Ex-employer discrimination/reasonable adjustments - should I fight or let it go?

C

calamityjen

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Joined
Oct 25, 2015
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233
Ex-employer discrimination/reasonable adjustments - should I fight or let it go?

Sorry for the long post (although this is the shortened version :p)

So, the last 18 months have been pretty horrendous for me. I'd been having problems both at work and at home, which led to me pretty much having a breakdown in Feb/March, resigning from my job and moving halfway across the country to live with my dad. The issues at home I can't really do anything about; to sum up, my relationship of 12 years has ended, not my decision :cry2:

Work - a couple of years ago, my team manager seemed to turn against me after I applied for another (higher) job in the organisation while she was on holiday (I didn't deliberately do it behind her back, it's just how it turned out). She became very frosty with me, and in some circumstances made it clear that she had no regard for my welfare.

Last Feb I was prescribed quetiapine to help me get to sleep. It worked a bit too well, and I arrived late a few times. She pulled me to one side and said that it was unacceptable. I told her I was taking a drug with a sedating effect. She told me 'set your alarm clock earlier then'. I burst into tears, and she did appear to be a bit nicer.

Anyway, I applied for flexible working, looking for a form of flexitime with core hours 9.30-4. I also had an OH assessment, which agreed that this would help, and said I was very likely to come under the Equality Act. So with advice from a friend in HR, I also filled in the company's Reasonable Adjustment form, with the flexitime under that. It got turned down for a list of 'reasons' that were, basically, ridiculous and untrue imho. I ended up being pressured into agreeing a compromise.

During this time, my boyfriend told me he didn't want to be with me anymore, and became not very nice, which didn't help and my self esteem crashed.

Final straw was my boyfriend's suggestion that I leave before his birthday (which was two weeks) - he wanted the flat we rented and I'd previously agreed as I didn't want to stay there alone (that's another story in itself!). I ended up completely breaking down and being off sick for a month and put my resignation in after a couple of weeks to go and live with my dad.

Now that I've had a couple of months to recover somewhat, I'm wondering if I should try and take my ex-employers to court, particularly over the flexitime thing (too late for a grievance, they won't consider it). Part of me feels like I should, as they caused me a lot of stress, which I think contributed to my relationship breaking down. But part of me knows that it will be stressful to go down the legal route, expensive, and I might still lose.

Anyone got any advice, or has been through something similar? I can't make up my mind and I'm running out of time to decide. :confused:
 
Mayflower7

Mayflower7

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Hi,
I'm really sorry you've gone through so much. It will be very stressful taking your employers to court. It's terrible you didn't get flexi-time.
I wish you loads of luck in whatever you decide. Your life will get easier.
Take care
 
K

Kooky

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Jul 10, 2016
Messages
3
Hi there
I've not really got any advice but I'm going through a similar thing at the moment. So I completely understand where you are coming from.
I've been off work for 7 months and to cut a long story short, I'm now under a psychiatrist for a depressive disorder. I've recently started back to work and was doing quite well. I work as a staff nurse in ITU and the norm is to do 12 hour shifts. I did say before I went back that I would need to do short shifts for a while. Initially not an issue, just happy to have me back. Then a few weeks ago I went into the staff room with my senior sister for what I thought was a chat and the modern matron was in there. I was totally ambushed. I objected to the room, the fact I should have been told who was going to be present, and they started saying the unit doesn't function on short shifts. At one point I was sobbing but they didn't stop. I've been told by my psychiatrist it's going to be a minimum of 6 months before I'm completely recovered and they know this. I phoned my Union who are all over this, and HR now know what's happened as I've gone back off sick again. HR are on edge as they know it could go to a litigation thing but I never wanted any of this. I just wanted my life back. I haven't a clue what to do, if I can work in a team where they can do this to me. But if I leave, what next. Do I drop it, or take it further? And like you said the stress of doing that would be huge. Plus if I leave what happens with my house and paying the mortgage. Only thing I can say to you is the disability act is quite vague, as I'm finding out, reasonable adjustments is also open to intepretation. Are you in a union? They really know what they are talking about, and a good union rep will really put up a good fight. I'm so sorry you are going through what you are, and I hope you find a way to make a decision that's best for you. I'm just not sure what mine is yet but this is causing me such a high level of anxiety that it's on my mind 24/7 and I need it to end soon. Take care
 
S

Stray

Guest
Hugs xx I feel for you both. Many years ago I was told I'd lost my job (NHS) as I was off sick too long, they wouldn't tolerate reasonable adjustments (illegal) and my union was useless.
If you can get good union support, occupational health input and reliable advice on how the process works so you're not on your own to fight, I hope you could get justice.
I was so clueless then, no idea that I had any recourse to challenge what was going on, but there are processes that can challenge the wrongs. I hope things can improve, for both of you.
I remember ACAS being a good source of information.
xx
 
K

Kooky

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Jul 10, 2016
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Thank you Stray

How long did you work for the NHS? I've given them 10 years. I've stayed late so many times, gone without breaks, at times put a patient above getting home to my son. And when I need them to support me for a short time, they dig their heels in. My depression is not to do with my job, it's just something that is apart of who I am. What did you do when you lost your job? I'm scared of the unknown. It feels like I've crawled out of a dark put only for someone to kick me back in it.
 
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