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Dismissed after unfair disciplinary and discrimination grievance

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I received a written warning at work without any hearing or evidence or disciplinary meeting... just the warning based on what some colleagues said. I raised a grievance as I felt this warning discriminated against me as I work in an all male team, I felt the complaint wouldn't have been raised if I was a male on the team. I also feel that the process would have been dealt with differently if I was a male on the team.

 

They then dismissed me 2 weeks later after I submitted my written grievance.

 

I'm trying to get an understanding of whether disciplinary action can actually be discriminatory or not?

 

I've already put my claim into the tribunal.

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Need to.know a lot more info in this.

What was alledged

What was the reasons for final dismissal

Why do you feel if you were a male on the team it would of been treated differently

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The allegations on the warning - inappropriate conversation with a male colleague.

The dismissal - poor team fit and poor performance (nothing had been said prior to this - the opposite in fact! Great team fit and great performance).

 

In relation to the warning, the conversation I had with the colleague in my mind wasn't inappropriate and I think part of it he has misunderstood what I said (he thought I was asking him a sexual question or making a sexual statement) - which I wasn't at all. And given the discussions that go on within the team, I couldn't believe that I would be pulled up about that. I felt the way he recounted the conversation was incorrect but even if it had, it would still mean I was being held to a different standard to the guys.

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You cant decide what is inappropriate. Only the other party can. Much like you cannot give offence only take offence.

On the performance, I take it this is documented in some way as in an appraisal or is it just gossip or hear-say.

On recounting a conversation.

Its what they remember. You cannot say they recounted it wrong. Much as two people witnessing a crime will recount two different versions.

 

What does it say in the company's disciplinary procedures?

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Alas we would still need to know a lot more to offer any sort of opinion about this, ie what exactly was said, how long you have worked there etc. Any previous warnings?

 

As above, different people will take offence to different things. By definition, something which might be said by a female colleague in a mainly male team might well be considered of a sexual nature because a male simply wouldn't make that sort of statement to another male. Disciplinary action in that context may well be justified without being discriminatory.

 

Insofar as a Tribunal is concerned, can you evidence similar circumstances where the same has been said unpunished by a male colleague? To make any allegation of discrimination stick you will need a clear chain of evidence


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You cant decide what is inappropriate. Only the other party can. Much like you cannot give offence only take offence.

On the performance, I take it this is documented in some way as in an appraisal or is it just gossip or hear-say.

 

What does it say in the company's disciplinary procedures?

 

Nothing at all was documented and I wasn't aware there was any issue with my performance until I was dismissed. And I challenged this in writing.

 

We don't have a disciplinary procedure. We don't have any policies or procedures.

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Alas we would still need to know a lot more to offer any sort of opinion about this, ie what exactly was said, how long you have worked there etc. Any previous warnings?

 

As above, different people will take offence to different things. By definition, something which might be said by a female colleague in a mainly male team might well be considered of a sexual nature because a male simply wouldn't make that sort of statement to another male. Disciplinary action in that context may well be justified without being discriminatory.

 

Insofar as a Tribunal is concerned, can you evidence similar circumstances where the same has been said unpunished by a male colleague? To make any allegation of discrimination stick you will need a clear chain of evidence

 

I worked there for just under a year when I was dismissed. There'd been no other warnings, no performance issues.

 

I had asked him if his girlfriend was frisky like I was. Apparently. How he recounted the conversation isn't at all how I recall it.

 

I guess it depends on what you recount as evidence. I've had discussions with my colleagues about some conversations and comments that I find unsavoury and I can list instances and witnesses to such conversations. But I don't have recordings or anything like that.

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In relation to disciplinary, I think I would have been much more open to that had it been done correctly. What I do take offence to is the fact that my colleague put his view forward and it was taken as fact. There was no investigation, nor even a conversation with me before they decided to proceed straight to issuing a written warning. The first I was aware of an issue was when I received the warning in my email.

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I had asked him if his girlfriend was frisky like I was.

 

Sounds like sexual harassment to me.

If I said that to a female co worker id be hung drawn and quartered

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Firstly, they’ll say your dismissal was within a year, so is only actionable if you were dismissed due to a “protected characteristic”.

It is likely they’ll claim you were dismissed for the reasons they stated, and these were independent of your gender.

 

If your gambit to show they were discriminating based on gender, and this is demonstrated by the disciplinary, yet:

I had asked him if his girlfriend was frisky like I was.

 

Inappropriate to ask a co-worker about how ‘frisky’ their partner is.

Inappropriate to tell him you are / were ‘frisky’

 

A disciplinary for this isn’t likely to be found unlawful or wrong. That behaviour just isn’t appropriate for almost any workplace.

 

It may not be your recollection of events but are you saying that nothing along those lines was said at all?

What IS your recollection of events?

With hindsight : was the conversation entirely innocent / appropriate AND incapable of being taken the wrong way?

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I had asked him if his girlfriend was frisky like I was.

 

 

This is what the OP states they said.

They are lucky that they wernt suspended immediately, frog marched to the door and then summery dismissed.

What you said was totally inappropriate. Just because your a female does not mean you can say such things. If I said it to you, you would shout sexual harassment from the roof tops.

Equality is for all, not just women.

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I had asked him if his girlfriend was frisky like I was.

 

 

This is what the OP states they said.

They are lucky that they wernt suspended immediately, frog marched to the door and then summery dismissed.

What you said was totally inappropriate. Just because your a female does not mean you can say such things. If I said it to you, you would shout sexual harassment from the roof tops.

