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Disciplinary for using mobile phone

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Hi. I need some advice.

 

A few weeks ago I was called into a sudden "investigation meeting" at work where I was shown picture of me using a mobile phone behind the counter at work. The image wasn't clear and I don't think unless they showed me a video you probably couldn't see that it was a phone (just something black). Even probably on video you wouldn't be able to tell it was a phone but anyway they asked me "what is the company policy regarding using phones at work" I said "you're not allowed". They said looking at the image, why was I using my phone. I said I was waiting for a call cause my cousin is in ICU, so was checking my phone. She told me this is just a warning and to not do it again after some more questions.

 

However, 2 weeks pass and today I get a letter for a disciplinary meeting? I'm really annoyed.

 

Firstly, I knew I messed up admitting using the phone. I should have not admitted that cause they picture wasn't that clear.

 

I know we've been "told" we can't use mobile phones in our workplace however today I went through all the company policies on the system and it is not stated anywhere you cannot use your phone. All that is stated it you cannot use "social networking" while at work. Using a phone doesn't mean your using a social networking site.

 

A few other people over the last 2 months have been caught using their phones and all they had was a investigation meeting and no disciplinary.

 

My question is.

 

1) Can I still challenge in the disciplinary if that is a phone in my hand in the picture even though I admitted it during the investigation?

 

2) Am I being discriminated against? Everyone else who was caught was white and a woman, i'm neither. How is it i'm being singled out and being given a discinplinary while they were all let go? One of the girls even told me today she didn't get a disciplinary and only did a "investigation" meeting.

 

3) If there is no written company policy regarding mobile phones, can they give me a disciplinary?

 

4) If I was told during the investigation meeting that this is a warning, how can they still call me in for a disciplinary?

 

5) Our company states gross misconduct as stealing or hitting someone at work which leads to instant dismissal. Are they still able to fire me over this considering it seems to have crossed a line that no one else has crossed?

 

All help appreciated.

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I'm gonna add that they never told me before hand about any investigation. I was just suddenly called at work and told to go HQ for a "little chat" and when I got there this was thrown on me. I wasn't told what the outcome could be or what a "investigation meeting" is, my rights under any investigation precedures, where this could lead and was mis-informed that this wouldn't go any further. And was allowed to go back to work.

 

Are they allowed to do invesitgations like this?

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You were told not to use phones, and you did it anyway. Seems cut and dried to me. Actions have consequences.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Hi M_Ons

 

Welcome to CAG

 

How long have you worked there?

 

Regardless of the outcome, you can appeal their decision, which you should do.

 

You raise some interesting points, does sound like you are being treated differently to your co-workers.

 

Did you tell them about your cousin?, you could point out that you were in work when you should have been with your cousin.

 

Are you in a Union? Have you spoken to ACAS?

 

http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1339

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Hold up. You were asked what the company policy said and you replied therefore acknowledging the company policy. You also admitted using your phone putting you in breach of policy.

 

Now you're looking for a way out. Im with emmzzi on this one.

 

If you are expecting an important call then check your phone on your break or tell them to call your employer and get transferred to your department.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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But why is the OP being treated differently to his Co-Workers?

 

Hold up. You were asked what the company policy said and you replied therefore acknowledging the company policy. You also admitted using your phone putting you in breach of policy.

 

Now you're looking for a way out. Im with emmzzi on this one.

 

If you are expecting an important call then check your phone on your break or tell them to call your employer and get transferred to your department.

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Each situation is dealt with on its own merits.

 

Has the op been caught before. If yes how many times. Previous disciplinaries that might stack? Remember he admitted using it. So they are within their rights to issue a disciplinary.

 

However if this is the first time therr are grounds for appealing but don't expect it to get far.

 

In my workplace there is a no phone policy on shop floor but my staff are allowed to have them in the offivd provided theyre on silent and only use them for emergencies. If they are caught using it without it being an emergency then its instant disciplinary amd and they know it.

 

Only had 2 people appeal a disciplinary in 4 years and only 1 succeeded because the phone had an error and was constantly beeping.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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His company has no such policy to state that a mobile phone can't be used at work, as you state your company has a policy.

 

It is the norm that mobile phones shouldn't be used as work, but considering others have used them but haven't been disiplined for using them, there is no consistency, there is nothing in the company's handbook.

 

They have been told not to use them, others have used them, there is nothing in their company's handbook, there seems to be mixed messages from management and he gets disiplined.

 

Each situation is dealt with on its own merits.

 

Has the op been caught before. If yes how many times. Previous disciplinaries that might stack? Remember he admitted using it. So they are within their rights to issue a disciplinary.

