My wife received recently a warning letter. This warning pertains to the alleged behaviour ---that my wife hooked up the two patients late in the dialysis unit where she works. The actual reason was the delay was due to the patients who came late and it was not the first time that they were late, as based on the computer charts of the patients. I am talking about Canadian Hospital Setting in Ontario. The warning letter also says that she is found answering the questions inconsistently when there was a wide scale investigation was conducted. The investigation was trigger by the alleged closure of the unit that hospital management were suspecting that these nurses (members of the union) are trying to group themselves against management, that they wanted to close the unit. This is not true, but hospital seemingly wanted to target the nurses because about 98% of the nurses are against management and management is using its authority to fire people they do not like in the unit. My wife is one of them because my wife was able to obtain 3 settlements of her grievances. My wife also filed harassment complains with the management but the management is protecting its managers in their harassment strategies. The union is filing a grievance against management for issuing the warning letter. How can we put a stop to this abuse of power of management? Can my wife file another compaint of harassment knowing that it will be useless because management has given its blessings to the this repulsive manager? My wife's hospita is not impartial. They are tolerating the behaviour of this manager who is abusing his power. What can be done?
Hi Debra Thal, do you need more information to answer my questions?
The union is fighting for my wife in the form of grievances. The latest is that they will file a grievance against her manager for issuing the letter of warning. However, the union can not do anything yet as far as harassment is concerned because there is "Anti-harassment Policy" established by the hospital that my wife has to go through. The anti-harassment involves notification of advisor/manager/ or supervisor or even labour relaltions officer to conduct investigation. But all of them are not impartial and they have conflict of interest.I feel even the vice president. There is no one to go to. Nowadays when their focus is budget they will always tolerate any scheme just to obtain their goal -budget. It is all about money even at the expense of harassing staff. It seems to me that they want to get rid of old nurses to be replaced by new ones. It seems to me that they want to replace nurses with Nursing assistants whose pay are much lower than nurses. It seems to me that management wants to get rid of old nurses who know their rights in the collective agreements and who know how to file grievances and what grievances to file. There were already lay offs in previous months. They wanted to cut some more even if the nurses' work load are getting unbearable. The manager is using his power and authority while under the protection of higher management. Should I elevate the matter (according to the hospital's anti-harassment policy to COO (Chief operating officer) ) by complaints. Should I give all the details to the COO for use in the investigation?My wife's first complaint against harassment was closed by the director without results in her favor. I wanted to include here details of events that will show a pattern of harassment (abuse of authority). It is not complete todate because I am still recalling and gathering evidences. Can I include some of them here for clarity even if it is incomplete so that you will know the story? Just a few incidents/events will probably give you an idea if there is in fact harassment in the form of abuse of power and authority. If you say yes, then I will include the events here and I would respectfully XXXXX XXXXX if my wife has grounds to merit such complaint of harassment against her manager. Thank you.
In Ontario, Canada, is it illegal to send a letter to the College of Nurses of Ontario to complain ( a petition with signatures of many nurses) about this manager (because this manager is also a nurse and a member of College of Nurses of Ontario). The letter/petition will be signed by many nurses who do not like the way he is treating them and will request the CNO to remove his license due to his behaviour and conduct? Will this be construed as a collective action (like a strike) and illegal?Will this might work too?
I am wondering if the above is another option to consider in behalf of my wife and other nurses who are also suffering from the same situation as my wife's but only they are scared to do anything to go against this manager.
My wife has noted what you suggested to see an employment lawyer.
She will also repursue the case of harassment. Is reprisal also applicable in my wife's case because she had grievances of different nature settled already and it appears that this manager is trying to retaliate because of previous harassment complaint and settled grievances? Is reprisal the right word when she complains? Thank you.
If I understood it clearly, the warning letter is good for one year and if this is repeated (that is late hook up of patients- although other nurses were also late in hooking up the patients because of late arrival of the patients), then there will be consequences. If my wife's complaint of harassment and reprisal is filed, will it not delay the termination of employment if ever this manager plans to do it? Isn't it under the Canadian Law that an outstanding complaint of harassment and reprisal prevents any manager/supervisor from firing the person being harassed until it is being resolved. This action of complaint will buy sometime so that the Union can help my wife. The union I think has filed grievance againts the issuance of letter of warning to my wife. Will the grievance not also put a hold to whatever this manager is planning to do with her?
The problem with employment lawyer or any lawyers for that matter is, they are slow to act aside from the costly fees that they charge. I do not know what Country and jurisdiction you are in but as human beings, they also get tired and swamped by too many cases. They also make errors. I think, It will take weeks or months before they can file complaints. And delayed action can cost my wife her employment.
You said earlier that my wife can file her complaints anyway she can. Why sudden shift to "she should complain unless the lawyer says it's OK"? Isn't it that the warning letter serves as a warning first and if it is repeated then that's the time for any consequences to bear? That is why there is grievance to fight against wrongful issuance of letter of warning ?
Please clarify, I am a bit confused by your answer. I need a definite and clear direction. Can you help me on this? Will it be a bad decision to repursue a complaint of harassment and reprisal? Will there be bad consequences? What are they?Only after the result of the investigation can the union act on harassment in Canadian Law, that is what I think -- I maybe wrong.
I did not get a reply from you regarding a petition. Will this work too?
Thank you for the clarification. But I still need to clarify something here.
You said that my wife can pursue harassment and reprisal through the union process. Is that without going through the anti-harassment policy of the hospital or after going through the anti-harassment policy of the hospital?
As you already know, the "anti-harassment program or procedures of the hospital" does not mention about the union, not until the complainant is not satisfied witht the results of the investigation.
Should I complain on my own first or should I submit my letter of complaint of harassment and reprisal to the union first for editting and get advice from them before I forward it to the hospital's COO? Is that what you mean? I was told before by the union to pass through the "anti-harassment policy of the hospital", that is why I have to go throught it, just like I did before. The only difference is that this time I am elevating it to higher management -- the Chief operating Officer (COO).
If I have to summarize what your thoughts and suggestions are, here are they. If I misunderstood you, please correct me:
1. My wife should refer the matter of harassment and reprisal to the union for action.
2. If the union tells me to go first through the "Anti-harassment procedures" established by the hospital, i will go through it without consulting a labour lawyer yet. Or with a labour lawyer?
If the union does not address it then, I will consult a labour lawyer and see if it is OK with the labour lawyer to file my complaint of harassment and reprisal to the COO of the hospital.
3. It is a bad move to file complaint/petitionto the college. So, my wife should not do it. It could lose her job if she does it that way.
Sorry, I am having a hard time understanding you, that is why I do it this way. I am not knowlegeable in terms of what you are saying. Please tell me what is it that I did not get correctly in your train of thoughts and suggestions. Thank you.