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HR / Legal advice please.. Re: Colleague urinating in my cup.

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Hi all,

 

In June this year I received notice of a bullying claim against me instigated by a more senior manager at work who had been off with stress since February.

 

to cut a long story short

I was suspended 3 weeks ago due to some emails with another colleague (totally unrelated to the bullying claim) and which date back to 2009.

 

The manager is now on a phased return to work and last week he removed my mug from my desk,

urinated in it and left it in the store room where it was found by another member of staff.

 

Senior Management have now been informed of the occurrence but obviously have not as yet acted on it

but I have my suspicions that they will not do anything.

 

I would be grateful for any advice on the following...

 

Have any criminal offences been committed relating to..

A) the theft of my cup

B) the store room is used by technicians and other members of staff passing through

C) Health & Safety implications

 

I am aware I have a lot of support from colleagues as the Manager concerned allowed me to undertake many roles that should have been assigned to him

and I believe this to be part of the reason for the grievance.

 

For this reason I think he didn't feel confident to walk down the corridor to use the male toilets.

 

This doesn't however give him the right to urinate in my mug and leave it where anyone could find it.

(There are several buckets he could have used as an alternative).

 

The reason I feel the company may not act is because they have allowed him to return to work as "fit for work"

yet clearly he is not so by taking him down the disciplinary route they will leave themselves wide open for failing in their "duty of care".

 

What should I do?

 

If I take out a grievance myself I risk being persecuted even more

 

should I sit back and say nothing and bring it up at a later date after the outcome of the disciplinary hearing?

Thanks

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Hi all,

 

In June this year I received notice of a bullying claim against me instigated by a more senior manager at work who had been off with stress since February.

 

to cut a long story short

I was suspended 3 weeks ago due to some emails with another colleague (totally unrelated to the bullying claim) and which date back to 2009.

 

The manager is now on a phased return to work and last week he removed my mug from my desk,

urinated in it and left it in the store room where it was found by another member of staff.

 

Senior Management have now been informed of the occurrence but obviously have not as yet acted on it

but I have my suspicions that they will not do anything.

 

I would be grateful for any advice on the following...

 

Have any criminal offences been committed relating to..

A) the theft of my cup - Probably not - certainly nothing that would warrant such a claim - depending of course on any particular sentimental value

B) the store room is used by technicians and other members of staff passing through - is this a question or a statement?

C) Health & Safety implications - Absolutely yes, this would be the major issue, together with the personal nature of the act

 

I am aware I have a lot of support from colleagues as the Manager concerned allowed me to undertake many roles that should have been assigned to him

and I believe this to be part of the reason for the grievance.

 

For this reason I think he didn't feel confident to walk down the corridor to use the male toilets.

 

This doesn't however give him the right to urinate in my mug and leave it where anyone could find it.

(There are several buckets he could have used as an alternative). Why would he use a bucket and not a toilet? Is it common practice to wee in a bucket at your workplace - it certainly isn't in mine!

 

The reason I feel the company may not act is because they have allowed him to return to work as "fit for work"

yet clearly he is not so by taking him down the disciplinary route they will leave themselves wide open for failing in their "duty of care".

 

What should I do?

If I take out a grievance myself I risk being persecuted even more - You can't be persecuted (lawfully at least) for raising a grievance, although obviously it may be awkward

 

should I sit back and say nothing and bring it up at a later date after the outcome of the disciplinary hearing?

 

Absolutely not - I would be outraged at his actions and would be extremely vocal in my complaint

Thanks

 

If you do not feel able to raise a formal grievance (although if you are suspended at present I don't see that you have any reason not to do so), I would certainly approach the management and demand that some action is taken. This person's actions are outrageous and in any civilised workplace this would result in dismissal, although after the comment about using a bucket I wonder what is actually commonplace


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If you do not feel able to raise a formal grievance (although if you are suspended at present I don't see that you have any reason not to do so), I would certainly approach the management and demand that some action is taken. This person's actions are outrageous and in any civilised workplace this would result in dismissal, although after the comment about using a bucket I wonder what is actually commonplace

 

Thank you for your reply. I can say it definitely isn't commonplace to wee in a bucket in my workplace it was just to make the observation that there were alternatives to taking my cup which to me makes it even worse.

