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  1. My rep had been accompanying me to the the disciplinary hearing and the outcome of that hearing. Before then I was doing everything myself. The union itself had been dealing with internal industrial action recently and also due to how late I'd brought it to their attention, they weren't able to offer legal advice through their internal or subcontracted legal sources in time before the disciplinary hearing. I know leaving it late was my fault. But I was also a bit apprehensive due to using them last time prior to my ET claim, on one occassion the rep I was liasing with at the time when I was talking about the Equality Act etc and said the words 'protected characteristic', he remarked to me; "what's a protected characteristic?" it rang an alarm bell for me at the time for a split sec but I didn't chase it up. On that previous occasion their legal team reviewed my evidence and said that in their opinion I don't have more than 50% chance of succeeding, hence why I was at the ET by myself and represented myself. This time round another different rep stated that this is the wrong union for me due to the sector I'm in and that I should be with a union like the GMB instead (I had joined the right union at the time because during my previous experience even though it was the same org, the department I was in and the nature of the role I was carrying out fell more into their territory). I've only utilised their 'service' at the disciplinary hearing mostly for the moral support to be honest because my mental health and morale has just been deteriorating. To be honest I feel some of you random strangers on the internet have been a bit more helpful than the union in regards to this matter, some of you have explained technical IT details about the email and tracing etc, others have commented on the tactic of 'knitting'. I will be speaking to a solicitor tomorrow and also a friend of mine has said a relative of his who is an experienced HR manager at a big organisation (different sector from what I 'was' in) will get in touch with me, so hopefully I can get some useful insight from her on how to best approach and deal with the appeal.
  2. For my appeal I'm also intending to submit a psychiatrist report which confirms I have generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). Some of my symptoms of this are anger, frustration, irritability. I had stated that when questioned about the anonymous email I don't believe I gave an 'evasive' answer but an irritated and frustrated answer that was due to external stimuli triggering me at the time including the fact that I'm being contacted by HR on my personal email (whilst I'm meant to be on an unpaid career break), two months after our initial meeting, questioning me about this email asking me for my thoughts and comments. I have been going absolutely mental since last February. They've dragged out both mines and her investigations for over a year, throughout my entire unpaid career leave only to not uphold my harassment complainant against hers despite providing strong evidence (e.g. a direct communication from me to her stating that I did not appreciate certain things she'd said and done which I thought was inappropriate and left me feeling uncomfortable, upset and angry), whilst upholding her complaint against me in order to take me to the chopping block. They had this planned and prejudged right from the start. I've been under such a prolong period of stress and anxiety I honestly think I've got undected symptoms of yet another disorder - Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) hence why I'm challenging these lot and the way they're doing things, subject access requests, FOIA, questioning their procedures, competency, training, integrity, fairness, internal audits, discrimination, victimisation. I don't have any medical evidence of the ODD I only came across this recently and kinda 'self-diagnosed' based on online information (I use to be a psychology student and always had an interest in psychology I could still remember the lesson where my teacher said "you shouldn't ever self-diagnose...") This is all just so crazy.
  3. Thanks for all your input. Again, in relation to the email the reason why they believe on the balance of probabilities that it came from me was because of the timing in which it was sent (i.e. a few hours after we had our altercation), some of the 'content matter' e.g. I knew the complainant was undertaking an academic course for a qualification, and the claimant's previous history of submitting harassment allegations against her former partner, that it's 'not credible' the complainant would send this email to herself in order to get someone else into trouble and in the process 'incriminate herself' as well as not using her own name in the email ID. I have evidence of sending an internal email to her congratulating her for getting onto the academic course and wishing that she does well on it, as well as evidence dating back about two years where we're both talking about her intention to apply for this course and I'm motivating her to do so etc. The sender of the anonymous email is stating that they will 'expose the manner in which she got her promotion and that as a result she will lose her job and be kicked off this academic course'. I have no reason or motivation to send her such an email over a minor altercation with this person. I strongly believe this person has some serious mental health or personality issues due to her actions, statements and behaviour e.g. when talking to a former team mate of her the team mate said that the complainant had called the police on her bf over something minor (which the complainant admitted herself) and then came into work the next day 'bragging' about it? The complainant stated in her grievance how I had been harassing her for several years and provided a specific time frame too, yet in my defence I'm showing them that during this time she's sending me emails asking me to go on lunch & breaks with her, seeking my attention when she's bored. She stated during the investigation that she blocked me on a social media app because she felt 'uncomfortable' around me, yet I'd provided evidence whereby a few days after the social media blocking, she's initiating contact with me (through internal communications) and attempting to converse with me - the cogency of the complainant's narrative is so weak! Yet despite providing all the evidence in my defence to rebuke her allegations of harassment, and the investigators agreeing that there was no harassment during the time period which she claimed, when it comes to this specific email they've believed her allegation that it was me who sent it? How does that possibly make sense?!
