Jump to content

Is this workplace bullying?


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 Satay Chicken

Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:58 AM


Just wondering if anyone has had experience with this or might have some knowledge as to what we are dealing with here!

So, my husband has been employed by a small / medium company (110) people for just on 5 years.  The company recently lost a large client and so a considerable amount of takings - this is more the owners management of the company, of course, rather than the people who work for them.

Since this happened - DH has had two pay cuts, so we are down $200 per week, his hours and conditions have not changed.  Anyway, this morning, DH accidently left a bag on top of the roof of his truck, after realising drove back only to find the bag gone and the $1100 he had in it.  Company now wants us to pay the money back.  Thing is, doesn't a company have insurance for this kind of thing when money is in transit?  They are requiring us to pay them back in cash rather than take it out of his pay which sounds strange to me.

Also, one of his colleagues was told he had to work an extra hour in the afternoons which means he now cannot get to his children on time.  The company said he will just have to pay for after school care and that it his problem.  A co-owner actually called up the school where his children go to ask how much he would be out of pocket for after school care and even went back to him to say it wasn't that much and should just deal with it...

It seems this one particular co-owner is causing issues - everyone hates her and has had problems with unreasonable requests.  I've said to DH that he should get a few of the guys he works with together to try and sort this out but they are worried about losing their jobs - that in itself is a sign they are being bullied..

Thoughts?

#2 Angelot

Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:01 AM

I don't know about the bullying thing, others here will be able to say more than me.

What stuck out to me was that your DH was handling money on his own.  Everywhere I've ever worked, that's been an enormous no-no...always, always, always two people with money, for the protection of the workers as well as the employer.  I wonder if the employer thinks your DH stole the money and used the "lost bag" as an excuse?

#3 Cat People

Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:08 AM

How can they cut his pay without less hours?  Did he agree to the pay cut?  $200/week is quite significant.

#4 qak

Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:08 AM

I don't think it is bullying as such, but think the actions are illegal (ie requireing repayment by DH, the pay cuts).  The extra hour I am not sure about as it may be "reasonable".

I would be calling Fair Work Australia for a chat about the issues.

#5 adl

Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:09 AM

Not under the bullying head as such from what you have posted but the change in pay and hours may be an issue under FWA and the minimum requirements , I dont belive they can arbitarily cut pay for the same hours and conditions without consultation could be considered as an unfair dismissal claim in that they are forcing people to leave.

Also money in transit  is covered by insurance and is not replaced by cash - thats sounds dodgy,  and I use to handle loads in my handbag and in different currencies.  yes best practice is two employees but in small businesses that is not always feasible and practical.  

Also the same with flexible family working conditions - under FWA,  cannot just change
( also would be havign an issue with a school discussing my personal business with others - employer has no right to do that)

I suggest if no HR,  ring FWA hotline and ask for assistance ,  is there a Union covering this work?  Get them in to speak to management or basically instigate a formal process

Edited by adl, 31 January 2013 - 10:10 AM.


#6 Mpjp is feral

Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:11 AM

Not bullying but definitely are issues there.

Companies CAN cut pay (usually by agreement unless there are provisions in industrial agreements etc).

But money handling on his own is a practise virtually unheard of. And yes insurances should cover the loss - if they have the corerct insurance.

Just a question as teh repayment thing is interesting....there is no accusation of theft is there?

#7 erindiv

Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

QUOTE (qak @ 31/01/2013, 11:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't think it is bullying as such, but think the actions are illegal (ie requireing repayment by DH, the pay cuts).  The extra hour I am not sure about as it may be "reasonable".

I would be calling Fair Work Australia for a chat about the issues.



This.

I'm also very surprised at the idea of your DH handling money, especially such a large amount, alone. At one of my jobs that required handling money it was a two-person job.

The company might be snarky because they may suspect your DH stole the money as a comebac for the pay cuts. Not suggesting for a second that this is what he did, but if they've had people complaining about the pay cuts it's a conclusion they could jump too.