I mentioned others using the area because I wondered if this meant he had technically urinated in a public place as this in itself is illegal. I am not sure if a workplace is classed as a public place though.

The question in relation to it being theft struck me as I very much doubt he was planning to wash it out and return it to my desk. If he did then there is clearly a breach of Health and Safety.

 

Thank you for taking the time to respond, it is all very much appreciated.

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Hi

 

The one thing that is not clear is who actually witnessed the removal of your cup from your desk and the manager urinating in it. was this actually witnessed or on cctv at all?


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Hi, the person concerned advised a colloeague he needed the toilet and went into the store room area. The cup was later found by another member of staff. I do not know when the cup was removed from my desk but it would not have been difficult to take as our desks are only a few feet from each other.

Thanks

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How bizarre. Personally I think the best approach would be to simply inform senior management in writing or in an email what happened. This way you are making them aware of it and leaving a clear paper trail. I think raising a more formal grievance risks getting yourself involved in this guy's affairs which is not what you want. He sounds like a nutcase, no doubt there will be other issues with this guy that management have to deal with.

 

I think you have dealt with this amazingly well. You are taking absolutely the right approach by recognising that the behaviour is unacceptable but also not getting too upset about it. If someone peed in my mug I would go absolutely bananas!


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My thoughts exactly. I am absolutely livid about it but I am trying to stay rational and think about the bigger picture. There are massive holes in the grievance investigation of which I have plenty of supporting evidence that I am going to address in the future and it has been handled very badly from start to finish. The company jumped through hoops to get this guy back into work and I think this is part of the reason why I was suspended so that he could be brought back in without me being there. The problem they have is that my job role and salary is bespoke and there is no equivalent role within the organisation so I could not simply be moved to another area and do the same job. If they were to do this without finding me guilty of a misconduct then it could be seen as constructive dismissal.

The guy has had previous absences with stress and managers have never had any training or support from the organisation ie to make sure the person is coping when they return etc. There are no follow up meetings with Occupational Health or HR and so if the stress were to reoccur it is unforeseen.

Since the grievance started everyone in the company has been sent on various courses, policies have been rewritten and created and I believe the organisation is trying to cover its own failings by deflecting these issues.

As soon as I report the incident above, it will turn right back around and point to the organisation for failing in their duty of care to ensure that the guy was ready to return to work! Their only option would be to turn it back onto they this guy in that he failed under the "employee's responsibilities" of the Health and Safety at work act in failing to report he was unfit for work. As a manager he should be well aware of this legislation but I can say with total conviction that he doesn't !

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Your manager is lucky. I would not have hesitated to have the gentleman drink the cocktail he himself prepared.


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I dont think these are really the actions of a sane person, and this gentleman would seem to have some problems. I think an urgent word to HR is called for


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Hi

I have briefly read thru some of the posts....my advice is to lodge a grievence in ASAP recording every thing that you are aggrieved about.

 

You are already suspended, you may lose your job and if did lose your job then you can take all the recorded paperwork as evidence to an employment tribunal

 

Basically, you need to be gathering evidence with a paper trail, which companies do not like.

 

Good luck

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Fortunately I have logged everything, I have copies of every email in relation to the grievance and have logged every phone call. Nobody in our office was even interviewed and the one person I requested to be interviewed was refused. There were only about 5 specific allegations and at least 3 of them were from 2008 or before which to me makes the whole thing a complete farce. I was not given signed copies of the grievance statement and was then asked questions which weren't even on the statement. I was refused an alternative date so that my Union Rep could attend and so I had to go in on my own. I also have a lot of evidence that the senior manager who heard the grievance is basically guilty of breaking all sorts of E&D rules and Data Protection etc and I don't think he was competent to even hear the grievance. He received the paperwork on the Tuesday and the hearing was on the Friday. He didn't even meet with me.

Even the evidence they have presented as the reason for suspending me was from 3 years ago and it isn't anything particularly bad!

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