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Anyone here with legal experience/knowledge/advice?

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posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 01:21 PM
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I'm at wits end and I thought I'd ask the ATS community for some advice(and perhaps help with the dull, incessant repetition of gun-ban threads). I'd like to explain my dilemma thoroughly, so bear with me, please.

I work part-time at a pottery in Ohio. My duties as a shipping clerk begin with an incredulous amount of data entry and paperwork and extend far into scheduling pick-ups, shrink-wrapping pallets(fun!), and lots and lots of box-moving.

My immediate boss is Bettie. The company comptroller is Tom. Bettie was hired as a favor for the company president's friend who owns a few of our out-buildings. Since she has been hired, Bettie has repeatedly screwed things up in shipping, costing us a mass of charge-backs. She is also fond of talking down to others(behind their backs) and has been working HARD to get myself and others fired for no apparent reason. This has led to me having anxiety attacks again. I've begun to get migraines. It is more than I can take from someone whom I've not done a thing to upset.

I began working mid-August of this year, with a beginning wage of $7.75, under a 90-day probationary period before I would receive a raise. This period has long-passed with no raise. I will begin by saying that since I noticed Bettie had a reputation for misstating and passing along the incorrect instructions, I have kept track of everything done and said between coworkers and myself.

Two new male employees have been hired since then and I have my suspicions that they currently make more than myself. The first new employee(Employee 1) is an African American with a short-temper. Several times he has been a no-call, no-show, slammed doors, cursed people LOUDLY, smoked in the building, and just recently went to his vehicle while on the clock and drank alcohol in the parking lot! He was not fired any of these times.

The second employee was hired as a favor for a business partner by Tom himself. Keep in mind neither of these employees have previous experience.

In a meeting 2-weeks-ago, Tom accused myself for Employee 1s behavior and failure to show up to work. I don't think I need to explain how absolutely ridiculous of a notion that was as I do not make decisions for others. Bettie was present for this meeting and refused to make eye contact, even when I took that time to tell Tom how Bettie had been treating myself and others. At the mention of her doing anything perceptively wrong, the discussion was over.

At that same meeting, I was promised 50 hours this week and next. I had already confirmed this with my babysitter. At the last moment, on Friday of last week, I was told by Bettie that I was no longer needed all day and to come in my regular hours. I told the babysitter to forget it. That was that. When I went in today(to a mass of things to do that I cannot possibly get done in 4hour increments) I was instructed by Tom to educate both new employees basically how to do my job. I did as I was told and he even had the audacity to ask me to stay later! Which I obviously could not because I had no sitter.

I'm done getting pushed and pulled around. I FEEL BULLIED and DISCRIMINATED against. Is there anything I can do? I know I'm probably leaving some things out, but I've never felt so helpless. I need this job. I can't just quit or get a new one. Jobs are hard enough to come by. I feel as though I am going to eventually have a heart attack from the stress. I know that if I say the wrong thing or speak up, I will be fired on the spot. Why does everyone besides me get special treatment? Why do I get paid less? Why am I being targeted as the focal point of malicious lies/rumors via Bettie? I stay quiet, do as I am told and I work my ass off. Please help!




posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 01:28 PM
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I've learned (the hard way) that saying anything about other employees who are screwing up or slacking off in your workplace is not a good idea. You're making squat - look for another job and put that place behind you.

Remember the old saying: No good deed goes unpunished.

Here's what I would do to add a little fun into it: Go get a new job and tell them that you need two weeks. Then tell your boss about Bettie's bullcrap but don't give notice. If they fire her, you can keep your job and tell the other company that something came up and you have to decline. If they fire you for being a troublemaker like they probably will, you get a couple weeks to relax before your new job.



edit on 18-12-2012 by AwakeinNM because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 01:30 PM
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Oh, hon. I want so badly to help you but I don't know how. Sending love and hugs your way, flagged for attention.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 01:55 PM
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Before I got to the end of your post, the concept of "Bullying in the Workplace" popped into my mind because I went through a doozy of an experience in a school setting and got no support from Personnel, until I brought in a bunch of information I had printed off on the subject named above.

While my state has no "law" against it, I believe some states do, and I know that some other countries do.

I presented to the Personnel Director a folder full of information, including a list of "Signs of Bullying in the Workplace" and proceeded to outline the specific episodes that related to each item. Prior to that, my repeated requests to be reassigned to another school had been ignored. Within a month, I was offered a new position, and the Principal *mysteriously* decided to retire.

