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  • Suspension pending investigation Iowa

    Hello. I hope this is the proper location to post this. If not I apologize.

    I have been suspended from work for three days pending an investigation. So apparently what happened at work was when I was filling out a form on a computer at work I clicked the wrong name on the form, I was logged in as myself on the program we use. My name an the name of the person I clicked start with the same letter and he was also on my mind that day ad was the subject of many conversations as a close loved one had passed away the day before my mistake. I was approached about the mistake and told that it appears that I falsified the document. I explained what had all happened that day and that I clicked the wrong name on accident apparently. I apologized and stated that I would be much more careful in the future. This was my first mistake I have ever made using this program in the over one year we have been using it. They said they were going to take my word for it and sent me on my way. Apparently they did not. I got a call yesterday informing me to not come in for work the next three days pending the investigation but to report at the office on a certain day and time. The only other thing that was said was that more things had come to light and that is the reason for the suspension. I can only assume that this is all over the mistake as they would not state what it was I was accused of to warrant the suspension.

    I should state that my workplace could very well be defined as a "hostile work place" as there is an interim assistant that was put in place to help with the one in charge. He has no power but was to help pass on info and to be a resource. I had crossed paths with him when he tried to enforce discipline upon other workers which is not what he is able to do and is verbally abusive toward others. I believe this conflict and his dislike for me and that I frankly am a better at our job then he is has landed me in this spot. Apparently I was in his eyes supposed to have been suspended the day they confronted me and it was a surprise to him I wasn't.

    So to get to my point. I am walking into a meeting to determine my employment and the stability of my home and to feed my kids horribly unprepared. I am only assuming that I was suspended due to my mistake with the name but they would not elaborate. I am in desperate need of help. I do not know what to do to prepare myself. Only thing I am prepared for is that I will be accused of something that I have not done except for the mistake I owned up to. Any advice would be immensely appreciated.

    I should add that the suspension would be paid if I am found innocent. Which I am not sure how to prove as this may be a he said she said situation.
    Last edited by KennyB; 06-03-2016, 01:16 AM. Reason: added text

  • #2
    FYI, the term, hostile work environment has a very specific meaning in employment law. It does not mean simply an unpleasant place to work. Unless you are being subjected to either sexual harassment or illegal discrimination/harassment as defined by the EEOC (race, religion, national origin etc.) you are not, legally, in an HWE. You would be wise to refrain from using the term - you don't want to put yourself in the position of having to defend yourself from accusations of defamation, as well.

    Really, the only other advice we can give you is to tell the truth as you know it to be. Do not get upset, do not make accusations, do not get defensive. Behave in a polite and dignified manner. Be prepared to support any statements you make. We tell people in unemployment appeal situations is that sometimes, the person who wins is the person who brasses off the adjudicator the least. This isn't an unemployment situation but the same principles apply.

    Good luck.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply and I appreciate the advice and it is well received. All I have is the truth as I know it. I do not intend to use hostile work environment in any capacity come the meeting I have to determine my continued employment. I have work many different jobs in my life when I left home at 15. I am 41 now. I have never worked in an environment where the abuse by some is so prevalent and even well known to exist and nothing done about it. Now I am quite certain I am up against one of these people and one that is hyper ambitious. I will be going into this meeting completely unprepared as I am unsure what it is exactly I have been suspended for and what accusations have been brought against me. I am only assuming that this has to do with the mistake I made and that there are some that would claim I was doing this intentionally. Frankly I have never been in a spot like this. I have a family to think of and employment is scarce around here. I am in uncharted territory and frankly am terrified by all of this and have to wait until Monday morning to find out.

