Hello.This an employment issue.Someone within the company (a football club) I work for published an article that referred to me. A forum (run by the football club supporters) deduced that I had written the article and my name was defamed.I am (partly) a writer and had a book published recently about the football club. I posted a message on the forum stating that I had not been the writer of the article referring to me and subsequently entered into an argument/debate on the matter on the forum. I did not behave in an abusive way.For writing on the forum and allegedly not behaving according to the club's stated values, my employer - the football club - seems to want to discipline me and immediate loss of job can be the outcome (according to the letter received).I merely (as a recent writer) wanted to defend my name. How far can my employer take this issue?Many thanks,John
Hi there, John,
Are you able to give me the link to the forum please or alternatively cut and paste the relevant posts here.
BA (Hons) Pgdl Pgdlp (LPC)
This is the link - the 'debate' starts here and goes on for a number of pages.
I was posting as 'the_lergy'
Sorry, is it possible for you to let me know how long before an answer. I appreciate this may not be ass simple as it seems to me!
Hi there John,
Look at it now.
I can't see anything to look at!!!
I have supplied the link (above) ...
Is there anything else that you would like from me, please?
Sorry I meant to type looking at it now. What page does it start on?
Which bits of your threads is your employer complaining about?
Good evening - I've just got back from work.
There are several aspects:
1. That I did not interface appropriately with the fans (the posters) - and they base this on various responses that I gave e.g. "If you think those are home truths then I'm your uncle", "Meeeow" and things like that.
2. That I was disrespectful to my colleagues - e.g. I agreed to the thread's allegation that the article written by my colleague was not well written.
3. That I was asked in May 2009 not to post to any forums following one non-contentious (non-hsitorical) post I did make to another site. However, subsequently, I was allowed to be interviewed on the radio and by news agencies because those interviews were about historical matters in relation to the club. I am employed as the club's historian.
In general, they also feel that my postings did not measure up to the club's values - stated as "togetherness", "integrity", "opennness" and words of that ilk.
Can I respectfully XXXXX XXXXX I am due to attend a disciplinary hearing on Friday morning (having already attended a so-called fact-finding meeting, so the last opportunity I will have to correspond with you on this will be 10 pm tomorrow (Thursday) evening - I will be at work all day tomorrow till 6 pm.
I am available on-line till 10 pm tonight.
Many thanks indeed,
If there is nothing in your employment contract and your company policies that prevents you from posting on the forums then I cannot see how they can disciplining you for the posts as they are not offensive.
The fact that the told you not to post in May 2009 may cause a problem but if this was not in your contract when you joined and not in company policy they would have difficulty in relying on this to discipline you.
If you are disciplined then the employer will have to take a reasonable response to the acts and I think that dismissing you would be disproportionate and unreasonable such that I do not think that they will take this action.
Thank you very much for that, it's rather as I expected.
However, what about the point concerning being disrespectful to my colleagues. Does that hold water, particularly as no-one was named?
If you had called your colleague an abusive name then you may have breached the duty of trust and confidence or company policies on treating colleagues. Expressing an opinion on his works is not, in my view, sufficient to discipline you.
I very much appreciate your help here.
Thank you very much.
All the best John.
I have a relative that played for Villa years ago apparently (around 80 years ago). I remember my dad telling me about it when I was a kid. Would have been a Grant of a Harrison probably.
Ah, if he was a first-team player, then follow this link for the most likely one. If it's not him you can hitthe 'Back' button at the bottom of the page to look for others.
Best of luck,
have just spoken to my 95 year old grandfather. Apparently it was not a player but a member of the management.
My grandfather apparently used to get paid by villa for collecting beer bottles after the matches as a kid. He also employed the villa team to market televisions in peoples houses in the 50s. He had a TV factory in birmingham and paid them £10 per TV commission (TVs being sold for £200 each).
Well, I am afraid that I have today summarily been dismissed on all 3 counts. I get a week's notice and no other pay.
There is a clause in my JD that I am supposed to uphold the club's values etc at all times, and they basically hung me on that.
Interestingly - they claiming I was giving the club a bad name - I received an e-mail this morning which includes this statement:
"As an aside, your kind reply led me to start looking into the VIlla's history and slowly but surely I have become a supporter!I'm travelling to my first Villa game on Sunday to see West Ham. It's strange where this genealogy business can lead you!"
I'd be glad to see your comments on all this, please.
Hi there John,
Sorry to hear about this.
What do you mean by JD?
JD = Job Description.
I think this is a weak reason to have dismissed you. I suggest you consider an appeal and if that is not successful you should consider a claim for unfair dismissal. You can issue employment tribunal claims online and claims must be issued in 3 months from the date of dismissal.
Again, many thanks for that advice.
However, I should now tell you there is a compounding issue concerning a book that I wrote and published by Aston Villa. My issue on this is about the book not being promoted properly by the club and delay in my getting royalties. Including straight-forward sabotage by the merchandising manager in he wanting to promote a DVD in preference to my book.
This and the forum matter collided and I have been quite vehement in my defence towards the club about these two issues to the point that I finally told today's hearing that I felt that the club was at fault - the cause of the problems.
Having done this, do you think I still have a good case to fight?
If I am overdoing my stay on this matter please say, but if you could give me a general indication I would be grateful. You see I think the club may finally have dismissed me because I was making too much trouble for them on all the issues.
You have nothing to loose by bringing an employment tribunal claim. I expect the club will probably want to pay you off in order to avoid bad publicity.
Well that's as far as you can take it, and I am very grateful for all that.
Have a good night!
best of luck
I thought you might like to know that the matter went to the Employment Tribunal a couple of weeks ago (yes, after more than 12 months!) and the judgment was made in my favour.
The respondents were confident of a result in their favour and so, despite several attempts on my part to compromise, it went to ET.
Thank you for providing me with some confidence to take the matter forward!
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