what U have to do. Good luck.

Reply to Me too
Posted by: Boetie | 2009-04-08

Next time he verbally abuses U just stand up 4 your rights + tell him in no uncertain terms that U will not take that kind of abuse + tell him straight out that he is not in a position 2 fire U anyway. Nowadays the law is very strict about firing people. Ask him straight out who does he think he' s talking to. It' s time someone put him in his place. Once he sees that he can' t bugger U around he' ll most likely leave U alone. This kind of person usually backs down when somebody stands up 2 them, I know because I' ve met a number of them in my time. Good luck.

Reply to Boetie
Posted by: boo | 2009-04-07

Go above your boss. How can the company have been in existence for over 24 years and not have a code of conduct? Nepotism is unacceptable, as is the behaviour of the son, and the company' s reluctance to sort him out. If all else fails, go to the ccma and refer a dispute.

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