Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

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Will do good
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Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Will do good » Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:53 am

I have a 64 year old friend living in San Diego who’s been at the same company for 30+ years. Recently there have been actions taken that seem to indicate they want to force her to quit. They gave her a bad review for the first time. She’s feeling the stress as they've given her an increasing amount of work where’s she been at the office till 8 or 9 pm finishing up her projects yet they her tell it is not enough. She has taken to communicating with her manager by email to document all requests and to limit verbal requests.

Is there anything else she can do to protect herself? Is there any non profit agency she can talk to for advice? She is not wealthy so not a lot of extra funds to hire a lawyer and is hoping it will not reach that point.

Thank you for any advices.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Mr.BB » Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:56 am

tell her to key start keeping private notes . Noting dates and times and conversations she has with managers, co-workers as well as reviews.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by bluebolt » Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:59 am

A bad review, increased workload, and negative feedback on one's work are not necessarily harassment.

She should definitely document everything. She is in a protected class, so the company has some restrictions around what they can do.

It might be worth seeking a consultation with an employment attorney. They likely won't charge for an initial meeting and can explain some of her options. Obviously, their assistance will be limited if not retained.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by livesoft » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:04 am

We would need to hear the other sides to this situation to understand what is going on.
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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by LawyersGunsAndMoney » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:25 am

I would recommend that she:

1. Make sure that documentation of all of this stuff is in her own posession - and would probably do so by PDF'ing email records and transfering them to a usb drive. Probably better than forwarding them to her personal email - because depending on company rules and who runs IT, this could be considered a no-no, and if they're already trying to fire her....there you go.

2. Work on her resume and start to reach out to network contacts assuming she wants to stay in the workforce. If she's an at-will employee, she's at risk of losing her job. Demanding more from employees than they are personally capable of delivering isn't exactly harassment. And if you've been in the same place for 30+ years you are likely not up to speed on job search stuff in 2019.

3. As far as proecting her exisitng job...if she has any kind of diagnosed/documented disability (e.g. suffers from diagnosed axieity or another mental health issue) this might be a good time to request that the company engaged in an interactive dialogue with her and request an accomodation. I have no idea of this applies - but if it does and she can get documentation from a physician or mental health professional - the company will likely be required to discuss what reasonable accomodations might be. It may also have the effect of protecting her job if the company fears legal consequences of terminating an employee with a condition or disability that carries some protections.

4. If she is ultimately terminated from her position, I would suggest that she consult with an attorney who specializes in employment law with the ultimate goal of obtaining a severance package. If you've been at an organization for 30+ years you tend to "know where the bodies are buried" and if said organization is so incompetent that they won't actually lay you off OR put you on a documented performance plan - there's probably a bunch of bad stuff going on throughout the organization. In this case, I'd rather have a settlement off the record than trying to use an attorney to save your job (as you'll just have a target on your back).

My two cents.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by MichCPA » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:40 am

Has there been a recent change of manager or company ownership?

Have any conversations mentioned a protected characteristic? If so, is there documentation?

Nothing you mentioned would seem to rise to a legal issue by itself. Absent a smoking gun here, I would prepare to switch jobs. It is easier to find one while employed and the economy is good right now.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Winston19 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:56 am

Often plaintiff's employment lawyers work on contingency. She probably can at least consult with a lawyer for free and if they believe she has a case worth taking she probably won't have to pay the lawyer hourly.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Flobes » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:02 am

Will do good wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:53 am
I have a 64 year old friend living in San Diego... Is there anything else she can do to protect herself? Is there any non profit agency she can talk to for advice? She is not wealthy so not a lot of extra funds to hire a lawyer...
Call the state Department of Aging for guidance about what to do and, just as important, what not to do per local law.

Ditto the state Labor Department.

Ditto San Diego Council on Aging.

She (or you on her behalf) can probably have these conversations without revealing either her name or the place of employment.

They will have referrals to other helpful organizations that deal with employment issues.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Will do good » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:15 am

MichCPA wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:40 am
Has there been a recent change of manager or company ownership?

