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employee humiliated by ceo


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On behalf of friend.

 

Recently, his division of company went out to celebrate success and the group ceo attended.

 

For some reason, the ceo took a dislike to my friend and spent the evening insulting him, mainly based on his accent, which the ceo thought was 'posh'.

 

My friend was interrogated by the ceo over dinner about his love life. When my friend answered a question to say he was single, the ceo accused him of being gay (which he is not).

 

The ceo then announced to the table that my friend had just come out as a homosexual.

 

The whole situation was embarrassing and apparently some co workers were very unimpressed by the CEO's behaviour. My friend didn't feel that he could do much about this at the time because of the fact that it was the ceo.

 

My friend has been at the company for several years but doesn't want to continue to work for this individual. If he leaves, he sacrifices a lot of hard work he has done there so is upset.

 

Other than to simply move on (which he plans to do), is there any advice as how to handle the situation or should he simply keep quiet and find something else?

CAG has helped me so much since I joined. Based on what I have learnt from others on here and my own experiences, I try to chip in and help others from time to time. I am not an expert and give my opinion only. Always check with the more experienced CAG members before making important decisions.

:-)

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What do you mean by "sacrifices a lot of hard work" - he has been employed and done his job, there is little point forming any sort of emotional attachment.

 

Yes, the CEO was boorish and crass, but no doubt would characterise it as banter at a social occasion.

 

Your mate could of course submit a complaint but as he has already decided he doesn't want to work for the CEO maybe he is better off just moving on. If he wants he can make his feelings known at his exit interview if they do them or by raising a grievance once he has secured an alternative job.

 

In my experience, as soon as an employer/employee relationship is soured by use of the grievance procedure, it rarely works out well. That is not as it should be but is very often the reality.

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next time, go home when people start getting drunk. booze and work mix badly.

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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That's unless you arrive at the venue and they are already drunk and then somebody says to you 'why didn't you stop them?', I could write a film script on that afternoon.

 

I do agree move on, a lot of the things might of been said under the influence, a social occasion.

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This is pretty much what i would advise but always good to gather consensus. Cheers

CAG has helped me so much since I joined. Based on what I have learnt from others on here and my own experiences, I try to chip in and help others from time to time. I am not an expert and give my opinion only. Always check with the more experienced CAG members before making important decisions.

:-)

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Your friend should make a formal grievance - make sure the header says this - and cite sexual harassment under the Equality Act. Your friend needs to spell this out. It applies to work-related social events.

 

The ball will then be in the ceo's court. As it is a protected act it will be illegal for the ceo to victimise him for it.

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That sounds like an incident of harassment on the basis of sexual orientation to me. It doesn't matter if your friend is straight or homosexual - if inappropriate comments and assumptions are made about his sexuality, at an event which has sufficient ties to the workplace, a claim of harassment can succeed.

 

As above, a formal grievance is the way to go.

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I will pass on the advice. I think on one hand, he has a case but it would be pointless pursuing if he has any desire to stay with the organisation.

 

 

The problem is that the law may say one thing but in reality, his life would be made hell. I used to work for the same organisation hence how I know the person in question and the company culture. I believe (rightly or wrongly) that if he was to make a fuss, it would leak out around the organisation and victimisation would occur. The fact it's the CEO involved and HR report to him complicates this further.

 

 

I understand that several people witnessed this incident and found it offensive but if it boiled down to one person's word against the other, it would be unwise to rely on those witnesses as they would also have a lot to lose and may "not wan't to get involved" if it became formal.

 

 

Ultimately it is his decision but if it was me I'd give myself three options:

 

 

1. Get over it and pretend it didn't happen but resist any future abuse

2. Start looking for another job and when a good opportunity arises, take it and move on, nothing said

3. Line up some options elsewhere so raising a grievance is de-risked as much as possible

 

 

Another option would be to confront the CEO in person (face-to-face) and tell him that his behaviour was insulting and inappropriate and that action will be taken if it happens again. This is the most natural thing to do when someone offends you but we are dealing with the workplace here and normal rules if life do not necessarily apply.

CAG has helped me so much since I joined. Based on what I have learnt from others on here and my own experiences, I try to chip in and help others from time to time. I am not an expert and give my opinion only. Always check with the more experienced CAG members before making important decisions.

:-)

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Or 'have a chat' with the CEO. Confrontation is a very aggressive word...

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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Shouldn't it be raised informally, that 'this happened', 'I'm not happy about it', 'why did you say that'?

 

Had a similar situation, management were drunk before I got to the venue, one of the managers who was drunk went around the venue asking all the co-colleagues 'do you like me?', everyone was intimidated into saying 'yes', I said 'No', he did say 'that was honest'. The managers were sick all over the place (the venue manager asked 'who are the managers?', the response was 'they are the managers'), he was on his knees, then keeledover forwards. He spent the night in a police cell.

 

Your friend should make a formal grievance - make sure the header says this - and cite sexual harassment under the Equality Act. Your friend needs to spell this out. It applies to work-related social events.

 

The ball will then be in the ceo's court. As it is a protected act it will be illegal for the ceo to victimise him for it.

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What's the boss going to complain about?

 

The risk in raising it informally, is that your boss will claim he complained about you first (as he surely will, if you simply tell him in a friendly way) as a way of covering his back. Think about it.
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