Equality is for all, not just women.

 

I didn’t say that - I said I said that. “Apparently”. That’s what he said I said.

 

That is not what I said, I asked if she was frisky and hard to manage when she was drinking but I didn’t in any way allude to her sexual activity levels. I went on to say how I was a nightmare when I was drinking and how I wanted to dance all night.

 

The conversation we were having was in no way a sexual one.

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I asked if she was frisky and hard to manage when she was drinking

 

 

Totally inappropriate conversation with a co worker on company time.

Your implying that she has alcohol problems and does not know how to behave when in such a state.

The one thing you need to learn at work is know your audience.

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I asked if she was frisky and hard to manage when she was drinking

 

 

Totally inappropriate conversation with a co worker on company time.

Your implying that she has alcohol problems and does not know how to behave when in such a state.

 

I personally didn’t feel the conversation was inappropriate at all given the nature of conversations that does go on. However if he felt offended, I would have apologised as I’m not the type to offend anyone.

 

However we weren’t on company time, we were out having a drink after work.

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Most of the online dictionaries have the traditional meaning of frisky. However, the urban dictionary which sounds more modern day says this.

 

frisky

 

Although commonly used sexually... frisky can also imply a lifestyle. Someone who is frisky is apt to do anything, anywhere. Spontaneous and jolly in everything they do.

 

"You're so frisky... I didn't know if you were going to get a drink from the bar or dance on it!"

 

The other examples in the urban dictionary are more suggestive. This could have led to the misunderstanding.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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On company time/off company time- it matters not. They took offence at your comments.

Personally I do not have co workers on my facebook/what's app or anything for such reasons. I also do not go to Christmas party's with co workers for the same reasons.

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Did it warrant a written warning?

 

Is it fair that I received a warning based on his version of events alone? And the first I heard of it was being issued with the warning and no one asked me for my version of events?

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Most of the online dictionaries have the traditional meaning of frisky. However, the urban dictionary which sounds more modern day says this.

 

frisky

 

Although commonly used sexually... frisky can also imply a lifestyle. Someone who is frisky is apt to do anything, anywhere. Spontaneous and jolly in everything they do.

 

"You're so frisky... I didn't know if you were going to get a drink from the bar or dance on it!"

 

The other examples in the urban dictionary are more suggestive. This could have led to the misunderstanding.

 

HB

Thanks HB

 

It’s a word I personally wouldn’t use for something sexual but it would have been so easy to clear the misunderstanding up. In my opinion anyway

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Did it warrant a written warning?

 

Is it fair that I received a warning based on his version of events alone? And the first I heard of it was being issued with the warning and no one asked me for my version of events?

 

No, there should be an investigation which includes your version of events.

However, events may have been confirmed by others : were there other witnesses who may have confirmed what was said?

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This sounds like a small company way of dealing.

How many employees are there?

Is it a small business with a few employees?

I know it's not justification to avoid correct procedures, but with less than a year service you are more or less stuffed, unless you can clearly prove discrimination.

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No, there should be an investigation which includes your version of events.

However, events may have been confirmed by others : were there other witnesses who may have confirmed what was said?

 

No there was noone else there, we were outside the bar having a cigarette.

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This sounds like a small company way of dealing.

How many employees are there?

Is it a small business with a few employees?

I know it's not justification to avoid correct procedures, but with less than a year service you are more or less stuffed, unless you can clearly prove discrimination.

 

They employ over 100 people across 3 different offices... so no, they're not exactly small!

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No there was noone else there, we were outside the bar having a cigarette.

 

Mind you, you still haven't answered:

 

It may not be your recollection of events but are you saying that nothing along those lines was said at all?

.........

With hindsight : was the conversation entirely innocent / appropriate AND incapable of being taken the wrong way?

and

 

What IS your recollection of events?

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I didn’t say that - I said I said that. “Apparently”. That’s what he said I said.

 

That is not what I said, I asked if she was frisky and hard to manage when she was drinking but I didn’t in any way allude to her sexual activity levels. I went on to say how I was a nightmare when I was drinking and how I wanted to dance all night.

 

The conversation we were having was in no way a sexual one.

 

Mind you, you still haven't answered:

 

 

and

 

I did

 

We were talking about a particular night out him and his girlfriend had and I was saying how pretty she looked. He was saying how she got really drunk that night and was shaking his head.

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I did

 

We were talking about a particular night out him and his girlfriend had and I was saying how pretty she looked. He was saying how she got really drunk that night and was shaking his head.

 

“How pretty she looked”, yet you used the term ‘frisky’?

Or are you saying you never used the term ‘frisky’?

 

You need to get your story precise, although it seems you are trying to defend the indefensible. If you didn’t behave inappropriately, stop obfuscating and say exactly what your recollection is.

Do you think your employers (or an ET!) aren’t going to dig just as deep as the enquiries you’ll face here?!

 

Although:

That is not what I said, I asked if she was frisky and hard to manage when she was drinking but I didn’t in any way allude to her sexual activity levels. I went on to say how I was a nightmare when I was drinking and how I wanted to dance all night.

 

Still inappropriate. Easy to see how this could have been taken to have been in a sexual context.

 

Even if you didn’t mean it in a sexual context, and you were lucky enough for it not to have been perceived in a sexual way:

Inappropriate for a work scenario.

Your best mate who you don’t work with : up to you.

A work colleague: just plain wrong. The issue appears to be that you just don’t understand that.

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