Have any conversations mentioned a protected characteristic? If so, is there documentation?

Nothing you mentioned would seem to rise to a legal issue by itself. Absent a smoking gun here, I would prepare to switch jobs. It is easier to find one while employed and the economy is good right now.
Yes, there's a new manager and the company/division is not doing well.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by onourway » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:19 am

Will do good wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:15 am

Yes, there's a new manager and the company/division is not doing well.
Absent additional information it sounds like these factors, rather than her age, are the main issues here.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Trader Joe » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:27 am

Will do good wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:53 am
I have a 64 year old friend living in San Diego who’s been at the same company for 30+ years. Recently there have been actions taken that seem to indicate they want to force her to quit. They gave her a bad review for the first time. She’s feeling the stress as they've given her an increasing amount of work where’s she been at the office till 8 or 9 pm finishing up her projects yet they her tell it is not enough. She has taken to communicating with her manager by email to document all requests and to limit verbal requests.

Is there anything else she can do to protect herself? Is there any non profit agency she can talk to for advice? She is not wealthy so not a lot of extra funds to hire a lawyer and is hoping it will not reach that point.

Thank you for any advices.
This sounds like normal work life to me. Best of luck.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by 8foot7 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:36 am

LawyersGunsAndMoney wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:25 am

3. As far as proecting her exisitng job...if she has any kind of diagnosed/documented disability (e.g. suffers from diagnosed axieity or another mental health issue) this might be a good time to request that the company engaged in an interactive dialogue with her and request an accomodation. I have no idea of this applies - but if it does and she can get documentation from a physician or mental health professional - the company will likely be required to discuss what reasonable accomodations might be. It may also have the effect of protecting her job if the company fears legal consequences of terminating an employee with a condition or disability that carries some protections.

This is a little too close to fraud for my taste. Those protections exist for real disabilities, not conditions one dons in order to become part of a protected class.

Have we considered the possibility that maybe the employee has simply become less effective over time, or does not have the same diligence or attention to detail? Perhaps employee has slowed down?

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:37 am

Document, document, document.

If she lives in a one person consent state for recording, set her phone on record for every meeting with her manager covertly. Save all those files.

If a specific thing is pointed to as a reason for "does not meet", and its something that can be documented and compared with others, do this and store the files.

I was targeted when I turned 55 and my reviews went from "walks on water" where I had even won a "top 5% in the company" to "does not meet expectations". Because....well....I had the audacity to turn 55.

Do NOT go to HR. I did. My manager and I met directly after my HR meeting. My manager knew every word I said to HR. HR is there for one thing....to protect the company and toe the company line. They care ZERO for you and do whatever is required in the "get rid of old people" policy.

Network with others who have left. As I found, this was an ongoing company policy and many, many had left. After I left, 3 others were forced out and attempted to sue. With the huge numbers of lawyers and $$ behind them at Megacorp, they gave up.

Good luck. I found another job and left that company.
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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by BL » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:38 am

Encourage her to:
Save as much as possible for future lack of income.

Start looking for work elsewhere. It is often easier to get a job when you have a job.

Find ways to counteract the stress: exercise, eat right, sleep enough, etc.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:39 am

At 64, does she have to keep working?

These are scenarios you expect and plan for. They happen at any age with changing company dynamics.

1 year to Medicare. She could claim SS now, wait and live off savings until 67 or 70.

Assuming she needs to keep working. Others have given good advice. Not fun scenarios.
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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by BeneIRA » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:40 am

I am sure there have been meetings that the company needs to cut staff and if they don't do it by a certain date, there will be a layoff. The goal is to get everyone possible to quit so the company doesn't have to pay out severance or deal with unemployment benefits. They are clearly trying to push people out. I would definitely be firing up the resume and expect to be out by year's end. An "Improvement Plan" could be forthcoming for a justification to let your friend go. Odds of your friend being there this time next year are low.