$200 a week is a big cut. How was he convinced to do that? The whole company sounds a bit unethical to me. I wouldn't call it bullying but it doesn't sound right at all.

#8 Coffeegirl

Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:14 AM

Does your DH normally do the banking?  In our company loss of money can be a sackable offence.  The onus will be on your DH to prove he lost it.   We employ mostly male staff and they do the banking on their own however, the females have the option of taking someone with them if they feel the need.  There is insurance, but it is usually for robbery, not 'Loss" by an employee.  

If your company can not deduct the $1100  loss over a few pays and are demanding cash - it raises alarm bells that they have a major cash flow issue sad.gif  Especially combined with pay cuts

Did your DH agree to the pay cuts?  Were they across all the staff or just a few?

As to the manager ringing the other employee's school, that is just stepping over the line!


Personally I'd be having my DH look for a new job.  This company sounds like they are in trouble.




#9 Satay Chicken

Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:37 AM

Thank you!  I agree it sounds very dodgy..

Re the cash, DH handles sometimes up to $10,000 cash at once, its collected at different locations throughout the day, he then takes it back to work the following morning.  We were just "lucky" on this occasion is was a smaller amount.  He's lodged the loss with the Police, not something you would do if you had stolen the money - the company is aware of this.

His pay cuts came with a phone call (from this woman) - she left us waiting around for 2 months wondering what was going to happen to him.  She then told him his pay would be cut, they did write a new contract but gave no warning the cut was coming.  I think they might have had to give a minimum of two weeks...??

Anyway, I will get him to call FWA to check....  I feel so bad for him, he's just so upset today..



#10 Coffeegirl

Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:42 AM

QUOTE (Satay chicken @ 31/01/2013, 11:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank you!  I agree it sounds very dodgy..

Re the cash, DH handles sometimes up to $10,000 cash at once, its collected at different locations throughout the day, he then takes it back to work the following morning.  We were just "lucky" on this occasion is was a smaller amount.  He's lodged the loss with the Police, not something you would do if you had stolen the money - the company is aware of this.


WOW  that is a lot of money for your DH to be responsible overnight.  Could he not express bank it during the day?

#11 opethmum

Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:59 AM

I would refer him to Fair Work Australia and I would also get your DH to note any incidences of bullying and intimidation. I would also stress to your DH that money is not everything and start looking for a job elsewhere.
You do not have to suffer needlessly. If you notice he is down perhaps a call to a psychologist may be in order to help him recover and to develop coping strategies.
It sounds like this company is falling to pieces and is not being governed and run appropriately and trust me you do not want to be part of a dying company or a company so bankrupt of any morals and that their HR department so devoid of any compassion and so devious in its dealings with its employees.
Please if you can get out and find something that your DH can find happiness in and he deserves a fresh start.

#12 cward

Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:06 AM

QUOTE
Re the cash, DH handles sometimes up to $10,000 cash at once, its collected at different locations throughout the day, he then takes it back to work the following morning.
  Wow that is a lot of money to keep in your possession overnight.  Is it locked in a safe? I would be asking the company to provide a safe if I was expected to keep money overnight.  What happens if it was stolen from your property would you be expected to pay it back or would htey assume your insurance would cover it.  All sounds dodgy to me




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 
  • Essential-kids_320x214-redballoon

    WIN a $100 RedBalloon for Dad

    Enter now for your chance to win 1 of 5 $100 RedBalloon experience vouchers. Helping you make Dad's Day EXTRA HAPPY.

  • quotes-320

    Wise words from kids movies

    The movies we watched as kids had a lot more to offer than just entertainment. Here's ten wise quotes from kids movies.

  • yoda

    31 iconic family films from the 1980s

    If you grew up in the 1980s there will be a number of films that are close to your heart. Here are 31 of the most iconic for you to watch with your own kids.

  • cruella

    10 live-action remakes of famous animations

    After the success of "Maleficent" at the box office Disney is opening their vault to re-work the classics into live-action movies, and a number of other film studios are following suit. Here are ten live-action remakes to look forward to.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Advertisement
 
 
 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.