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Do I have a claim for Constructive Dismissal ?

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I have been working in a US worldwide multi national company for 15 years without a blemish or stain on my character. I am highly regarded as a professional and expert in my field, and have many accolades on my file from individuals I have assisted over the years, including one from our former General Manager.Three months ago a US HR Director came in and basically has taken charge. We don't really know him and he doesn't really know any of us. He does not consult or communicate with any of us and is making changes and decisions which affect all of us. He has already told me that I am defensive, purely because I was protective of the position I've built up over my career. Frustration and upset has been building since he came in. Last week I had a meeting with a project business manager that I have built up a very good relationship with over the past year or so. During the meeting he told me that the US HR Director had agreed to let my assistant go and support his project. I had not been privy to any such arrangement or asked if I could spare my assistant. This was the final straw and, very unprofessionally I admit, I let slip the "F" word. I apologised immediately, saying it was very unprofessional of me. The Business Manager thoroughly understood my frustration, accepted my apology and said it was understandable given the circumstances and he also apologised for telling me. Our meeting continued for a further 15 minutes or so with no further reference to the matter. 24 hours later, I was called in to the HR Directors office to be given a verbal reprimand for using foul language in front of the BM, that it was unprofessional and he would not tolerate such bad language being used by any of his staff, no matter what the circumstances, ever again. I said that I didn't think I was the only employee out of 650 who had ever let this word slip out and and he said "yes you are". Apparently the Business Manager had gone to the Project Secretary to say that he thought he'd put his foot in it and told her what I'd said. She told him to go into her boss who is a US VP and our General Manager (a Brit) was there and heard everything. I was told to be dealt with. This US HR guy made me feel like a 5 year old (I am in my early 50's)and I told him that, in 15 years, this was the first time I'd ever done anything like this and that I felt everyone had over reacted and that it in no way needed to be brought to the attention of the General Manager. I spent most of the afternoon in tears, but completed my contractual hours, and most of the weekend tied up in knots with tension, anger and frustration. I tendered my resignation on Monday, stating that I felt through the actions of others, there is now a blemish on my character and that my reputation has been sullied to the extent that I can no longer look these Managers in the eye. I could not continue with the company with the feeling that my every comment, action, behaviour was under constant scrutiny. The UK HR. Manager who was present during the reprimand did nothing to protect me or support me, and he has known me for 15 years. I told them I had my pride, which is why I'm leaving. I was speaking with my friend who does employee relations, and she thinks I may have a case for constructive dismissal. There is no Policy in our workplace against swearing which is a surprise as there is a policy for almost everything else ! Do I have to fall on my sword and bow out graciously, or have I got a case to pursue? Comments anyone please.

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Hello there, welcome to the forum.


Am I right in thinking that you work in the UK?


And my second question, would you be able to edit your post to include some paragraphs please? It's really hard to read, and you will get more replies and advice the easier it is to read. The Edit Post button is on the bottom right of what you just put on this thread.


My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum




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from what you say, IMO no you dont have a case for constructive dismissal, although unfortunate.

You could always withdraw your resignation?

if in UK, suggest you talk to acas they may be able to advise or a solicitor who deals in employment problems.

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On the facts given, cant see that you've got any hope of constructive dismissal - they've given you a verbal warning for swearing, which they are entitled to do, even if its not written down as a policy.


Retract your notice by telling them it was a rash spur of the moment decision and keep your head down for a few weeks, we're in a recession and jobs aren't easy to find, hurt pride is one thing, hurt pride and no job/money is completely different.


Good luck.



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Thank you everyone for responding so quickly. I am a Brit in UK employment, however that is academic now as the consensus is that I don't have a case. I'll now concentrate my energies on getting a new job!


I have no wish to rescind my notice as this was the catalyst to the other things I've had to put up with over the last couple of years. I just can't play the Corporate game anymore !


I am fortunate in that I can afford not to work to that takes some pressure off me.


Thanks again.

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Thank you. Was told today by the UK HR Manager that one element of my job, which happens to be the largest portion, is going to be outsourced so I didn't need to do train anyone up. Can't believe that this decision only came about since I resigned on Monday, so I think this US HR Director had a game plan from the time he set foot on UK soil and I was in his sights all along. I shall be well out of it I think !

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