  4. Thank you for your comment. I'm starting to sway away from submitting the sworn affidavit but will have a chat with a solicitor and if he advises against it then that's that. So bring out reasons why I think the outcome was wrong, ask for raw message and server logs of the email, state that it is too tenuous to end my livelihood and career based on an anonymous external email which I did not send, provide any new evidence and information and evidence which I do not think was considered properly as part of the original investigation, ask for a reinvestigation. Do I / can I mention my genuine and sincere belief that I had been discriminated and victimised as part of both investigations? I had made a protected disclosure on this basis and this is now known. Also, it I should be stating why I think the decision is wrong or unfair - can I get some input on what's the difference? Can it not be wrong and unfair at the same time? I know there's meant to be wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal. Do I say anything about the credibility of the complainant's testimony for my defence? Thank you all for your help. I'm just literally pacing up and down my living room and kitchen in the dark, smoking ciggs and then intermittently checking my phone for updated comments. I do suffer from general anxiety disorder.
  5. I understand where you're coming from. My battle isn't with the organisation, it's with certain malignant employees within that organisation that are carrying out unethical and illegal acts i.e. discrimination and victimisation under the Equality Act. I was getting along just fine before this complaint was raised against me (the very first ever in my whole working life). It was a certain number of malicious individuals who have taken full advantage and opportunity of that, not the organisation. These lot had it planned and prejudge right from the outset. The FOIA request and me questioning their internal workings etc came after the outcome of my investigation and the complainant's investigation was delivered. Up until then I was being civil, providing my evidence and full cooperation. But nevertheless, thank you for your advice and input.
  6. Please, don't be like that? I'm just laying out my thoughts and perspective for yours and other peoples' expertise and comments. I'm not being rude or arrogant. I am majorly depressed and anxious and haven't been eating and sleeping properly for several days now. But thank you for all your input so far anyways, don't think I am not reading them or taking them into account.
  7. In relation to the sworn affidavit, my understanding is that this is a legal oath to be taken as 100% truth unless proved otherwise and that it carries significant weight compared to any other ordinary statement? Everything I've said to them, they're not believing me so and just giving their own perverse justifications based on their seriously flawed investigation - if I submit a sworn affidavit, how can they then say that their approach and reasoning based on 'the balance of probabilities' is stronger then my denial based on a sworn oath? Yes, I will have to say it to a solicitor in order to take the oath but it's purpose here is to submit it as new information/evidence for my appeal in order that this decision to dismiss is revoked. The reason why I wish to go down the sworn affidavit route is because all of my other statements and arguments made in this situation is just being met with disbelief and not giving them the reassurance - so let me give them the maximum reassurance and comfort under oath. If they wish to disbelieve my affidavit, a legal sworn statement, then they would have to come out better than 'balance of probabilities' shouldn't they? The way I see it ultimately is this - they have a problem with my denial of this allegation even with everything I've said so far, and believe that my answer to whether I'd sent the email or not was 'evasive', okay so let me do you a favour, here's a sworn affidavit under legal oath my denial statement is now legally true unless proven (beyond reasonable doubt I assume?) otherwise. If they still disregard that and stick to their decision that I am guilty of this misconduct and their decision to dismiss, I could then submit this sworn affidavit as evidence in an Employment Tribunal could I not? They stated in the outcome report that the investigating officer enlisted the help of the organisation's cyber security team and they were unable to find the source of the email. They hadn't produced the email with headers etc. The organisation uses Outlook and the email came from a free web-based email company. The reason why I wanted to raise the gender was not because of misogynistic reasons but to try and illustrate my belief that could it be that the female investigator was prejudiced and biased in the course of investigating a harassment complaint raised by another female against a male? Perhaps because the investigator had experienced harassment in her own personal and professional life. Please also bear in mind that I am someone who had taken this organisation to an Employment Tribunal before and then withdrew after settling. I am also someone that recently has queried their internal HR investigation processes, manuals, guides, training for those carrying out investigations etc. I've also made a protected disclosure in