They should not go to HR as it will only hasten the exit. Unfortunately, this type of thing happens at any age and it usually isn't personal. It is a headcount thing. Best of luck.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Kenkat » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:41 am

What are her future plans? At age 64 and with 30 years at the same company, I’d be thinking about:

1) a preemptive retirement announcement (i.e., I am retiring in x months at age 65) - it’s difficult to fire someone who has said they are retiring
2) work as much as she is able (i.e., limit hours) and let them try to fire her; set the village on fire on the way out if necessary (they’ve already fired the first shot it seems)
3) negotiate a job elimination with severance and then retire

However, if she needs to keep working past 65, I’d do #2 above and start looking for a new job (as hard as that would be).
Last edited by Kenkat on Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:42 am

Will do good wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:15 am
MichCPA wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:40 am
Has there been a recent change of manager or company ownership?

Have any conversations mentioned a protected characteristic? If so, is there documentation?

Nothing you mentioned would seem to rise to a legal issue by itself. Absent a smoking gun here, I would prepare to switch jobs. It is easier to find one while employed and the economy is good right now.
Yes, there's a new manager and the company/division is not doing well.
Classic methodology used by employer to justify a reduction in force. It’s unfortunate they are using the bad review to do it, most good employers will just let the employee go with dignity instead of trying to assign blame. Tell your friend to start looking for new employment ASAP, lest she get depressed thinking it’s her fault. This is a form of harassment however I don’t believe there is any explicit law governing this childish behavior, it’s very gray.
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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Cody6136 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:46 am

Kenkat wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:41 am
and let them try to fire her; set the village on fire on the way out if necessary (they’ve already fired the first shot it seems)
3
What could "set the village on fire" possibly mean and how would this benefit anyone?

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by 8foot7 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:53 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:37 am


Do NOT go to HR. I did. My manager and I met directly after my HR meeting. My manager knew every word I said to HR. HR is there for one thing....to protect the company and toe the company line. They care ZERO for you and do whatever is required in the "get rid of old people" policy.

+2,000
HR should be avoided at all costs

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Kenkat » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:59 am

Cody6136 wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:46 am
Kenkat wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:41 am
and let them try to fire her; set the village on fire on the way out if necessary (they’ve already fired the first shot it seems)
3
What could "set the village on fire" possibly mean and how would this benefit anyone?
It means using any social or political capital you have amassed in your 30 years there to make it damaging for the people trying to push you out to actually do so. Given the potential damage to their own careers, maybe they are more open to negotiate a more graceful exit with severance, etc. It benefits you which is all that matters if the company has truly put an undeserved target on you.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Coburn » Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:18 am

Kenkat wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:59 am
Cody6136 wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:46 am
Kenkat wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:41 am
and let them try to fire her; set the village on fire on the way out if necessary (they’ve already fired the first shot it seems)
3
What could "set the village on fire" possibly mean and how would this benefit anyone?
It means using any social or political capital you have amassed in your 30 years there to make it damaging for the people trying to push you out to actually do so. Given the potential damage to their own careers, maybe they are more open to negotiate a more graceful exit with severance, etc. It benefits you which is all that matters if the company has truly put an undeserved target on you.
Whether she knows of anything 'damaging' or not is immaterial and smacks of melodrama. Such tactics may even just accelerate her departure.

Her time and mental energy are better served finding her next job.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by TexasPE » Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:25 pm

Will do good wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:53 am
They gave her a bad review for the first time.
Was there anything actionable in her 'bad review'? Was it in writing? Did she/ her supervisor clarify the steps needed to improve her performance? As another poster said, need to know both sides of the story. If nothing was quantified, IMHO she should prepare a list of questions and request a meeting with her supervisor to develop a path-forward.

I had a long-term support person (clerical) assigned to my department. She was personable and polite, but never able to make the change from mechanical calculators, paper invoices and rubber stamps to computers. I counseled her multiple times and even arranged for a one-week one-on-one training session for her with no improvement. (This earned ME a ding on my next review :shock: ). Her job requirements changed but she was just not willing/able to adapt. She was finally let-go after I moved to another position.

