Ask an UK Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded. For now please let me know what the outcome of the investigation was
Also please let me know how long you have worked there for?
As far as I'm concerned person who threated me (head chef) is coming back to work tomorrow, after 2 weeks doing covers for the other branch, i have a meeting with ops manager at 11am and starting work at 12(I'm a waiter-supervisor), and I'm gonna be already working with him
he had a fight in the same place 2 years ago with another co-worker, his girlfriend is a GM in other branch and she is very good friend with our ops manager, furthermore senior gm who came to investigate it on the day, ask manager on duty to actually find covers for my shifts not person who came with hands up my neck pretending to suffocate me and his exact words were "you know i could kill you right now" had a manager, another supervisor and people in the restaurant witnessing it.
he pushed away another supervisor who tried to cool him down
first he grabbed me by my shirt, supervisor stepped in, so he pushed him aside, and threat me, I was standing still, with my hands down, completely passive
Next day I had a meeting with ops manager who has tried to turn it around, with questions like " was it just angry behaviour, or genuine threat?" so i said that was a threat so he was like "you know people when angry says things they don't really mean" and he said that guy is going to be out of the bussiness for a little while, however somehow head chef brother who also works there already knew a week ago that he is coming back this week
I wrote my statement on the day, half of the staff member is scared off him and already working on transfers, as he was always aggresive against other people at work.
So tomorrow he's gonna ask me if i feel comfortable working with him, i'm going to say no, and if he ask me for transfer I'm going to say no too, and if i have to work with him, shall i seek compensation?
I fully empathise with your situation and will explain what your rights are in this case.
First of all I must make it clear that your rights will be somewhat limited due to the length of time you have been working there for. In order to make a claim for constructive or unfair dismissal, you need to have at least 2 years' continuous service, which you do not. This means that your employer can either dismiss you, or you can be forced to resign for more or less any reason without being able to challenge this any further. The only exceptions are if you have been subjected to discrimination which means being treated less favourably due to a protected characteristic, such as age, gender, race, disability, etc.
So if you are subjected to such threats and believe that as a result you can no longer continue working there, you may be forced to resign but cannot take your case any further.
However, you will have other rights, for example if you have actually suffered an injury or been assaulted, it can potentially give rise to a personal injury claim and you can pursue either the person responsible or also the employer if they had failed to take reasonable steps to minimise the risk of you being injured when they knew it was a possibility. However, this can only be pursued if an injury has been incurred.
Similarly, if you have been threatened on two or more occasions then it could amount to harassment. This is both a criminal and a civil matter. Under law (specifically the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 in civil cases and the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 in criminal cases), a person must not pursue a course of conduct which amounts to harassment of another and which he or she knows or ought to know amounts to harassment. Although there is no definition of what specifically amounts to harassment, it would usually include alarming a person or causing them distress and must have occurred on at least two occasions.
Under criminal law, and if this is reported to the police who then take action, the punishment for harassment can be imprisonment and/or a fine. A court may also impose a restraining order for the purpose of protecting the victim.
In addition to criminal action, a civil claim can also be brought against a person who is alleged to be guilty of causing harassment.
So in the first instance the police can be contacted and have this reported to them as harassment. However, they will not often get involved in trivial disputes so if they believe that this is not serious enough they could refuse to help and advise you that this is a civil matter. In such circumstances, the offender could be warned that their actions are being treated as harassment and that unless they refrain from such behaviour in the future they will be reported to the police and legal action will be taken against them.
Finally, you have the option of raising a formal grievance with the employer which would prompt them to investigate this matter and deal with it as they see fit. However, remember that they can also dismiss you at any point if they want to and will be acting legally and you cannot challenge that, so if they believe you are being a nuisance over this and are making things more difficult for them by raising these formal complaints, they can consider dismissal - I know it is unfair but it is legal in this case.
So a week earlier he came up to me with a fist, does it count? have a few witnesses to that either, company i work for is Zizzi, part of Gondola group.
My holding GM wants to raise a formal grievance against that ops manager either... as she was affected by this head chef connection and discriminated.
so from the other hand i should stay there, get affected by working with person who threated me and raise civil claim?
I'm supervisor so dismissing me it's not as easy as an any staff member.
supervisor/ manager on duty*
and what about my right to safe environment at work?
Yes such threats can count - these are all separate incidents so harassment is an option here. Your employer has a duty to ensure your health and safety at work, this is something you can remind them of, but if they fail then your rights are still as described in my advice above
ops manager is still under head office and HR so writing grievance against ops manager is not a bad option for time being, is it? What about GMB would they do any good?
If you believe that the employer will act fairly on a grievance then it is your right to raise one. If you are a member of the union they can certainly help, they can assist with any grievance for example
Im gonna have to wait for my membership to be permanent, 1 more week, so meantime shall i just carry on at work?
Think the only way to go with it is to suffer injury, get affected by working with that person and then raise the claim, if nothing else can be done.
well it is a bit of an extreme way to go about things, also if you are seen to be deliberately looking for trouble and try to get injured then that could affect any potential claim. Also remember that a claim is not always easy - it will involve court fees, a lot of preparation with documents and letters, plus the outcome is never guaranteed
yeah i understand that but i just cant let them get away with that,
No I know but need to make you aware of this. I would always advise that court action should be used as a last resort, don't just go for it without having exhausted all other options
Could always use media... but thats an extreme solution , however thank you very much for help, hopefully will get something out of it
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).