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Leon
Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 38189
Experience:  BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
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Hi, I am being investigated for gross misconduct at work.

Resolved Question:

Hi,

I am being investigated for gross misconduct at work. I am a female recruitment consultant in Brisbane and have been working at an agency since mid August. I work in an agency where the office culture is quite vulgar and unprofessional, there is a lot of swearing and general school yard pranks are carried out on a daily basis. We have at least 3 office meetings a week and it is very normal for there to be a very unprofessional tone to the meeting, there is a lot of vulgar conversation (i.e. talk of cocks, vagina, pussy, homesexuality, colonic irrigation) and general paying out on each other, name calling etc. Quite often my director is present at these meetings and encourages it, he in fact takes part in it. I have let my boss know that I do not approve if this constant vulgarity and find such conversation offensive at times.

On Friday my director was not present at a meeting and the meeting was running in the normal way (i.e. many rude references were made and people were paying out on each other). I made a number of comments in a very sarcastic tone, very tongue in cheek. I said that the director was a wanker and I cannot wait to leave and find another job. I was joking and did not think too much of it. Another employee notified the director of my comments. My director called me and told me to immediately leave the premises, to report to him at 8.30 this am which I did. I explained that I was only joking, I would not say those sort of comments in a public forum if I meant it. I apologised and stressed that it was very tongue in cheeck and that I also paid out on other people and not just himself. I also told him that that was the tone of the meeting, and I did not feel that the tone of my comments were different to what else was being said. I understand they are disrespectul to yourself but I was joking.

He informed me that I am now being investigated for gross misconduct and he wishes to interview me in relation to it.

Can my comments be viewed as being gross misconduct?

How can I be singled when other comments were being made by fellow workmates which are disrespectel in most offices, yet are the "norm" and commonplace for our office?

I started mid August with two other consultants who have both left due to the unprofessional vulgarity and childish pranks which is normal for our office.

I do understand that I should not have said what I said, but my tone, demeanour and delivery of what I said what not serious and anybody who knows me would know that I was only joking. I feel that I have been singled out due to my age (I am 39) and the average age of my colleagues is mid 20's. I do not take part in all the banter, and I have complained to the director about how distracting and offensive the officce can be at times.

Whilst this investigation is taking place the director has sent me home, do I get paid for my time at home?

Kind regards,

Jane Moody
0435 326 463
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 3 years ago.
Good Afternoon,

Does the place have a procedures manual relating to how to deal with staff?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello,

No I do not recall reading an SOP with regards XXXXX XXXXX with staff, nor did I sign off on any such document.

 

Jane

Expert:  Leon replied 3 years ago.
Good Afternoon,

It appears that you are being singled out and what they are alleging as being misconduct is not.

Should this result in your dismissal then you can lodge a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

If you have complained about the tone of the meetings and you feel intimidated and belittled you can also lodge a complaint for the employer failing to change the workplace.

They cannot treat you differently to others this is discrimination.

Here is the fait work ombudsman website for you to get some more information.

http://www.fairwork.gov.au/complaints/pages/default.aspx

I hope this is of assistance and if so please click on the accept button.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for the above information which is quite helpful. Should I still be getting paid whilst I am at home whilst this is being investigated?

Expert:  Leon replied 3 years ago.
Good Afternoon.

Generally if they suspend you to investigate it should be with pay.




Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 38189
Experience: BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
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