Good luck to your friend.
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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by DanMahowny » Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:32 pm

Or it could simply be:
1) old person
2) didn't save enough to retire
3) doesn't want to work forever
4) angling for a lawsuit

Occam's razor
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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by ponyboy » Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:13 pm

She's 64...she should start thinking about retirement..especially if the workplace has become toxic.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Kenkat » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:00 pm

Coburn wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:18 am
Kenkat wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:59 am
Cody6136 wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:46 am
Kenkat wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:41 am
and let them try to fire her; set the village on fire on the way out if necessary (they’ve already fired the first shot it seems)
3
What could "set the village on fire" possibly mean and how would this benefit anyone?
It means using any social or political capital you have amassed in your 30 years there to make it damaging for the people trying to push you out to actually do so. Given the potential damage to their own careers, maybe they are more open to negotiate a more graceful exit with severance, etc. It benefits you which is all that matters if the company has truly put an undeserved target on you.
Whether she knows of anything 'damaging' or not is immaterial and smacks of melodrama. Such tactics may even just accelerate her departure.

Her time and mental energy are better served finding her next job.
You misunderstand. It’s not that she “knows” anything damaging. It’s others’ perception of the situation and the new manager’s role in it that matters in the world of Survivor/Big Brother, oops I mean office politics.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by iamlucky13 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:28 pm

First thought: ensure overtime regulations are being met, although that is likely irrelevant if this is an exempt position.

Is she being asked specifically to work late, or are the late hours based on the completing tasks assigned?

Assuming there are others in similar roles to compare to: are other employees being given similar amounts of work, and is it taking them as long to complete their tasks?

If not, it seems prudent to discuss with managers a better balance of workload between employees. This conversation can go much smoother is she is well prepared to help the manager resolve the issue: "Boss, since my assignements include A, B, C, D, and E, which normally take X hours per week, can you re-assign D to John, who has Y hours worth of work per week, and E to Jane, has Z hours of work per week?"

If she does have a similar level of responsibility, but takes longer to complete it, this is a more difficult position. She may be able to ask for assistance learning how to effectively manage the increased workload, or she may need to honestly consider if she is still able to work as efficiently as she has in the past.

If the latter, I think it is very seriously worth seeking a lower stress job. I think most of us would rather delay our retirement a bit working at a job we're comfortable with than at a higher paying job that is very stressful and which may lead to a layoff.
8foot7 wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:53 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:37 am

Do NOT go to HR. I did. My manager and I met directly after my HR meeting. My manager knew every word I said to HR. HR is there for one thing....to protect the company and toe the company line. They care ZERO for you and do whatever is required in the "get rid of old people" policy.
+2,000
HR should be avoided at all costs
This is a tricky consideration, but if taken as a universal rule, may be bad advice. HR probably should be involved in addressing issues that can be concretely documented as a violation of either the law or company policy, or management communications that are clearly out of line.

Complaints that a review doesn't seem fair or that a manager is biased against you, or anything else that can be dismissed as speculation or disgruntlement are unlikely to go anywhere productive via a discussion with HR.

For issues where these is compelling evidence of a problem, if company policies or guidelines for when to take steps such as involving HR are not followed, the company may allege the employee only decided there was a problem after the fact as a way to divert blame for employee shortcomings, rather than the manager treating the employee unfairly.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by FireAway » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:47 pm

DanMahowny wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:32 pm
Or it could simply be:
1) old person
2) didn't save enough to retire
3) doesn't want to work forever
4) angling for a lawsuit

Occam's razor
Occam's razor directs us to choose the explanation which requires the fewest assumptions and least speculation. Your explanation requires a great deal of assumptions, whereas knowing that she is 64 (a year away from normal retirement age) and under new management, it is much simpler to guess that the explanation is simple and common age discrimination.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:53 pm

