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I currently work in Scotland as a paid Community Development Officer although the board of directors who employ me are all volunteers.

Prior to taking up this post I led a busy administration team for a private sector company before I left the firm having accepted a compromise agreement arranged by my former line manager.

I should also point out that I previously raised a grievance process against my line manager and although my complaint was upheld,

there was ultimately no change in his behavior and I reluctantly tendered my resignation at a later date.

 

Since leaving the private sector and taking up post as a Community Worker,

my former line manager has continued his vendetta campaign against me in an apparent bid to ensure that I am not allowed to prosper.

It has come to my knowledge that in his capacity as a director of the company I now work for

(I knew this individual was on the board of directors prior to applying for the job),

he made efforts to stop me from being recruited by my current emplyers.

Despite his recommendations to the board, I was successful in my application

and my former line manager had to resort to an email campaign against me in which

he continually questioned my work performance during my 3 month probationary period.

He later resigned from the board of directors when I successfully completed my 3 month probation period citing that he would not remain as a voluntary board member if I was to be employed full time.

Despite resigning from the board he quickly resumed his vendetta campaign last year following an altercation between he and I which took place outwith the workplace.

The quantity of emails relating to my conduct and performance which have been sent by this individual is nothing short of staggering.

Many of the allegations made against me are entirely false and there are many instances where he has made defamatory comments against me.

His campaign against me has been carried-out within company time using my former employers premises, their equipment and their email address

(even once using their conference room in during office hours to conduct a meeting with the chair of the board of directors in order to discuss my conduct and performance).

 

Although I do not currently possess any hard copies or electronic copies of the emails in question (there are approximately 30 emails),

I have been allowed to read most of them as my line manager continues to keep me informed of his failed efforts to bring this regrettable matter to a close.

Under the Data Protection Act, I have now requested a copy of all correspondence written about me which has come from this individual.

This request has been submitted to both my employers and my former line manager's current employers (all emails have been sent using the company's email).

 

I have made every effort to ignore this character but he just refuses to go away and I now want to take action.

Does anyone have any advice?

Should I pursue a claim against the individual or my former employers and what grounds do i have for a claim?

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Hi

 

This is shocking behaviour especially since initially he was a Director irrespective of him being a volunteer he was a Director and also the Employer of all staff. He should have declared a conflict of interest to the rest of the Board and the Chief Executive. Also remember as a Board Member he would also have had to sign a Code of Conduct for Board member (remember to ask for a copy of that Code of Conduct.

 

What amazes me is that when he was a director he was allowed to get away with his action against you.

 

You have done the right thing requesting these document but I feel you may need to make a formal complaint to his present employer since he is using there equipment to send these emails and inform them of this persons conduct and that you feel he is possibly in breach of that companies electronic communication and security policy.

 

What would make matters worse is if he is sending these emails from his present employer to your employer and if this is or has happened the you need to immediatley raise a grievance with your employer against the action of this other companies employee but get your evidence first before doing so.

 

A good IT Team will be able to pull all that information even if they have tried to delete it as it will still remain on the companies servers and they can produce a a full log of all their activities.

 

Something to note his action by doing this at his present employer is also bringing that employers name into disrepute by his action and is also bullying and harassment.

 

Please visit ACAS website www.acas.org.uk

 

If you are concerned about reporting this to your employer I would suggest doing this under "Whistleblowing" and if possible ask for a copy of that policy as it gives the employee whistleblowing protective status but you would need their policy.

 

Now this is just me reading between the line from the first few line of your post when you refer to your position and the voluntary role of the Board do they have Charity Status.

 

If you feel this individual is stalking you please have a read of this link from Scottish Government:

 

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Justice/crimes/harassment/stalkinglaw

 

These may be of use:

Edited by stu007
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Harassment in Scotland is covered here...

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1997/40/crossheading/scotland

 

If there are as many emails as you state, then the police can obtain these as evidence from the sender/recipient. Discrepancies from one side might prove interesting.

 

I would suspect your harasser has assets, and speaking to a solicitor with the details should result in your costs being recovered in pursuing an action under the above act and would end your problem, with imprisonment being a disposal for breaking an interdict issued under s8 ss5 (actual details listed in s9).

 

How do you actually know the contents and volume of his emails?

 

If you are unwilling to take the police route, then, presumably if your present employers have told you then they would be happy to either let you see them, or if they are stroppy, SAR both them and your previous employer, as you are the subject matter of the emails.

 

See what comes back and take it from there.

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Thanks for the response.

 

Regarding how I know about the emails.

 

To be fair to my current employers, they've had they've been very supportive in dealing with this character, which is why the chair of the board reads out every piece of correspondence he receives from him criticizing my performance. Although I do not yet possess any copies of this individual's emails, this will change shortly due to the SAR I've already submitted.

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If they are very helpful, ask if you can have the headers too, as it will identify the source of each email rather than just the email address they were sent from.

 

Once your SAR arrives, SAR the other company to see what they have. As I said the differences could be interesting.

 

The other option likely to end things with minimal disruption would be send him a letter asking he stops. Mention you have a SAR of his emails, also stating the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, and copy the relevant parts (criminal/civil/interdict).