relation to HR and non-HR personnel who I sincerely believe are breaching the Equality Act by discriminating and victimising. I am exposing certain senior people in this organisation and calling out their BS so unless I'm being seriously paranoid I believe that all of them are colluding to cover up their stink and get rid of me. Furthermore, I'd submitted a FOIA request asking for % of harassment complaints brought and upheld/not upheld in different categories e.g. male vs female, BAME vs non-BAME, also requesting data on their HR team in relation to diversity (gender and race), and finally the publication dates of all Internal Audits of the HR function since the organisation's inception. It's been way over the 20 working days deadline in which they should have complied by. Chased them up. No response.
  8. The more I contemplate it the more it seems that the sworn affidavit stating my denial is the way forward. I will be meeting with solicitors after the Bank Holiday. It is just this particular email for which they've dismissed me for gross misconduct. The complainant alleged I sent it. I'm denying that I did - her word vs my word. I'd provided evidence which contradicts all of her other allegations and certain statements she's made, this should further weaken her allegations and the credibility of her witness statement. Their rationale as to why they think, 'on the balance of probabilities', that I sent it is because of essentially the following: 1) the female investigator believes the female complainant's 'upset and distress' at receiving this email as 'genuine'. 2) that the email was sent a few hours after a minor altercation/argument in the office. 3) that when they questioned me (two months after my meeting with them) on whether I sent the email that my answer was 'evasive'. 4) the complainant's witness testimony and that they do not think it is 'credible' that either herself or someone else had sent it. They had attempted to trace the source of the email but could not do so.
  9. I will be talking to a solicitor. Can you tell me more about providing a sworn affidavit? This is the first time I've ever come across this, I didn't know one could be used in workplace situations? I've been trying to do some online research but there's hardly any mention of affidavits being used in like this within workplace situations such as investigations or disciplinaries and appeals etc. Not in the UK anyways, but there are some legal articles about it being used in workplace situations in US and Australia. I need to provide my grounds for appeal and will be doing so mainly under (1) failure to consider evidence; (2) misunderstanding evidence and; (3) insufficient investigation of a point. I would also then provide new information including this affidavit in order to provide them with the ultimate comfort that I did not send that particular email.
  10. Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean by your first sentence? Prior to the investigation interview they had sent me a few email attachments which was discussed in the meeting. The other email in question was only showed to me two months after that meeting - this was the first time I saw this email. I'm not too sure as to why they didn't show me this email prior to my investigation meeting.
  11. I will look into the sworn affidavit. I'm assuming I can submit this as part of my disciplinary decision appeal? Just trying to decipher subjective opinion vs objective fact - if the investigator states that they 'view the complainant's upset and distress as genuine' is that a subjective opinion or objective fact? I believe it's a subjective opinion.
  12. Currently in relation to this email I see it is a matter of "he said vs she said" - my narrative has been consistent and unfaltering whereas her narrative is contradictory to the evidence I'd provided in my defence. Yet, although they didn't uphold the other allegations (which includes further external anonymous emails), they are sticking to their view that it was me who sent this particular email which they've dismissed me for. During the course of investigation of my complaint, this email was provided by the female complainant as 'evidence' (only knew this after the outcome report was delivered) and in the outcome report the investigating officer expressed her opinion that this email was 'presumably sent by myself' - I was never questioned about this email, the (female) investigator provided no basis, justification or rationale as to why she had presumed this email was sent by myself but just stated it. I cannot see how on the 'balance of probabilities' they are attributing this email to me. I have been denying it all along, I have been attacking the complainant's witness testimony and her credibility - if I've proven that the complainant is lying about the other allegations, then on the balance of probabilities is she not lying about this email being sent by myself? They have purposely suppressed my counter complaint and hadn't properly investigated my sexual harassment complaint. I do not have legal insurance. I am a member of a Trade Union (but they're not that helpful). I am looking to seek legal advice. I like my job, I've had my heart set on building a career here, I do not have a problem with the organisation per se but this seems to be the actions of a handful of individual malignant employees.