Mr.BB wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:56 am
tell her to key start keeping private notes . Noting dates and times and conversations she has with managers, co-workers as well as reviews.
Not on her work computer but on her own personal device.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Mr.BB » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:27 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:53 pm
Mr.BB wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:56 am
tell her to key start keeping private notes . Noting dates and times and conversations she has with managers, co-workers as well as reviews.
Not on her work computer but on her own personal device.
+1 (good point to clarify Dottie)
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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by rj342 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:39 pm

Possibly relevant...
I worked as an engineer at a US electronics manufacturer from 1989 to 2002, leaving only when they completely stopped real manufacturing there (after a buyout) and it lingered a few more years doing service and support at that location.
I remember one layoff in particular where the surviving hourly production workers really got up in arms afterward about senior people having been targeted. But then some salary info got out somehow and they shut up. Turns out a few of those old timers were making absurd amounts of money, since they were there in the good old startup rocketship days when ridiculously good raises were handed out high and low (before my time).
Given they had basically refused to adapt as the company contracted and the people had to crosstrain and be more flexible... sympathy evaporated pretty quickly.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by megabad » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:58 pm

Will do good wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:53 am
Is there anything else she can do to protect herself?
There sure is. She can leave the office at 5pm to protect her health and reduce stress levels (but still work hard during the normal work day). She can disconnect and not worry about work when she gets home. She can make sure she saves as much as possible to facilitate the previous statement.

So far, there doesn't appear to be any obvious wrongdoing. I think she would be best served by worrying less and saving as much as possible.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Will do good » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:21 pm

DanMahowny wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:32 pm
Or it could simply be:
1) old person
2) didn't save enough to retire
3) doesn't want to work forever
4) angling for a lawsuit

Occam's razor
1. Yes, she is
2. Don't know, don't want to guess
3. She wants to work, it's the new manager making unreasonable demands/work load
4. She never mentioned lawsuit, sounds like she wants to work

Occam's razor: new manager was given marching order to cut staff or expensive older staff in an office that's not making much money.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:45 pm

rj342 wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:39 pm
Possibly relevant...
I worked as an engineer at a US electronics manufacturer from 1989 to 2002, leaving only when they completely stopped real manufacturing there (after a buyout) and it lingered a few more years doing service and support at that location.
I remember one layoff in particular where the surviving hourly production workers really got up in arms afterward about senior people having been targeted. But then some salary info got out somehow and they shut up. Turns out a few of those old timers were making absurd amounts of money, since they were there in the good old startup rocketship days when ridiculously good raises were handed out high and low (before my time).
Given they had basically refused to adapt as the company contracted and the people had to crosstrain and be more flexible... sympathy evaporated pretty quickly.
Similar situation.

I reported to a new position, and was setting up my office, and before noon two of the existing group had been fired. I was introduced as a new member of the team in a staff meeting that afternoon. Awkward, to say the least.

Unfortunately the two let go were living on what they had once done, and neglected learning about some new products they had been told they would have to support.

Thankfully I was a known person as I had been in an adjacent team, but it was a sobering thing to see, or be part of.

Lesson on display: No one cares what you have done, only what you will do. Heed your manager's requirements and actual reasons for keeping you around. Never think any differntly.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by crossbow » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:48 pm

Mr.BB wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:56 am
tell her to key start keeping private notes . Noting dates and times and conversations she has with managers, co-workers as well as reviews.
I've always wondered - can't these be fabricated when one decides to actually sue?

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by prudent » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:52 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:45 pm
Lesson on display: No one cares what you have done, only what you will do. Heed your manager's requirements and actual reasons for keeping you around. Never think any differntly.

Broken Man 1999
That brought to mind something my manager told me when I got my first "real job".

"Prudent, you can have a long successful career if you just remember two things: first, find out what your boss wants; and second, give your boss what the boss wants."

downshiftme
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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by downshiftme » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:05 pm

A bad review, increased workload, and negative feedback on one's work are not necessarily harassment.
This is a classic tactic to create a paper trail, in preparation for terminating employment, when the targeted individual is in a protected class, such as over 40 years old. Some employers do it routinely for all employees to reduce the chances of lawsuits when firing people.