 

I have a friend who is a solicitor down in Glasgow who sends letters I write on his headed paper for a bottle of whisky a time, and it adds weight to anything I send. I suspect there are currently no shortage of Scottish solicitors seeking alcohol!

Edited by Bang!
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Hi Terry

 

In that case I would write (recorded delivery always keep a paper trail) personally to the Chair of the Board requesting a meeting with him to try to resolve this issue otherwise if it continues you have no choice but to involve the police as this individual is also commiting a Breach of the Peace by his actions.

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Thank you for the prompt responses.

 

I'm afraid I'm past wanting this to stop. I'm aggrieved that my former employers never dealt with this guy properly when the facts were put before them during my grievance. I now work in a temporary post with a contract that expires next year. I want them to at least provide me with an offer of compensation

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I would imagine the best path stick with what you are presently doing, and obtain all the evidence you can. Get a solicitor to go to court with the Act mentioned, as this should return an outcome no one can really argue against. If the emails were not sent from the work address, you would need to check the headers to see if they came from there, or if they were at times he would be working there.

 

Sorry - I had missed you mentioning the SARs in your original post, as my internet is lousy tonight and the page part loaded and I read to the end, and I went on to read another thread before it loaded the end, then replied later.

 

Lastly, you never mentioned a conclusion to "an altercation between he and I which took place outwith the workplace". Were the police called, was anyone charged/prosecuted?

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Thanks,

 

Re the altercation: Any time he sees me in public, he makes efforts to approach me. It's normally a brief exchange and I tell him that I don't keep with people like him and that he should GTF (if he approaches me in a professional capacity I always show him every courtesy). This always results in an email to my boss reporting the "incident" to my emloyers citing that it's not befitting of someone in my position (a community worker) to treat him in this manner. (There has never been any witnesses to the few brief altercations we've had outside work and the worst I've ever done is use bad language towards him whilst telling him not to approach me) I have never ever approached him outwith work and I have never ever behaved in a threatening manner or in any other way towards him which is in any way worthy of police intervention. Ultimately I suppose I've always known that he'd never stop and that it was always going to end up with some kind of legal action being taken up against him or his employers so I've always been careful + I'm not a thug! :)

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Can someone please explain "vicarious liability" to me?

 

As I mentioned above, this campaign against me has been carried out entirely from within the company I formerly worked for. I'm thinking that if I receive any indication from my former employers that they are looking to dismiss this campaign against me as the actions of a rogue individual, then I'm unwilling to accept this as valid explanation nor am I willing to accept that they'll make sure it doesn't happen again. When i raised a grievance against my former line manager, not only was the grievance upheld but sufficient concerns were raised regarding my line manager's conduct, attendance and integrity which indicated that this individual required close monitoring and it was entirely reasonable to question whether or not he was fit and proper to remain in a managerial post. It is my understanding the recommendations put forward by my former employers following the grievance process (he was to receive managerial training on how to behave like a human being) have never been delivered and it is as a result of my former employer's complete failure to control a known troublesome employee which has resulted in the continuation of the harassment campaign against me.

Is this a competent approach to take?

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Vicarious Liability is where an employer can be held responsible for the Torts of his employees when the tort has been committed in the course of his employment.

If I have been of any help, please click on my star and let me know, thank you.

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Hi Terry

 

Also if the Company he work for has Charitable status have a look at this link from the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator:

 

http://www.oscr.org.uk/managing-your-charity/how-to-complain-about-a-charity/

 

Also what may be useful for you with him stalking you outside work now I assume you have a mobile is to record the conversation or even better camera it for evidence.

 

If he approaches you at all please I know its difficult but try and ignore him and be polite (remember you dont want to give him the excuse if you do call the police to say you were using threatening behaviour towards him) if he persists then just call the police on him.

 

It seems to me as if this individual is really wanting some sort of reaction out of you with these confrontations please dont give him the opportunity.

Edited by stu007

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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Vicarious Liability is where an employer can be held responsible for the Torts of his employees when the tort has been committed in the course of his employment.

 

OP is in Scotland, where torts are delict.

Edited by Bang!
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In one of the early emails, correspondence has been sent from my former employer's work email which makes false representation of my work ethic and performance during my time in employment with my former employers. The email was sent to my current board of directors in an apparent bid to hi-light concerns about my appointment to my new post.

 

Having read the email, I'm confident that I can threaten my former employers with defamation. Is there any avenue available to them whereby they could deny liability for this (and all other) correspondence.

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Thanks,

 

Re the altercation: Any time he sees me in public, he makes efforts to approach me. It's normally a brief exchange and I tell him that I don't keep with people like him and that he should GTF (if he approaches me in a professional capacity I always show him every courtesy). This always results in an email to my boss reporting the "incident" to my emloyers citing that it's not befitting of someone in my position (a community worker) to treat him in this manner. (There has never been any witnesses to the few brief altercations we've had outside work and the worst I've ever done is use bad language towards him whilst telling him not to approach me) I have never ever approached him outwith work and I have never ever behaved in a threatening manner or in any other way towards him which is in any way worthy of police intervention. Ultimately I suppose I've always known that he'd never stop and that it was always going to end up with some kind of legal action being taken up against him or his employers so I've always been careful + I'm not a thug! :)

 

Personally I would carry with me at all times a digital recorder and as and when you see him approaching you get it out state time date into the recorder and shove it under his nose when he starts to speak. Tell him that you are recording this conversation and as per the letter you have sent him that he should desist from contacting you at all times as you believe he is harassing you and committing a criminal offence, which you will in due course report to Police. The recording will ensure that there is corroboration of evidence, which is necessary in Scotland.

