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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22884
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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In 2010 I wrote to my employer about workplace harassment by

Customer Question

In 2010 I wrote to my employer about workplace harassment by a junior staff member, I never heard a thing from my boss. In March 2013 I was unjustifiably targeted by my boss over a number of issues, when the van gearbox failed even though I had told him a number of times it needed attention. The issues he claimed were not just related to the gearbox. I responded in writing refuting his claims, together with evidence. There has never been a response from my employer. Again this year I have regularly been targeted by my employer and a staff member and being blamed for issues outside my control. For instance, being blamed for not making deliveries on time or not being able to complete the days deliveries, due to insufficient time being allocated in my delivery schedule. Also should I make a decision concerning a delivery, e.g. the contracted party isn't available to sign but I had their spouse sign, I have been taken to task but when I have rung the office under the same circumstances I am told, go ahead. This is the tip of the iceberg. Generally the boss/employer ignores me at work but is constantly engaging in social chat with the other staff members. More obvious is the likes of myself returning to the office on a Friday to find the staff (3 others) having drinks. I am not invited to participate, made more obvious should I put my head in the door to report on something the wine glasses are hidden.
It also comes down to basic things like being expected to drive the van without a current COF or Road Users even though I will be the one who will be fined if caught, not the company.
I have a full record of these issues. I used to be in management roles so am aware of recording staff/employer issues.
I am finding the working environment very unsettling and stressful but have been unsuccessful in finding alternative employment. I was initially employed, by a head office member, because of my background but when I offered suggestions to my employer it was obviously seen as a challenge. The business is an owner/operator business with three full time and one part time staff (employer's son).
My only concern is I do not wish for this to continue and because of the ongoing stress and harassment maybe it is time to seek some compensation.
David Birse
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

In a situation like this I would recommend workplace mediation rather than launch into a personal grievance. It is apparent there are considerable communication issues, and that you are being treated as a second class employee but to take the next step and claim a personal grievance would likely be very destructive in a small workplace. You have been there for some time I see, and clearly have had times when you were ignored. But they have continued to employ you over that time, so underneath the apparent rudeness they must still need you. So some mediation may improve the atmosphere without getting into the more confontational personal grievance. Would that be a better approach?

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