If there's new management (there is) this is most likely just the opening moves to push your friend out and the decision has likely already been made. Unless there's something very special about this employer, regular working life here is about to get progressively worse and the best option is likely to seek employment (or retirement) elsewhere.

rantk81
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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by rantk81 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:13 pm

LawyersGunsAndMoney wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:25 am
I would recommend that she:

1. Make sure that documentation of all of this stuff is in her own posession - and would probably do so by PDF'ing email records and transfering them to a usb drive. Probably better than forwarding them to her personal email - because depending on company rules and who runs IT, this could be considered a no-no, and if they're already trying to fire her....there you go.
I wouldn't even store it to a USB drive. Some employers have installed software that monitors all USB drive activity. (Mine does!)
Maybe just snap a photo of your screen with your cell phone?

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by yangtui » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:29 pm

Will do good wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:21 pm
3. She wants to work, it's the new manager making unreasonable demands/work load
Does she have any allies with power at the company that she can talk to about this? Not a generic HR business partner but somebody she has a close relationship with. If she is an at will employee then the reasonableness of the demands and workload can be adjusted pretty aggressively regardless of tenure or previous expectations. Her fate might already have been signed off on by the powers that be but if she has a decent network she might be able to come to some kind of arrangement or maybe a new safer role.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Dave55 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:51 pm

Will do good wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:53 am
I have a 64 year old friend living in San Diego who’s been at the same company for 30+ years. Recently there have been actions taken that seem to indicate they want to force her to quit. They gave her a bad review for the first time. She’s feeling the stress as they've given her an increasing amount of work where’s she been at the office till 8 or 9 pm finishing up her projects yet they her tell it is not enough. She has taken to communicating with her manager by email to document all requests and to limit verbal requests.

Is there anything else she can do to protect herself? Is there any non profit agency she can talk to for advice? She is not wealthy so not a lot of extra funds to hire a lawyer and is hoping it will not reach that point.

Thank you for any advices.
I was in management in small to medium size companies in my 20's and then I owned and operated my own company for 25 years. I had a small company, 12 employees at the peak. I can't imagine treating any employee this way. If they want her out, the professional way to do so is to fire her or lay her off. Managers are supposed to be leaders, not "abusers".

If I were her, and had the financial ability, I would resign.

Dave

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Jags4186 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:53 pm

Does she need to work? If not or if she’s close enough she can try to angle for a nice severance package.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by HoosierJim » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:40 pm

Hate to have to suggest this but companies are ruthless. Have her tell her HR and her boss that she has began thinking about the process of transitioning.. Technically if she can give it some thought she is not lying and depending on the state, may have legal protections.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:46 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (career guidance).
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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:18 pm

rantk81 wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:13 pm
LawyersGunsAndMoney wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:25 am
I would recommend that she:

1. Make sure that documentation of all of this stuff is in her own posession - and would probably do so by PDF'ing email records and transfering them to a usb drive. Probably better than forwarding them to her personal email - because depending on company rules and who runs IT, this could be considered a no-no, and if they're already trying to fire her....there you go.
I wouldn't even store it to a USB drive. Some employers have installed software that monitors all USB drive activity. (Mine does!)
Maybe just snap a photo of your screen with your cell phone?
This. Don’t create a paper trail for anyone to follow.