  13. Good morning all, 1) I have worked for this employer, a public regulatory body, for more than 2 years. I had previously submitted equality complaints a few years prior in relation to discrimination on two occasions which were not upheld, nor the subsequent appeals. I ultimately ended up submitting an ET claim and withdrew due to signing a settlement. 2) Six months lather, a complaint was raised against me in relation to harassment by a female colleague. I had also raised my own harassment-related complaint against the female colleague. 3) I do not believe my complaint was investigated thoroughly, fairly or impartially, that evidence was not reviewed properly and the female colleague was given preferential treatment in order not to uphold my complaint against her whether partially or fully. I believe by doing so I had been discriminated on the grounds of my sex, and that the investigators helped facilitate further discrimination and victimisation for those who were investigating her complaint against me. 4) Ultimately, they had partially upheld her complaint against me (despite me providing numerous evidence in relation to her the credibility of her testimony and her overall allegations) in relation to one external anonymous email which they had deemed 'on the balance of probabilities' was sent by myself. All other allegations were not upheld against me, including further external anonymous emails which they could also not establish where it was sent from or by whom. There were numerous inaccuracies in the outcome report including misquotes by the author, stating things that I had never said etc. which is painting me in a negative light. 5) I had submitted an appeal to my complaint, provided further evidence which I believe if it were to have been considered properly, would have helped in upholding my complaint against her. The evidence provided was such, that I believe if it were to have been provided by the female colleague in her complaint against me, then it would've been used against me to uphold my complaint. However, in my case they seem to have wilfully ignored the evidence. 6) During the process I highlighted my suspicions that the HR team are not abiding by the ACAS Code, do not have best practice guidelines and proper policies, procedures and training when it comes to investigating workplace grievances. I also made a protected disclosure as I believe that several personnel are discriminating and victimising me in breach of the Equality Act. I had also given indications that I will be submitting another protected act i.e. submitting another ET claim. 7) I was invited to a disciplinary hearing and made my representations, methodically going through each of my points including the credibility of her allegations, the author's misquotes of myself, providing further evidence. However, after 'considering' my representations they still decided to summarily dismiss me for gross misconduct based on their view, that I had sent the external anonymous email which was of a harassing nature. The decision maker agreed with the investigator's outcome report and made no mention to the failings which I highlighted, nor of the female colleague's credibility and her version of events in relation to her other allegations of harassment which I had successfully defended with numerous evidence e.g. when she said something I provided evidence which shows that it was clearly a lie. 8) I now have 5 working days to appeal the penalty and need to state my grounds. 9) I believe that right from the outset all individuals involved both in the investigation of my complaint as well as hers, have been colluding in a concerted effort to deliberately suppress the investigation and the outcome into my complaint, whilst upholding hers, in order to dismiss me from the organisation. Numerous HR individuals involved were also aware of me carrying out protected acts in previous years e.g. the other grievances/equality complaints, appeals and the ET claim which they settled with me. 10) I have submitted yet another ET1, but an immediate aim is to successfully overturn the dismissal penalty, ideally revoke the penalty altogether, as I do not want to lose my job and because I know an ET hearing at this moment in time can take a year, maybe more... 11) I am also looking to submit a separate ET1 against the individual female colleague who had subjected me to harassment as I believe I had sufficient evidence for my claim, however the investigation was not conducted properly in order to accommodate their sinister ulterior motives. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated particularly in relation to the disciplinary penalty appeal as I only have a few working days to do so. This is so mentally and emotionally draining but I'm trying my best to keep it together.
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