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Today I received notification from my former employers that they were dealing with my complaint and they assigned an "HR Officer" to my case. They've said that the case officer will be in touch with me this week and I looking for some advice regarding what to say. Ultimately this is only a SAR at this stage but I am keen to take a hard line with them to demonstrate that this is a very serious matter and that I mean business. What arguments can I put to them in order clarify my stance at a very early stage. Also, what is the likelihood of them offering an out of court settlement and how does one calculate a settlement figure.

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Hi Terry

 

quick question while i read your last post your former employer has given you notice that they are dealing with your complaint now did they enclose a copy of their Complaints Procedure with that notification?

 

Now I would also print off those 2 PDF in my Post#2 and if they visit or you meet then make sure they see you have these if you see what im getting at.

 

Also If he is still employed by this employer and has being using their equipment i.e. email, phones, etc to continue this vendetta then his action are also bringing that Companies Name into Disrepute by his actions.

 

Sit down with a notepad and write every single thing down that has happened.

 

Then go through it and check you aint missed anything and then on a seperate paper try to shorten everything Bullet Point style.

Edited by stu007

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Hi

 

Well they aint good at following procedures so

 

I would write to them again and ask that since this is being treated as a Complaint by there Company the least you would have expected is for them to provide a copy of their Complaint Procedure with the Notification letter and that you now require a copy of their Complaints Procedure.

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Hi

 

Well what a surprise that is tut tut to them.

 

Right now write to them further to there Notification letter dated XX/XX/XX that this was being dealt with as a Complaint the least you would have expected is a copy of the Complaint Procedure with that notification.

 

I now require your Company to forward me a copy of your Complaint Procedure and if this request is denied a full explanation as to why.

 

SOZ FOR DOUBLE POST

 

Now if the company he is working for has charity status at all they also have to follow charity regulations as well thats only if they are.

 

NEVER EVER MEET THESE PEOPLE ON YOUR OWN ALWAYS HAVE A WITNESS.

Edited by stu007

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Does anyone have any advice regarding how I should proceed with thing once I receive the SAR info.

 

I am definitely going submit an official complaint to my former employers and I also feel that I am due compensation from them as I this whole process has been a nightmare for me

 

Should I threaten legal action in my complaint?

 

Should I ask them to offer an of out of court settlement?

 

How much should I ask for?

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If you are considering (Civil) legal action then it may be a good idea to follow the Pre_action Protocols here > http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/protocol, Im not sure if defamation is relevant to your case, if not then follow the general guidelines in the first one. (See Section III and Annex A - and just follow those guidelines).

 

These are a good way of letteing someone know you are serious, getting all the info. out in the open, requesting extra info. and also suggesting a figure to compensate you (possibly opening tghe door to discussions/settlement).

 

The good thing about Pre_action Protocols is that this is all pre-litigation, so no risk of costs/losing at this stage and if the other side does not reply you can mention this at the end of any legal action if the issue of costs arises.

 

No idea how much you should ask for, things like distress and inconviennce are hard to put a number on, I personally would let a court decide and in your claim put 'an amount not higher than £1000 (or perhaps £5000 to keep it in small track).

 

Andy

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  • 3 months later...

Hi

 

Having waited for the subject access request from my former employers before submitting a formal complaint to them, they have just responded to say that as mu complaint relates to my previous employment with the company and i am no longer an employee they will not be investigating it.

 

My complaint clearly relates to their treatment of me since I left the company (over 100 pieces of correspondence have been sent to my current employers in a bid to first of all try and prevent me from being employed and there on in, to undermine my performance whilst I was employed).

 

Despite their response, I am now ready to issue the "pre-action-protocall" in a bid to reach a settlement but I'd appreciate some advice 1st.

 

Are my former employers legally liable for the mistreatment I've suffered. I am sure that they will argue that any mistreatment I have suffered has been at the hands of a rogue employee abusing company resource and that they are not liable.

 

I would argue that their failure to investigate my complaint, failure to apologize and failure to guarantee that I will no longer be subjected to this behavior, makes them complicit and they have failed in their duty of care towards me. As of yet they have indicated no wrong-doing whatsoever on anyone's part (even on the part of the employee in question).

 

I would also appreciate some advice on how much to claim for in my pre-action-protocall (if anything). What I really want is for them to correct the damage they've done to my reputation, provide an agreed employers reference which relates to my actual performance and to offer a guarantee that I won't be subjected to this treatment again.

 

If anyone has any any advice it would be greatly appreciated (please remember that I live in Scotland and any proceedings will be subject to Scottish law)

 

Regards, Terry

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