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Will do good
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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Will do good » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:05 pm

yangtui wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:29 pm
Will do good wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:21 pm
3. She wants to work, it's the new manager making unreasonable demands/work load
Does she have any allies with power at the company that she can talk to about this? Not a generic HR business partner but somebody she has a close relationship with. If she is an at will employee then the reasonableness of the demands and workload can be adjusted pretty aggressively regardless of tenure or previous expectations. Her fate might already have been signed off on by the powers that be but if she has a decent network she might be able to come to some kind of arrangement or maybe a new safer role.
Unfortunately she’s in a small office of a larger corporation. I think most of the senior people she knows already left or retired from the company.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by yangtui » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:24 pm

Ultimately I am not sure what leverage she has to protect her job. From everything you have described they, I am assuming the manager is not doing this unilaterally, are not harassing her in an overtly illegal way. Employers can be incredibly nasty to employees without ever running afoul of the law. If it is a mega-corp then HR will probably make sure they terminate her in a way that protects the company. I have seen this play out multiple times. It might take a couple of unpleasant years but they eventually get what they want. What kind of severance is she entitled to? It could be substantial and worth the effort of dealing with some nonsense until they finally let her go. That plus unemployment.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by FIREchief » Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:01 am

Will do good wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:53 am
She’s feeling the stress as they've given her an increasing amount of work where’s she been at the office till 8 or 9 pm finishing up her projects yet they her tell it is not enough.
Are you sure about this? In my decades at Megacorp, I personally observed that near 100% of the reports of people working ridiculous hours were [not true --admin LadyGeek]. On those rare occasions where I myself was there late at night, the parking lots were a ghost town. I guess these super-employees just sold their cars and lived at the place.... :D
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by Will do good » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:12 am

FIREchief wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:01 am
Will do good wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:53 am
She’s feeling the stress as they've given her an increasing amount of work where’s she been at the office till 8 or 9 pm finishing up her projects yet they her tell it is not enough.
Are you sure about this? In my decades at Megacorp, I personally observed that near 100% of the reports of people working ridiculous hours were [not true --admin LadyGeek]. On those rare occasions where I myself was there late at night, the parking lots were a ghost town. I guess these super-employees just sold their cars and lived at the place.... :D
I don't know if she's telling me the truth or not.

But I can tell you your believes are wrong. Early in my career (creative field) I worked for a crazy/successful boss and our team worked much later than 10pm ALL the time, many, many nights I slept on my office sofa, that lasted few years. Our group won more businesses and awards more than any in the company.

My friend at Tesla have sleep many night at the office. Steve Jobs was famously work his team super late. Oh yeah, I heard doctor residency might work a few late nights too. I think you were lucky to worked for a laid back Megacorp :beer

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by miamivice » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:23 am

Will do good wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:12 am
FIREchief wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:01 am
Will do good wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:53 am
She’s feeling the stress as they've given her an increasing amount of work where’s she been at the office till 8 or 9 pm finishing up her projects yet they her tell it is not enough.
Are you sure about this? In my decades at Megacorp, I personally observed that near 100% of the reports of people working ridiculous hours were [not true --admin LadyGeek]. On those rare occasions where I myself was there late at night, the parking lots were a ghost town. I guess these super-employees just sold their cars and lived at the place.... :D
I don't know if she's telling me the truth or not.

But I can tell you your believes are wrong. Early in my career (creative field) I worked for a crazy/successful boss and our team worked much later than 10pm ALL the time, many, many nights I slept on my office sofa, that lasted few years. Our group won more businesses and awards more than any in the company.

My friend at Tesla have sleep many night at the office. Steve Jobs was famously work his team super late. Oh yeah, I heard doctor residency might work a few late nights too. I think you were lucky to worked for a laid back Megacorp :beer
I think that this is a less than polite response to someone who made a sincere comment. My experience is the same. "Everyone" I know is proud to work 60 hour weeks, but I rarely see people staying 3 hours late at work on a regular basis.

OP, one suggestion is that the person should just leave the office at whatever normal quitting time is, and leave work undone that was not completed. There is no reason that someone getting paid for 40 hours should work 60 - 80 a week, except maybe for a brief surge on a special project.

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Re: Harrassed at work, what steps to take to protect her future employment

Post by masonstone » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:36 am

Can’t you fire someone for no reason in the U.S.? If the employer doesn’t like her they have the power to just let the employee go.

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