 

However if this is the first time therr are grounds for appealing but don't expect it to get far.

 

In my workplace there is a no phone policy on shop floor but my staff are allowed to have them in the offivd provided theyre on silent and only use them for emergencies. If they are caught using it without it being an emergency then its instant disciplinary amd and they know it.

 

Only had 2 people appeal a disciplinary in 4 years and only 1 succeeded because the phone had an error and was constantly beeping.

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You were told not to use phones, and you did it anyway. Seems cut and dried to me. Actions have consequences.

 

I read somewhere that it said "you can no longer use phones around the counter area". Does that mean it's a policy? If so, why isn't it stated in the policy section, where are the rules and disciplinary procedure regarding outcomes of breaking this policy? Is this classed as misconduct? Gross misconduct? Is it a fireable conduct? So many questions yet nothing is explained.

 

I'm not trying to get out of anything. I just feel like I am being targetted for something EVERYONE is doing and they have singled me out.

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Hold up. You were asked what the company policy said and you replied therefore acknowledging the company policy. You also admitted using your phone putting you in breach of policy.

 

Now you're looking for a way out. Im with emmzzi on this one.

 

If you are expecting an important call then check your phone on your break or tell them to call your employer and get transferred to your department.

 

I did admit I thought it was a company policy, however is it actually a company policy or just something "you shouldn't do"? Lemme give you a example, you're not allowed to read papers or eat around the area yet someone was doing both, and was on her mobile phone and they didn't do nothing to her. Not even a disciplinary. So how can she be breaking 3 rules yet i've apparently only broken one and i'm being dragged in? Is it cause they are just picking on me cause i'm male and not white?

 

Even if I was in breach of the policy, under employement law doesn't company policy need to be written and clear for all staff to understand, read and know what the consequences are? I can't even find the policy, i've emailed HR to tell me where it is and i'm waiting for an email back.

 

I'm not looking for a way out, if I did something wrong, fine. Give me a disciplinary for it but don't single me out and give me one when everyone is doing the same thing as me, and others who have gotten caught haven't been brought into a meeting.

 

FYI, I was working by myself when I was on my phone.

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Each situation is dealt with on its own merits.

 

Has the op been caught before. If yes how many times. Previous disciplinaries that might stack? Remember he admitted using it. So they are within their rights to issue a disciplinary.

 

However if this is the first time therr are grounds for appealing but don't expect it to get far.

 

In my workplace there is a no phone policy on shop floor but my staff are allowed to have them in the offivd provided theyre on silent and only use them for emergencies. If they are caught using it without it being an emergency then its instant disciplinary amd and they know it.

 

Only had 2 people appeal a disciplinary in 4 years and only 1 succeeded because the phone had an error and was constantly beeping.

 

 

How can each situation be dealt with on it's own merits? That's discrimination. Clear cut. If 2 people have been caught using their phone, exactly the same circumstances and one doesn't even get a disciplinary while the other who is a different gender and race gets one. How is that not discrimination? How can they claim my merit is higher than hers? or even the other people who were caught and didn't get a disciplinary? I've known 2 girls who got caught in the last month, 2 white girls. Yet neither got a disciplinary. Yet i've been pulled..

 

No. I've never been told off for using a phone before. All my previous disciplinaries are off my record. My record is currently clean.

 

You have a no phone policy? Are you able to access this policy? I'm not able to access mine. There's a difference. How can there be a policy when it's not avaliable for staff? Isn't it against employment law to have hidden policies?

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His company has no such policy to state that a mobile phone can't be used at work, as you state your company has a policy.

 

It is the norm that mobile phones shouldn't be used as work, but considering others have used them but haven't been disiplined for using them, there is no consistency, there is nothing in the company's handbook.

 

They have been told not to use them, others have used them, there is nothing in their company's handbook, there seems to be mixed messages from management and he gets disiplined.

 

I did say in the imvestigation that our policy is we can't use it, however ive gone through the policy section and I can't find anything regarding mobile phones. Also, if you're breaking policy it should state of this is a misconduct or not. So if I can't find the policy how can it be enforced? They can't say "oh you knew we have a policy but we can't find it either but we're gonna sack you cause it's gross misconduct" like common, is it even legal to do that?

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How long have you worked there?

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How long have you worked there?

 

4yrs.

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Asked the same question in post no (4).

 

What's your plan of action now you've finished analysing the various posts?

 

4yrs.

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I think the point has been missed here!

 

Yes, you admitted you did something wrong. I think that was arguably the right thing to do in such circumstances.

