i need assistance with employment law, and personal injury claims. i would appreciate any advice that fellow CAG's can provided
Work Related Breakdown
i suffered a work related breakdown a year ago approx, however despite the problems at work i loved the actually job itself and always intended to return to work when i was well enough to do so, however i was pre empted financially and returned October last year and at that point formally started my grievance.
like most people i had not idea of how a grievance procedure would work, so it was a massive learning curve. it is so unbelievably stressful and im still not fully well.
all of the stresses remain as nothing had changed within the team on my return and my health has again deteriorated. Occ Health have recommended in writing that my place of work is toxic to my full recovery and i should leave. my p/trist is saying the same, as is my counsellor. they have all made clear that outside of that environment my health should improve enough for me to get another job doing the same type of work but with a different organisation!
my question is this. is it possible for me to take civil action over and above tribunal action against my employer for the pysiatric injury they have caused me, in addition to which i had lost all my body hair. my head remains bald and i have to wear a wig, my eyebrow are going again, my arm and leg hair have gone, however my pubic hair did grow back a little. i am very grateful that my eyelashes have grown back - but for how long. i have been tested medically, the is no physical reason for the universal hair loss.
i am aware that the issue of constructive dismissal and discrimination can only be held in a Tribunal. but i would want to know how p/injury would work in a civil court, and could this take place more quickly than a Tribunal, and although not the right venue, will the issues of the discrimination, harrassment, bullying and victimisation come out at a civil hearing?
i have an outstanding grievance appeal taking place by the end of March, it is likely to be negative,
a little more detail
first 'last straw' - manager held PPP (nearly 2 years since the previous one) tells me basically im c.... and that my colleagues have all complained about me, and gives examples of complaint. Fair enough. however all of this has come out of nowhere. manager provides no discussion or plan on how to resolve the situation between me and the rest of team, and goes off on 2 weeks holiday. naturally this has a devasting affect on my feeling toward the manager and the rest of the team, i have believed what he is saying.
i make complaint to manager on his return and challenge all his accusation and complain that if the situation were true how is it he didnt try to help resolve the situation? i copy in HR. manager writes back taking no responsibility claiming i have misinterpreted and didnt say some of the things. my complaint was comprehensive and i gave back to him all the examples that he had used! a meeting was held. HR had lead me to believe that the meeting was a grievance as laid out in their policy, but it was a mediation meeting whereby the manager states again that i have mis interpreted and that in fact no one had complained about me - he failed to give any further information. he actually stated that i was made for the job. on hearing this however instead of making me feel better it devasted me further. i couldnt understand how he had done this to me in the first place. i had worked so hard and was so proud of the work. i went into freefall. from the time of the meeting with manager to what i thought was a grievance meeting was just over 2 months during which time there was a complete and utter breakdown between me and the rest of the team.
i was signed off sick with work sky high blood pressure and related stress which i had desperately been trying to ward off.
emloyer contact during sick leave
during sick leave, the manager above my manager demanded to to see me, didnt advise that i could be accompanied and during the meeting told me basically that the best thing for me was to get my arse back on my chair and that in their experience involving the medical profession would mean that i would be off work longer! remember this talk at me is whilst i am unwell and vulnerable. end result even more freefall.
during my sick leave there were a bombardment of letters from work, which stressed me out further than you can believe i felt hounded. i thought that it would be better to return to work even thougth my GP didnt think i was ready. i thought that it would be best to stop the hounding and make sure their were no more meetings with my managers manager.
phased return meeting
GP formally recommended this. unfortunately he did not specify a time. managers manager didnt want to follow GP's advice and tried to insist instead that if i felt tied i went home. luckily an HR officer was present and had to remind manager that it was normal in such circumstance and length of time away that a phased return take place. manager reluctantly agreed to 1 week! there was mention of a review, but no details of when the review would take place or who with.
naturally 1 week was not enough. situation with team not resolved. i approach HR for help and am basically told to go away. i return to my GP who tries not to give the 'i told you so' and signs me off again. long term sick which brings me back to my return last year.
Discrimination bullying and harrassment
prior to the first last straw i had been suffering discrimination harrassment and bullying from another member of the team for a couple of year which i didnt handle very well. i absorbed it - but this just caused me to lose my body hair. i genuinely believe that this new member of staff would get used to me being there, also i had hoped that other members of the team would come to my defence when i was under attack from this 'colleague' - but no one did, some of them even joined in. this colleague was good at getting others to express their prejudices and the others knew better. i felt so isolated, ashamed and scared to say anything just in case they thought i was the one with the problem the one with the 'chip' so i said nothing. there was no one or manager that i had any trust or confidence in that i could take this matter to, so i suffered in silence, until the breakdown came.
Employers investigate the complainant
on making the complaint my employers carried out an investigation - a shock to me, a bigger shock was later learning that they had carried out an investigation on me too. thank God i was good at my job, good things were said about me. so they cant get me on that angle.
grievance 1 outcome
it transpired that others had complained also about my 'colleague' and my manager showed up themselves good and proper at the hearing. recommendations. words would be had with colleague and manager, but no grounds for discrimination - however....
'colleague' had actually admitted to what they thought would be a lesser complaint that they thought they could get away with, but this put employers in difficulty and they had to make a statement at the appeal confirming that at least one act of discrimination had taken place. it was agreed (and is on tape) that i was the brunt of this 'colleagues' abusive behaviour
promotion of the main perp
it was always the intention of my 'colleague' to get me out of the team and take over my Officer status and effect they way up from what they considered to be a lowly administrative position. they have now achieved this. even with the outcome of the grievance they still hold this position. what does this say?
Victimisation (final 'last straw')
managers manager has not taken too kindly to my complaint and raised awareness of what's going on in one of their departments and has targeted the 'trouble maker' me. a serious incident of victimisation has recently taken place. but i am covered by a 'protected act' and acted immediately. i put in a grievance about the harrassment and bullying by this particular manager. naturally management have stuck together. so i am just about to put in an appeal.
Back to the start again
this brings me round to where i started. based on the medical recommendation i think i will have to leave my job immediately i am notified of the appeal decision otherwise i will lose any rights i may have to claim constructive dismissal. i am not sure i want to claim this anyway as i would prefer the matter to go to civil court, where i can completely sue the a... off these people for what has happened to me over the past 18 months.
my medical state
the complete and utter indignity of having to constantly wear a wig and a cheap one at that as i dont have the money to buy a decent one. how further freakish i look without eyebrows. the constant eye infections because of no eyelashes, or where they were just coming loose and falling into my eye - the constant rubbing. im not so distressed about the rest of the body hair - no on sees any of it. im on medication up to my eyeballs. i have a diagnosed prolapsed disc and whilst of sick couldnt even put my knickers on or use the WC without putting a bucket on it first as i couldnt sit. thankfully my mobility is such that i can get around better, but i walk with a limp now, and still prefer to use the disable WC as they are a little higher. the constant pain in my back, shooting pains and numbness in my left leg is sometimes unbearable. also since being back at work apart from the deterioaration again of my mental state i have the additional indignity of repeated boils on my arse - what the hell is that about?
i do hope that there is someone prepared and/or managed to read through this and provide advice or answer my query.