      Should I seek legal counselling? I am lost here and just have a bad feeling I am going to lose my job and put my family through this.
      Last edited by KennyB; 06-03-2016, 05:24 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Agree with cbg that HWE is not applicable here. I suspect it is more about "crossing paths" or not being a good personality fit with the new interim assistant than one mistake.
        Going up against someone that has been placed above you as a trainer/supervisor can be a career limiting move. Someone above him made a choice to put him in that position, possibly gave him the directive to be tough on the rest of the employees and by your own words it sounds like you gave him a hard time. How did you know that he didn't have the authority to do what he did (especially the discipline part)? Because it sounds like he does have the power to discipline if you are now being investigated and suspended. You may have just underestimated his authority.

        All you can do is tell the truth and apologize for any misunderstandings. It is up to the employer what they decide.

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        • #5
          Sounds like you know this place and well. Meant in jest as you pretty much nailed what I am thinking is happening. Our management structure is a goofy one. We have a direct report but that power can be shifted to any salaried management personnel at any time. Only salaried management can discipline. That is what they tell us. Even corrective action which they view as different then discipline action can only be done by said people. This guy whom I highly suspect is at the heart of this all is hourly. Mainly his job was clerical and to be a resource for information. What has been happening in the last couple years is that a new plant manager was put in place and who has been there since the beginning. Ever since the most strangest of things have happened. People only get promoted if they are in the "guys club" as it is referred to there. Main thing to be promoted is a love of sports and to be in good standings with the PM. Buds so to speak. Many have been promoted and too often has led to disaster. We are a multi billion dollar company over many countries and mistakes tend to be in the tens of thousands. This guy is in that club. I have no other explanation as to why he was put in that place when there were other more qualified people that would do the job and better. I did cross paths with him when he threatened to punish me and now I am sure this is retribution. Just wish I knew exactly what was going on as a mistake as simple as clicking a wrong name just don't seem to warrant a suspension and investigation. Must be more and if so it must be a fabrication. I appreciate your thoughts and insight.

          Comment


          • #6
            I do not advise legal counsel at this time. Right now, it does not appear that any laws are being violated and legal counsel would be overkill that might end up backfiring on you - you don't want them to decide you're going to be too much trouble and just fire you out of hand. They could do that, and it would be legal.

            But let us know how the meeting goes and if it would seem wise to consult counsel at that time, we'll certainly let you know.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

            Comment


            • #7
              Agree with the other responders - tell the truth, apologize again for the mistake you made & any other misunderstandings.

              He is a link to what a HWE is if you want to read it. Good luck to you.

              http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-a-ho...nvironment.htm
              Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

              Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you for all the advice. I really appreciate it and take it to heart. Will give an update after the meeting. Now to try and find a way to try and enjoy the weekend even with this mystery hanging over my head.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well the let me go. Said that their investigation was complete and that the interviews they did did not line up with what I said. Said I falsified the safety observation. I have nothing right now. They showed me nothing just told me that and that I was no longer employed there.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Immediately file for unemployment.
                    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I did that once I got home. Just need to find a job now. I just cant believe I got discharged for clicking the wrong name. I knew I worked with some real shady people but to have them state I knew what I was doing and was intentional just boggles my mind. I've never found myself that desperate or ambitious to do that to someone

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm sorry to hear that - not illegal though. The only thing you can do is file for unemployment ins. & look for other employment. Good luck.
                        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks. I understand that it is not illegal and neither of us were in a contract. Just as an employee it just felt dirty. How employers can sleep at night knowing what they do to people. I've not even seen what it is I have been accused of doing. Turns out this is the company's MO. I am not the first to be terminated this way. Apparently in the 20 years this plant has been here I am the 5th to be let go in this manner. Also come to find out there was a lot more going on then I realized. Mostly middle school drama type stuff. Actually I found a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I had not fully realized the stress of working there was having that much of an impact on me and my family. Which they finally expressed to me after I was let go and they didn't want to say anything earlier to add to my stress. Now to find something I can find enjoyment out of. Again I appreciate everyone's advice. It did help me a lot. Thanks

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sounds as if you're well out of there. Good luck!
                            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It sounds like it is "good" that you are no longer working there.
                              Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                              Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                              Comment

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