Posted by: DC | 2004/11/04

Nailing my boss

Hi Guys

I really need some help on this one (CS, I know this is not your area of expertise), but I would truly welcome any suggestions.
Well, I am employed by a fairly small company as a manager for about a year now. I was assigned to head up a particular account, due to my extensive knowledge in their area of business. They decided not to renew their contract with us (ending this month), for reasons beyond our control. During the negotiations the staff complement reporting to myself were offered positions within this company, which most of the staff have taken up. For a while now, and as a result, I have been having this nagging feeling at the back of my mind that my job has become redundant.
My boss, the CEO of the company, has been evading the topic. I do suspect, however, that he secretly wishes I resigned, in order for him to avoid having to pay me a severance package.
A colleague whom I befriended resigned and he literally accused me of being behind it.All part of his scheme to make me feel as unwelcome as possible, in order for me to resign.
I am considering looking at possible constructive dismissal (my employer making my work conditions so “intolerable” that I am forced to resign), which is a long shot as I require proof.I am unable to turn to HR.This is non-existent, due to the size of our company.I have unofficially sought outside legal advice and I was advised to follow a formal/informal grievance procedure regarding this incident. This is even more difficult since I then have to take on my boss; the CEO and we all know I cannot go above his head.
My best bet is to get him to somehow suggest, in writing, that “continued employment would be intolerable”, ie. that he would make my life hell if I stayed on.

Does anyone have any ideas how I can pull this off? The man gives me the creeps…

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Our expert says:
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Don't let him get away without an appropriately generous severance package, and consult a labour lawyer / Dept of Labour as much as necessary. Sounds like constructive dismissal, or an attempt at it. He may be a creep, but he may know enough to avoid giving you what you want, in writing. And I'm sure Shaun is right about the importance of keeping good records of all relevant events and documents, ( with duplicates at home ). And otherwise, persist, don';t resign, and reap the benefits in good time.

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: DC | 2004/11/04

Thanks everyone and CS for your valuable contributions.

I will stick around, but I wonder if it's worth all the trouble, since by law, one is only entitled to a week's remuneration for every year at the company?

Tough call, hey?!

Reply to DC
Posted by: Chelle | 2004/11/04

My suggestion is to keep a log of events, as everything could only come to a conclusion in quite some time (if you take it further). Keep copies of any communication to you, and keep the sequence of events written down, so that you don't get things confused. Make notes of conversations as well.
I doubt that your boss would be stupid enough to put something like that to you in writing, but his behaviour and together with any other communication you have, might form a case.
Keep every record, and then perhaps at a later stage you can get a professional opinion based on all the records you have.

Reply to Chelle
Posted by: SWANNY | 2004/11/04

DC, You dont stand a chance in hell. Carry on and bear with it and if they have to retrench, you will benefit.

Reply to SWANNY
Posted by: Shaun | 2004/11/04

Hi DC,

Yes, constructive dismissal seems a possibility & yes proof of such is imperative. How about writing him an e-mail or something similar to the above effect, which he will be forced to reply to, then you may have your proof. Or you could try having a witness available.

Constructive dismissal is very difficult to prove which I am sure you are realising. You have thus far been advised the right procedure to follow.

You could also look thoroughly at your initial purpose for being employed, & the job description for your initial position, then keep record of your current operations, & check if they co-incide with your job description. Most job descriptions have a clause that suggestion something to the effect that "the employee shall undertake to provide ... reasonably expected..." The resonably part makes it difficult for you to prove the above as your boss could be getting you to do stuff that you can do. In other words, you are expected, under certain conditions, to undertake work that may be a level or 2 beneath your normal position, but nothing that should be done by levels above your position.

Be very careful of victimisation, as this also has to be proved. Try to get "all your ducks in a row", & when you are completely sure that you have a case, approved on outside advice, then & only then do you start the ball rolling.

Again, be very careful,
Good luck,

Reply to Shaun

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