I don't have the time right now to find the documents, but if you search online, you will find a plethora of information that may help guide you as you seek resolution.

Good luck-- my heart goes out to you!!!

ETA: I reminded the Personnel Director that since he was fully informed of the problem, by doing nothing, he would be complicit in the bullying. I think that got his attention more than anything!
edit on 12/18/2012 by new_here because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 02:08 PM
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reply to post by DisasterButton
 
Oh, and another thing... if/when you address this with someone above your boss, best to be exceedingly calm and factual, yet firm in your resolve that Bullying in the Workplace is not acceptable.

Tell him/her you are certain they would agree that a negative work environment is detrimental to productivity and you felt they would want to know, because they care about the company, as do you.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 04:29 PM
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reply to post by DisasterButton
 


I've been where you are and have also felt the same way you feel, I stuck it out and rode it out and thought I would get a biased review. I didn't think my boss would ever be impartial. But, to my surprise, I got an excellent review for the pressure and even got a sorry from my manager. She didn't refer to me as team member, she referred to me as a team leader. And I was totally floored and shocked.

Maybe it's a test to see how well you do under the pressure.

I was to the point where I felt like I had the need to quit, but I didn't. I just rode out the weather storm.

The way to someone's heart is through food. Try that.



** Tip: do not go above the person's head to their boss, because in retaliation you will get written up the next day. Work it out with them. [I know first hand]

edit on 18-12-2012 by Manhater because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 06:16 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Thanks, dear. It is really difficult for me to vent when anything I say can be taken out of context. Even though that place doesn't deserve me, I just can't afford to be fired.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by new_here
reply to post by DisasterButton
 
Oh, and another thing... if/when you address this with someone above your boss, best to be exceedingly calm and factual, yet firm in your resolve that Bullying in the Workplace is not acceptable.

Tell him/her you are certain they would agree that a negative work environment is detrimental to productivity and you felt they would want to know, because they care about the company, as do you.


I've managed to stay calm for this long, and I am 99% sure that is why I am so incredibly stressed out. I just grind my teeth and smile ear to ear and its KILLING me. I can't imagine what other people have gone through, especially victims of racism in the workplace. I guess I should be lucky its not more than what it is. Thanks so much for your advice. I'm going to look up the EPA laws and see if there is anything I can do.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 06:28 PM
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Originally posted by Manhater
reply to post by DisasterButton
 


Maybe it's a test to see how well you do under the pressure.



Goodness, that would be something. I deserve a gold medal for this shii.


If I wasn't being directly targeted, I might believe so; however, its pretty obvious Bettie has it out for me, and she has Tom in the palm of her hand(I have wondered if there may be a relationship going on there).
That is the only reason I can think of that she is able to get away with what she does. Tom is a smart man. Her lack of work ethic and elementary mentality is more than obvious.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 06:31 PM
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Originally posted by Manhater
reply to post by DisasterButton
 


The way to someone's heart is through food. Try that.




I couldn't eat all morning, but as soon as my stomach calmed down enough that I wasn't nauseous, I was raiding the refrigerator. To the MAX. haha.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 11:14 PM
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Originally posted by DisasterButton

Originally posted by Manhater
reply to post by DisasterButton
 


The way to someone's heart is through food. Try that.




I couldn't eat all morning, but as soon as my stomach calmed down enough that I wasn't nauseous, I was raiding the refrigerator. To the MAX. haha.


No buy food for your co-workers, not yourself. It works. I'm telling you.



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 11:29 PM
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reply to post by DisasterButton
 


Bullying, harrassment is against the law in AU and employees are protected from this. (not in the USA as yet... omg!)

www.workplacebullying.org...

healthyworkplacebill.org... (join the campaign!)



posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 11:31 PM
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reply to post by DisasterButton
 


Regarding legal advice? The best I can give you is never trust folks on the Internet to give you legal advice! I don't mean to sound crass, but labor law is extremely complex and varies from state to state.

If you feel discriminated against, the thing I would do is to either file a complaint with the EEOC ( Lots of info there, BTW, for you to reference ) or merely mention to your boss that you are thinking about talking to the EEOC. The latter, FTR, is only wise if you expect that you are in danger of losing your job.

That, incidentally, is not an uncommon practice these days, have employees train their own replacements without being aware they are doing so. Something to consider.

I hope this has helped.

~Heff



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