 

What I would suggest you do is acknowledge you breached procedure (no point in backtracking on that now when you have already admitted it, it just makes your evidence uncredible), apologise profusely, and concentrate on mitigation - ie, your cousins situation and previous unblemished record.

 

I highly doubt you have committed gross misconduct in any event.

 

Moving on, you can't argue discrimination simply because you differ to other people. You can argue general disparity in treatment, but that would be more appropriate at the appeal stage as you don't even know for sure you will get any kind of disciplinary warning. For discrimination to have legally occurred, you must have been treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic - do you think that's the case?

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Asked the same question in post no (4).

 

What's your plan of action now you've finished analysing the various posts?

 

I have no idea. I'm waiting for HR to get back to me with the policy and then i'll come back here and maybe someone can help me decide from there.

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I think the point has been missed here!

 

Yes, you admitted you did something wrong. I think that was arguably the right thing to do in such circumstances.

 

What I would suggest you do is acknowledge you breached procedure (no point in backtracking on that now when you have already admitted it, it just makes your evidence uncredible), apologise profusely, and concentrate on mitigation - ie, your cousins situation and previous unblemished record.

 

I highly doubt you have committed gross misconduct in any event.

 

Moving on, you can't argue discrimination simply because you differ to other people. You can argue general disparity in treatment, but that would be more appropriate at the appeal stage as you don't even know for sure you will get any kind of disciplinary warning. For discrimination to have legally occurred, you must have been treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic - do you think that's the case?

 

They are acting like i've commited a massive crime. The thing that worries me is the district manager doesn't like me anyway. They have tried to get me at whatever they can. I've had a few disciplinaries but those have been removed from my record. Someone got fired for smoking at the back, such small things and they are firing people over it.

 

Yes I do think i'm being discriminated against, reasons i've stated above. Isn't race and gender a "protected characteristic"? If 2 other people, both white and female (of which im neither) didn't get a disciplinary yet me who's male and not white got a disciplinary for doing exactly the same thing doesn't that mean i've been treated less favourable in the same situation?

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They are acting like i've commited a massive crime. The thing that worries me is the district manager doesn't like me anyway. They have tried to get me at whatever they can. I've had a few disciplinaries but those have been removed from my record. Someone got fired for smoking at the back, such small things and they are firing people over it.

 

Yes I do think i'm being discriminated against, reasons i've stated above. Isn't race and gender a "protected characteristic"? If 2 other people, both white and female (of which im neither) didn't get a disciplinary yet me who's male and not white got a disciplinary for doing exactly the same thing doesn't that mean i've been treated less favourable in the same situation?

 

Not necessarily. Not every act of different treatment is an act of discrimination. The primary reason for the difference HAS to be either race or sex. If it's purely coincidence, then there's no discrimination.

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Not necessarily. Not every act of different treatment is an act of discrimination. The primary reason for the difference HAS to be either race or sex. If it's purely coincidence, then there's no discrimination.

 

How would you tell the difference? If it's not discrimination what is it? You can't treat staff different.

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You need to ask the company relevant questions, get information from them on why they acted in a different way in the same circumstances, e.g. if you think it's race, then you can send an RR65 Questionnaire, but you are nowhere near that position yet, as you don't even know the outcome.

 

How would you tell the difference? If it's not discrimination what is it? You can't treat staff different.

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You're going to pull the race and gender card because you got caught using your phone on the shop floor and admitted it? If you are, then i would be very VERY VERY careful about doing it.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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I think he wants to find out why he has been treated differently to his Co-Workers, who weren't disiplined at all but carried out the same act. I think you would be aggrieved in the same situation, especially as the initial sanction was a warning, the OP was left with that being the end of the matter. Then out of the blue, being summoned to HD for a disiplinary. So what are the company pulling here?

 

You're going to pull the race and gender card because you got caught using your phone on the shop floor and admitted it? If you are, then i would be very VERY VERY careful about doing it.

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None that we know of. Most companies dont have it stated in the handbook but as an addition yet to reach the handbook. Again, he cannot state the race and gender issue unless he has absolute proof of it. he would be in much more trouble than he has been already otherwise.

 

Plus reading back through this thread, i get the feeling we havent been told everything, so we are swaying towards a 1 sided discussion.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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You need to ask the company relevant questions, get information from them on why they acted in a different way in the same circumstances, e.g. if you think it's race, then you can send an RR65 Questionnaire, but you are nowhere near that position yet, as you don't even know the outcome.

 

What's a RR65 questionnaire and when does that come into play?

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