Injustice of written warning

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Injustice of written warning

Post  Guest on Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:18 am

Hello - I am a 12 year employee (supervisor) with good performance reviews and no history of discipline problems. I spoke with another female supervisor at our parent company about how the work environment was affecting my health and made negative comments about the Gen.Mgr.(my boss). She relayed this info. back to HR and I was issued a written warning(which in our employee manual is used for cases of serious misconduct) for not reporting through proper channels. When I later read the policy, it said that an employee can talk with any member of management with jeopardizing their job(so I did not actually violate the policy). Granted, I should have kept my comments to myself, but I am quite upset because the Gen.Mgr. and numerous male employees break this policy and many others on a daily basis without discipline. Personally, I would consider an altercation, putting broken glass in a supervisor's mailbox, starting a fire in a lab, napping on the job, falsifying timesheets and downloading info. to a PC more serious misconduct than a personal conversation, but the male employee's are not disciplined. I became quite sick over this and was unable to return to work until I got help from my physician and a therapist and I am angry that I have to be medicated in order to go to work everyday. Aren't Selective and Gender-based discipline illegal? I spoke with the HR person a week ago and she said that there would be an investigation, but I hadn't heard anything for a week and decided to put my complaints in writing today. Oh, and a few weeks ago, my subordinate made a discrimination complaint against the company and I followed policy and forwarded to HR . My boss got very angry and yelled at me and told me to never do that again(threat?). I've been looking for a comparable job since April, but no luck. Any advise? Thanks for taking the time to read about my problems.

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Re: Injustice of written warning

Post  bears00 on Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:10 am

In terms of you being written up:
First, there is nothing illegal about your boss being a jerk or having his favorites. Your best course of action is to let the HR investigation pan out. If everything is as you say it is, it should be a matter of reading the disciplinary action to determine that no infraction occurred. One of my counterparts was written up once for taking bereavement leave (a company benefit). If your manual tells you that you may discuss issues with a supervisor, wait and see what HR's investigation yields.

If your supervisor is indeed disciplining you on the basis of gender, then yes, that is actionable. You can file an EEOC complaint. I will say, however, without some accompanying tangible employment action (such as termination, raises, promotions, demotions, etc.) a single write-up against someone of a different gender won't garner much attention from the EEOC.

As far as you forwarding the discrimination complaint, two questions for you:
a. What does your policy say you, as a supervisor, should do with that complaint?
b. Were there any witnesses to him yelling at you, saying these things to you?
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Re: Injustice of written warning

Post  JoeC (McGruff) on Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:33 am

What state? Unfortunately the layout does not afford the opportunity to apply a state so the state must be typed into the heading of the post.
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Written Warning

Post  Guest on Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 pm

The state of Connecticut. The business policy for harassment or discrimination says that an employee should talk to their supervisor or a member of management that they feel comfortable with; then the supervisor documents the meeting and the employee puts their complaint in writing; then it gets forwarded to HR. I did all of this with my subordinate and really didn't even have to let my boss know, but I cc'd him on it. I don't know if anyone heard him yelling at me. I did ask the girl in the office next to me and she hadn't been at her desk. The office on the other side is his buddy, so even if he did hear, he wouldn't tell. Some of the employee who usually eavesdrop outside of doors when they hear yelling were working the night shift this week, so I can't count on them. The investigation began today - HR came in to look through personnel files and my boss was not happy!

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Re: Injustice of written warning

Post  JoeC (McGruff) on Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:28 am

Take the employee hand book to an employment attorney. Connecticut law does recognize the employee handbook exception to the at-will doctrine. For this exception to apply, the written statements must be sufficiently specific in their terms. Under this exception, the terms of an employee handbook or personnel manual may give rise to an express or implied contract between the employer and employee which amends the at-will rule by interposing a good cause requirement or some other prerequisite to the discharge of an employee.

In re Vasu v. Tremont Advisors, Inc., 129 F. Supp. 2d 113, 117 (D. Conn. 2001); Chaudry v. Country Pure Foods, Inc., 2000 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1831, at *3 (2000); Carbone v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 528 A.2d 1137 (Conn. 1987) (handbook issued only to supervisory personnel cannot form a basis for a wrongful termination action because the plaintiff was not a supervisor).
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Re: Injustice of written warning

Post  bears00 on Thu Sep 18, 2008 2:52 am

Since HR has shown up, as the supervisor who accepted the complaint, they will SURELY speak with you. I would share my concerns about the retaliation for the report at that point. You didn't have a choice by law, nor by company policy to keep that to yourself or just between you and him. He will make himself evident that he doesn't want HR there. Trust me, us HR folks KNOW when we're not wanted!!!
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Written Warning follow-up Connecticut

Post  Guest on Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:40 am

Thank you for all of your responses. The day after HR began their investigation, my supervisor gave me a retaliatory performance evaluation (it was due in July). This was the first poor evaluation that I received in 12 years. I went home not feeling well and called HR to let them know what had happened. I met with HR and reviewed my complaint and asked about FMLA. She said that there was no pay with that and instead offered me a severance. I told her that I would have to discuss it with my husband before agreeing. Anyway, I'm out a job, have not signed the severance agreement, but have turned it over to an employment attorney who feels that I may have several claims. I'm hoping that a better severance can be negotiated. Just wanted to update everyone on the outcome and again thank you for your opinions.

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Re: Injustice of written warning

Post  JoeC (McGruff) on Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:55 am

Well thank you white flamingo we are always interested in follow ups. Mostly to see if our theory of law are followed up by attorneys. Hopefully your attorney will negotiate an out of court settlement that you find satisfactory. I am certain it will be better than whatever peanuts they were offering.
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